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Mass market 'daylight' fluorescent lights?


MGF, Master Grumble Framer
Aug 28, 2002
eastern pa
I was wandering around in Lowe's the other day... a thing I enjoy doing as often as possible... and I saw that they sell what they refer to as daylight flourescent bulbs. I did a search on the grumble about lighting and found a lot of technical talk of Kelvin and full spectrum... and well, I just want to know if these bulbs are actually any good. I know we had a salesman come into our store once selling commercial grade full spectrum lights, and they were great... and pricey. Are the Lowe's ones decent?
Is your goal to have the lighting in your shop or design area approximate the color temperature of daylight? I only ask 'cause you know a lot of our customers hang their art outdoors.

In most frame shops (including mine) the problem is not the color temperature of the light but the intensity. There's almost never enough.

If you want to adjust the color temperature of your lighting, it would seem to make sense to approximate the incandescent lighting that most of our customers have in their homes.
Ron, I'm not so sure it is just the intensity.

I've read about these guys for awhile, but only bought one of the ceiling fixtures when my daughter moved into a basement apartment with incandescent lighting. The difference is amazing. I can read printed text etc. MUCH more easily with this light (not to mention possible SAD benefits!). http://www.solux.net/

If only for working lights, these can't be beat.

See also


Although many people have just tungsten in their homes, this is changing. Halogen and big bright windows are definately on the rise. Modifications can be made to safeguard sensitive artifacts/art from light,

but as us technologically minded boomers age, I think the general trend will be for more effective light, rather than just brighter light.

Sorry framinzfun,

All of this doesn't answer your question. Which is, I don' know.

I use Phillips Ultralume, a mixture of 3700 and 4100 kelvin. It's expensive, but the bulbs don't need replacing very often. It's a nice daylight effect. But I'm also gonna get me a Solux floor lamp for task lighting.

If I had to design my studio over again, I'd have their ceiling fixtures for accent and task lights.

Someone came to our shop trying to sell us some amazing lights (to replace fluorescent) that really lit up the place. They wouldn't have worked though in the shop because, as Ron said, customers don't have that type of lighting at home. Who knows what their pictures would look like when they took them home to incandescent lighting? :eek:

The bulbs this guy was selling would be great in a jewelry store. I think the shop next to us which is jewelry store bought some of them.

I have an Ott floor lamp at home for a workspace. I love it. It doesn't get hot and I can see well.
I use an Ott lamp to do visual color matching - especially with "neutrals."

Two shops ago, I replaced all the green fluorescents with the daylight bulbs from Home Depot. They were a big improvement over cool-white, but they aren't the full-spectrum bulbs you've heard about.

I would imagine they were very similar to what you saw at Lowes.
Go on line and do your research...

Find the spectrum that you want to enhance,
the number of lumins
and the $$ you want to spend.

Then go to Lowes and give them you shopping list.
The boxes will have all the info you need.

But then back to Ron's thought.

About two years ago we replaced the lights over the design table with the color-corrected day-light....blah blah blah.....

And started designing stuff that came back.

"Looked different at home."

We move those bulbs into the workroom where we always need a higher "flood" of Lumins...
and put "Warm" bulbs back over the design table.

If anything here in Oregon, we have noticed, you can have the biggest windows in the world, but with 236 days of overcast and drizzle, you're going to have your lights on. And usually that is incandesent, compact floresent, or haligen...

and warm better matches that mix.

I remember one of the most successfull furniture stores in Southern California, home of big windows and outdoor living.....

They painted signage on the windows....on purpose.
Deep green carpet. Deep cherry wainscotting, with hunter green paint on the walls . . . and yellow
cast light.

Made people with light tans look like sun worshippers, and the wood furniture looked rich and warm. And they had the AC set at 68 degrees. :D
Avoid color temps 3000K or less. I find it hard to see see dark mat colors correctly - specially the dark greens. 3500K – 4100K range would be ideal. Over 4100K, the light is too blue white. Rebbecca's idea of mixing bulbs is very good.

Also, the color rendering index (CRI) is important. The closer to 100, the better. Look for bulbs with CRIs of 80 or better.
I'm not familiar with what Lowes carries. But I've been happily using a color corrected floresent tube for years in my studio to paint by (which now doubles as my framing showroom).

Its a Phillips Colortone 50. 2-f40c50. Runs about $8-9 /tube. I order them from a local lighting store.


I have found the 'daylight' or 'natural' light bulbs from Lowes or Home Depot to be a vast improvement in the look of your store. The 'full spectrum' cost more and look even better.

You will get much better color representation than with 'soft white' or any of the other mainstream bulbs.

As for residential, the neighborhood I live in was built from 1998 to 2000 and all the homes have full spectrum lighting.
Originally posted by Jerry Ervin:
...the neighborhood I live in was built from 1998 to 2000 and all the homes have full spectrum lighting.
It would be difficult to find any neighborhood in my world where all the homes have full-spectrum lighting. Indeed, I would be surprised to find more than one or two on any residential street.

I'm guessing the closest thing to full-spectrum home lighting in most neighborhoods happens when the electricity goes off during daylight hours, and the only available light is sunlight through the windows.

It would be fun to learn what percentage of Lowe's & Home Depot's fluorescent lamp sales are in the full-spectrum variety. I'd bet a roll of ATG-Gold that it's less than 20% of the total quantity sold.
Jim, there is always the neighborhood in Portland that is world famous for being "full-spectrum" home lighting... Peacock Lane.. for about 30 days a year.

just a sample: :D