From time to time I have been known to mutter darkly about the hopelessness of trying to paint, in the small room that I call my “den”, during what are laughingly known as daylight hours in this part of the planet, especially in the winter. I have experienced a great deal of difficulty seeing colours correctly and then matching them in oil paint, and have found those aspects of painting completely impossible by artificial light. As a result of all this I have made hardly any effort to paint during the past three or four months.
I have tried ordinary daylight bulbs as sold in art and craft shops but to no avail. A couple of years ago we started to install the new-fangled energy saving bulbs throughout our house and I began to wonder then whether I would ever find, or afford for that matter, energy-saving lighting which was also balanced for noon daylight.
A couple of weeks ago I ran a search on Google and found what seemed to be the ideal solution. Androv Medical produce a range of bulbs which include what they describe as full spectrum ionisong bulbs, which are also low energy bulbs and for which they claim a long life. Full details can be found on their website. All I will say here is that I fitted two 20 watt bulbs (equivalent to 90 watt each in old type bulbs) in our living/dining room and two 32 watt (equivalent to 130 watt old bulbs) in my “den” where I paint. Of the latter, one is in the main ceiling light and the other in a modified floodlight on its own tall stand that can be used to light objects being painted. So now I have not only ample light but also light equivalent to noon daylight (6,000K). Our bulbs fit the standard B22 bayonet fittings (they are also available for screw fittings) and being low energy they are also saving both my money and the planet.
Yesterday I put the lights to the test. I wanted to avoid dawdling over the painting but, instead, to finish it, no matter what, by bedtime, having started it in the late afternoon. Many an earlier painting, unfinished by bedtime, has waited days and weeks for the time, suitable opportunity, right frame of mind or whatever and was never finished. This year I intend to finish more paintings, even if they are not very good. Usually, my motivation to paint any particular subject is a bit shortlived, so unless I finish the painting quickly I am in danger of losing interest in it.
This was only the first trial but the bulbs have been a big success. Not only have they enabled me to paint, starting in otherwise dull daylight and finishing (after interruptions for a meal and a couple of TV shows) around 11pm, but they also produce great light by which to take photographs with my digital camera. They are not exactly cheap but if they last anywhere near as long as expected, their cost will have been negligible.