Using a spectroradiometer to measure the spectrum of the Ottlite (green line), the data resulted in only a Color Rendering Index of 79 compared to a daylight spectrum at 5000K. The spikey nature of the Ottlite is common among fluorescent light sources. The large peaks and valleys in the spectrum created by fluorescent based light sources like the Ottlite are not found in natural daylight as shown above. This radical deviation from the daylight spectrum can cause colors to look faded and distorted. Fluorescent lights like the Ottlite fall far short of the SoLux standard when attempting to simulate daylight. Examine the above spectra and decide for yourself, does the Ottlite provide a close approximation to daylight? Ottlite has a very clever infomercial which says nice things about its light source except how well it simulates daylight. At one point they mention their lamp was measured by Ocean Optics and show you a spectrum on the screen and if you look closely you'll see the spikes found by our measurements.
In contrast to the Ottlite, the SoLux spectrum (black line) very closely matches the spectral distribution of daylight (blue line). SoLux's Color Rendering Index at 5000K is an industry best 98.
The Ottlite evaluated by Tailored Lighting 8-21-03
To own the best commercially available daylight source under the sun, click here or keep reading further and find out what independent experts have to say:
Andreas Bluhm, Head of Exhibitions, Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam
"Artists and art historians alike do not need to know the physics of light, but both are deeply affected by it. We were thus very glad and felt privileged to meet the maker of SoLux, Kevin McGuire, who helped us with our lighting. The Potato Eaters, one of the most popular works of art in the collection of the Van Gogh Museum when lit by SoLux went beyond expectations. We could not believe our eyes when we looked at the Potato Eaters even from a distance. There were more details to be seen than what we were uses to even from much closer. We were stunned. The Potato Eaters and the rest of the Van gogh collection can now be seen with the best museum lighting we know, and the museum is proud to be among the first European museums to use SoLux."
Chris Murphy from Color Remedies (www.colorremedies.com), well known color expert for the graphics market, and co-author of Real World Color Management, recommends SoLux. Chris wrote:
“There is only one bulb that I have come across so far that is the closest to simulating the D50 spectral power distribution (a fancy way of looking at ALL of the grades in all subjects for a light source). SoLux 4700K lamp. Don't be thrown by the 4700K rating. The important thing is the spectral power distribution, even if that sounds like geekspeak. It's a standard size MR-16 halogen bulb with a special filament and reflector. Naturally they've got patents on this thing. The price is right too. (I don't get free product, discount product or kick backs from this company; I just like the product and so far I haven't found a better product.) So with this bulb you could turn an entire room or workstation area into a proofing booth, err proofing ROOM. Far better than fluorescent.”
Steven Johnson a well known photographer wrote...(www.sjphoto.com April 2002).
Finding an artificial light source near daylight has traditionally been no small task. The SoLux bulbs rise to the occasion. These bulbs are particularly useful with pigment prints that overreact to changes in lighting color temperature.”
SoLux is recognized around the world – in Australia Les Walking recommends SoLux in his Color Management Lectures. In a recent (June 2003) email from Les he wrote:
Your Solux lamps have made a significant difference for many people working in the area of critical colour management, especially in relation to metamerism with pigment printer inksets. We use a GretagMacbeth Spectroscan with Profile maker 4.1.1 software and include a custom SoLux lamp viewing light source spectrum in our profile calculations. This produces greater accuracy than with any other continuous spectrum viewing light source I have tested. For example our average LabD50 Delta E profile accuracy is typically better than 0.50, which is quite amazing. Thanks.
Andrew Rodney (“the digital dog” www.digitaldog.net) is another well known color expert who frequently mentions SoLux in his presentations.
Mr. Norman Koren uses SoLux... He is a well known Boulder Colorado based photographer.
The Pakon F-235 Digital Film Scanner exclusively uses a SoLux 4700K lamp.
SoLux is used exclusively by the Van gogh Museum and other well known museums around the world. SoLux is also recommended by the automotive paint industry as the best light source for color matching.