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Using Compact Fluorescents in a Chinese Lantern?


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#1 John Mackey

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Posted 03 April 2012 - 07:40 PM

Can I use CFLs in Chinese Lanterns for my lighting?
Globe or Spiral?
Soft-white, daylight, or bright white?
And if I am using CFLs, does it matter what size lantern for the bulb wattage?
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#2 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 03 April 2012 - 09:06 PM

Can I use CFLs in Chinese Lanterns for my lighting?



I can't think of any reason why you couldn't. Of course you hit the usual issues of any fluorescent tubes, but you can get decently-matched CFLs these days.
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Globe or Spiral?



Well, if it's going inside a china ball, it hardly matters, does it?

Soft-white, daylight, or bright white?



Whatever matches the rest of your scene, or doesn't match, if that's your intention. Bear in mind that words like "warm white" or "cool white" or even sometimes "daylight" have no very well specified meaning. What you're interested in is colour temperature, which will be somewhere between 2700 and 6500K usually (higher being bluer) and colour rendering index (which should be over 90 and ideally 95 in all cases). Getting certain higher colour temperature in high CRI can become tricky. You will need to test with your particular camera system in any case. Film is traditionally more sensitive to fluorescent tubes being greenish, but these days there's also issues of high grade fluorescent lighting swinging between yellow and magenta. Trying to get two white light sources that appear to be the same is extremely difficult regardless of the technology in use.
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And if I am using CFLs, does it matter what size lantern for the bulb wattage?




Less so, because they don't get as hot, but it's always necessary to be cautious when putting anything that gets in any way warm inside something that can either melt or catch fire.


I put a 125W, 5500K compact fluorescent (a big spiral) inside a white nylon laundry bin; it works fine.


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