Daniel Reetz, the founder of the DIY Book Scanner community, has recently started making videos of prototyping and shop tips. If you are tinkering with a book scanner (or any other project) in your home shop, these tips will come in handy. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCn0gq8 ... g_8K1nfInQ

Portable Build Lighting Question

All about lighting. LED, CFL, Halogen, Other? Questions and info about lighting go here.
DrCheap
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Portable Build Lighting Question

Post by DrCheap » 08 Jan 2012, 19:05

First, thank you, thank you, thank you.

I have been working with an off-shelf top-down desktop camera stand and digital camera for some time and was struggling with the poor quality of images of bound materials when I found this forum.

So, now I am working on a relatively inexpensive portable build for doing up to about 12x14 books in my office, colleagues' offices at other universities, homes, and library settings. The archival research I do is often in an academic library, but sometimes is in someone's kitchen, garage, or office, going through papers and materials they lugged out of storage or the back of a file cabinet, etc.

I've gone through some portable builds here and have basic 2-camera V-shaped design done and parts on order right now for the camera stands, the base, etc., After that comes together, I will be doing platen work and finishing with the lighting. These boards and especially other builds have helped a great deal, so thank you again. The one thing that still has me stymied is lighting.

I have read a good deal here on lighting and the LED bulbs seem pretty popular but quite pricey ($30 each and you need 4?). I've been tempted to go simple CFL in a cone for price reasons, but I don't think the bulbs are durable enough to travel well and breaking a CFL is nasty (toxic) business. I'm not averse to spending some funds, but $100 on lighting alone seems excessive.

However, my major concerns about lighting are a bit more social and institutional: I may be using it in a room where other people are reading / working on unrelated projects and blaring a few k of lumens around will be awkward if not prohibited. I considered shrouding the device but I wonder if the lighting might be configured to make shrouding less necessary. The more obtrusive and obnoxious the setup becomes the less likely the archival librarians will tolerate me and even less likely they will be helpful (and helpful archive librarians are invaluable). Given that the archive libraries increasingly encourage the use of digital cameras but forbid the use of flash, I may also face issues with library policies in some locations if I am blaring bright light at their archival documents. I have never had any push-back against the straight-down setup in an archive because it has no additional lighting, but likewise the images do not tend to be the best quality.

I was thinking of something like a 12" 110v LED dimmable bar light on an in-line dimmer, allowing me to negotiate with the particular librarians and situation and giving me (hopefully) the durability of LED for travel, but they seem wicked expensive. So then I thought about 2-4 LED bulbs but they seem quite large and unwieldy as well as expensive.

Cameras are A480s. Images are mostly text but some are faded and in bad shape (19th c. books in private collections, mid-20th c. mimeographs that have sat in a box in a garage for fifty years, etc.), For platen, I am currently planning to use Acrylite.

Ideas on lighting are well appreciated. Once I have a functional build (with or without lights) I will post design and pics.

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daniel_reetz
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Re: Portable Build Lighting Question

Post by daniel_reetz » 08 Jan 2012, 22:47

Actually, you should only need one (max two) of these:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/10W-Pure-White- ... 0260841888

What you don't want to use are LEDs like these: http://images.google.com/search?tbm=isc ... &q=5mm+led - the light that comes from them is not the same as the big, high power LEDs and your images will suffer. Also, they are hard to diffuse.

IMO, a "flood" like the one above, with a simple cloth shroud around the sides to prevent the light from going sideways, is among the best options you can buy off the shelf right now. I welcome other opinions, tho.

DrCheap
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Re: Portable Build Lighting Question

Post by DrCheap » 08 Jan 2012, 23:10

Thanks for the quick reply, Daniel.

That certainly looks quite durable and easy to mount. I bet I could easily make the light and even the mounting arm modular, so they could be excluded from the setup in environments where they don't want me shining additional lighting on the document/book.

With one flood like that, I might even have a workable idea for shrouding it without adding a lot of bulk and struggle to the system.

