Lighting for imaging

Now that I’m getting much more nuance in my prints thanks to piezography, I need better lighting in my studio to review them. Any recommendations for ceiling-mounted LED fixtures? I thought the lighting in the ‘classroom’ above the magnetic board in East Corinth was terrific and could perhaps use the same fixtures? What kind are they?

We use Soraa bulbs. SORAA

Make sure you choose one with a high R9 value. R9 (Red #9) is the red patch on the color checker target. A low R9 value makes this red patch muddy and desaturated. Most low-end bulbs don’t show more than 30% R9 but Soraa’s are at the 65% to 95% range.


Thanks Walter. I seem to remember Jon saying that the lighting was 5,000 K. It seems as if most of the Soraa bulbs are much softer. Isn’t the temperature critical, and more important than the R9 value if I’m working exclusively in b&w?

We have LED tubes for the 5000k lights but the best light is northern daylight for the cool/neutral and Soraa for the warm on a dimmer.


Do you happen to know the brightness of those LED tubes and how many are in each ceiling fixture?

I think these are 7000+ lumen tubes. They are 8ft.

We got them through a distributor but if you look for T8 or T12 LED TUBES and look at the specs you should find a good one there.

This one is at 90 cri and 4000k.

LED 4000k seems a bit closer to standard fluorescent 5000k IMO.


I installed a LOT of the tubes Walker references above in my studio. It made a huge difference in overall light quality and energy efficiency. I replaced four flourescent tubes with just two of the LED tubes in each fixture. I used the version of tubes that bypass the ballast. Even with only two tubes in each fixture the lighting is better than it ever was with the original fluorescents. Very happy.

However the Soraas are much better for critical color viewing especially when judging subtle warm color differences. I thought the same as you after attending a Cone workshop. I purchased about a dozen Soraa 4000k PAR30 lamps and some cheap clip light fixtures from Home Depot. I’ve been clamping those lights in different locations all around the studio to determine the most useful locations. I’ll start building/wiring some permanent fixtures soon. The mix of the good over head tubes with the great Soraas in key locations helps my print production accuracy tremendously.

Soraa PAR30 4000k

Bob Smith

Thanks for sharing your experience Bob. I’m trying to figure out how many of those tubes I’ll need. There’s no overhead lighting at all. Guess I’ll start with one two-tube fixture and see if that’s sufficient. I haven’t seen any ceiling-mounted three stubs fixtures after a cursory on line search. I don’t need to light the whole studio, just the metallic board where I review prints. It’s a 7.5 ft ceiling so the fixture can be relatively close by. I can always add another fixture if needed.
Since I work exclusively in b&w these days, I think I’ll hold off on the other bulbs.