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Bringing Daylight Indoors

How do the tools we use in our studios influence our artworks? ABA member Jonanda Kannemeyer looks at how the quality of our light source can affect our work and provides us with a review of a daylight lamp.


Review by Jonanda Kannemeyer, Illustrator & Botanical Artist, ABA Education Team Member

 

Lumi™ Task Lamp
Lumi™ Task Lamp

One of the most important tools in an artist studio is light and where it comes from. Is our workstation next to a sunny window and is all our painting done in the daylight? Or are we painting at night or in a room without a window, using some sort of room light or lamp? Or even more of a challenge, are we using a combination of all of these?

Light sources can change the way we see the colours of a composition as colour is applied to a substrate, and can lead to colour anomalies in the finished artwork. The final scanned or photographed artwork may also not reflect the true colours of the original subject, once digitised.



In this review we focus on how to ensure that the colour of the artwork matches the original subject as closely as possible throughout the creation process by looking at one of the available lamps specifically designed to simulate natural daylight. As an example, the Daylight Company specialises in the manufacturing of task lamps that simulate natural daylight and their Lumi™ Task Lamp is a professional workstation lamp.


What is really important in an artist lamp is the colour temperature of illumination, which for this lamp is 6000 Kelvin (K). For a botanical artist this is optimal as it mimics daylight when the sun is directly overhead. If you are unsure of the range of colour temperatures, then over 5000 K are called "cool colours" (bluish), while lower colour temperatures (2700–3000 K) are called "warm colours" (yellowish). (For a detailed explanation on colour temperature, Wikipedia has an extensive resource.) Exact colour rendition is not necessarily a prerequisite for every work of art, but for a botanical artist it is highly desirable if not essential.

The large and even light spread of the Lumi™ Task Lamp
The large and even light spread of the Lumi™ Task Lamp

Back to the features that make a good light source. Ergonomic design is very important as it enables the user to move the light source easily and get the illumination of their work just right. How it attaches to the work surface and its reach are also important. The Lumi™ Task Lamp has a long reach arm of 108cm (42.5”) and a large shade that creates a wide and even light spread of 51cm (20”). The large shade can be adjusted vertically, horizontally, and laterally to any position. This provides an optimal environment for drawing or painting at any time of day. An additional nice feature is that the lamp can be switched between two brightness levels.


Painting using a natural daylight lamp
Painting using a natural daylight lamp

I have been using a Lumi™ Task Lamp for a few years now and the quality of the lamp surpassed my expectations. The sturdy packaging and easy assembly; the top quality material and metal components; the strong, sturdy arm and clamp; the modern, streamlined design; and its average LED-rated lifespan of 50,000 hours, makes this lamp an ideal choice for any artist.


Lumi™ Task Lamp Packaging
The Lumi™ Task Lamp Packaging



Although this professional artist lamp might fall into a higher price bracket than other lamps, for me, it was well worth saving up for. It helps reduce eyestrain and enables me to work longer hours, while still matching the true colours of my subject. The two brightness levels also helps me to see sharper details, even during the day. Because it is a LED light, the energy consumption is also low and economical.


Ordinary Study Lamp vs Lumi™  Task Lamp
Ordinary Study Lamp (left) vs Lumi™ Task Lamp (right)

I would highly recommend this lamp to any artist as this will probably also become the most valued workhorse of your art studio.

The Daylight Company is one of many companies that offer a wide range of artist lamps, including lamps with built-in magnifier glasses, which I’m dreaming of as a future investment. You can visit their website here: https://daylightcompany.com/


(Kindly note that this review is completely independent of the company and resellers mentioned, and that I purchased this lamp using my own funds.)

 

Product Information



Key product features:

  • Light source: LED

  • Lumens: 1,320 lm

  • Lux at 30 cm: 3,800

  • 2 Brightness levels / 2 step dimmer: 3,800 and 1,750 Lux

  • Energy consumption: 15W

  • Colour temperature: 6000 Kelvin

  • Long reach arm of 108cm (42.5”)

  • Large adjustable shade creating a wide & even light spread of 51cm (20”)

  • White finish

  • Table clamp included

  • 2-year Guarantee

Information Sources and Sellers:


These sources for the The Lumi™ Task Lamp are specific to the countries listed, but they can be shipped.

Daylight Company - UK, USA, Germany, France, Australia

Amazon - Check for availability in your country

 

February, 2023 - Jonanda Kannemeyer, Illustrator & Botanical Artist, ABA Education Team Member, Instagram: kingdom.illustrations



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