Thanks again for everything here. This is a fantastic resource.

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rob
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Re: Portable Build Lighting Question

Post by rob » 03 Feb 2012, 10:47

The Singularity is Near. ~ http://halfbakedmaker.org ~ Follow me as I build the world's first all-mechanical steam-powered computer.

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daniel_reetz
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Re: Portable Build Lighting Question

Post by daniel_reetz » 03 Feb 2012, 12:10

The first picture is not the same, but the other pictures are all the same. I would say that it is the same. I think neutral white is better than cool white, but I have to check which one I actually have.

goyoba
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Re: Portable Build Lighting Question

Post by goyoba » 24 Feb 2012, 20:32

daniel_reetz wrote:I think neutral white is better than cool white, but I have to check which one I actually have.
Did you figure out if neutral white is better than cool white? What about warm white? Or day white? What does this mean anyway?

Kelvin Color Temperature:
Warm = 2700-3200k
Nuetral = 4000-4500k
Day = 5500-6000k
Cool = 6500-7000k
daniel_reetz wrote:Actually, you should only need one (max two) of these:
http://www.ebay.com/itm/10W-Pure-White- ... 0260841888
If I buy a light similar to the in the quoted ebay link above, will the distance from the book matter a lot?

I'd like to drop my light to this position:
Image

Instead of this position:
Image

Then I can add some legs to the top of the main structure, and the light won't be in the way when I turn it upside down for paper-back mode.

Fab52
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Re: Portable Build Lighting Question

Post by Fab52 » 02 Mar 2012, 08:40

Hi,

I want to order my led light but I'm a little bit confused about wich one I should order.
daniel_reetz wrote:The first picture is not the same, but the other pictures are all the same. I would say that it is the same. I think neutral white is better than cool white, but I have to check which one I actually have.
Daniel wich one are you using ?

Kelvin Color Temperature:

Warm = 2700-3200k
Neutral = 4000-4500k
Day = 5500-6000k
Cool = 6500-7000k

Any supplier of this light fixture in Canada ??? No USA dealer on Ebay ship in Canada ? Otherwise I will have to order from China or Thailland....

Thanks

FAb

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Heelgrasper
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Re: Portable Build Lighting Question

Post by Heelgrasper » 02 Mar 2012, 10:33

Fab52 wrote: Any supplier of this light fixture in Canada ??? No USA dealer on Ebay ship in Canada ? Otherwise I will have to order from China or Thailland....
Seems a bit odd since I've seen them here in Denmark both in stores like our version of Home Depot and in online shops. So why not Canada?

At least they seem to be the same to me: http://www.aaplus.dk/shop/10w-led-floodlight-270p.html, http://www.billig-led.nu/led-projektor/ ... light.html, http://www.netmarkedet.dk/show.ad.php?ad=830 and http://www.wexim.dk/shop/module.php?mod ... &catid=702 (more examples could be found).

It seems that the ones with a Bridgelux LED are bit better than others by the look of it but I haven't done any tests to confirm it. Shame that CRI/Ra often isn't mentioned.
---
Jakob Øhlenschlæger
Randers, Denmark

The past is a foreign country: they do things differently there
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stevede
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Re: Portable Build Lighting Question

Post by stevede » 18 Mar 2012, 13:27

here's what I just ordered:
http://www.ebay.com/itm/ws/eBayISAPI.dl ... OC:CA:3160

This goes to Canada postage paid and perhaps less risky than the direct Chinese connection.

Fab52
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Re: Portable Build Lighting Question

Post by Fab52 » 19 Mar 2012, 08:04

Hi,
stevede wrote:here's what I just ordered:
http://www.ebay.com/itm/ws/eBayISAPI.dl ... OC:CA:3160

This goes to Canada postage paid and perhaps less risky than the direct Chinese connection.
They are 20 watts light and dimension are bigger then the light plate we have:

Light plate= 115mm x 85mm the spec for this light are 174mm x 140mm

I'll have to see if a modification to the light plate is possible .....

Fab

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