Color viewing light booths: Don’t try this at home.
Substitution is a concept we’re all familiar with, no matter what the situation. You substitute the ingredients in your refrigerator for the ones in the recipe, the shirt from your backseat for the one you just spilled coffee on, or the name of a sweet confection for a certain four letter word when you stub your toe. You’re probably also familiar with substituting generic medications for more expensive ones, retail imitations for designer clothing, or store brand products for their more expensive equivalents. Whether it’s for convenience or cost, there’s no question that substitution is a lifesaver in tons of situations.
But, like with anything, substituting your own solutions can sometimes backfire. We’ve ALL been there. Ahem.. putting liquid dish soap in the dishwasher when you run out of dishwasher detergent, wielding an onomasticon to beget yourself robustly adroit (using a Thesaurus to make yourself sound smarter,) or mixing all of your laundry colors together in one load. What’s more, substitution to save a buck can come at the cost of quality, and ultimately quality of life (and more often than not does in some cases!) – like with your mattress, your running shoes, or your accountant. This also holds true for your color viewing lighting system and the lamps you put in it.
Sure we all want to save money AND make life easier, and there are plenty of shortcuts that help with that, but those shortcuts aren’t shorter when it comes to your color viewing light booths. While you might think you’re being clever and resourceful by substituting lamps labeled as 5000K from your local hardware store for a fraction of the price, or by fashioning your own apparatus of similar size and shape to a standardized viewing system, we can assure you these substitutions are neither clever nor resourceful.
Instead, what will happen is this:
At first, you’ll be delighted to save your business a few thousand dollars by not having to buy authentic controlled color viewing equipment.
Later, after test-driving your DIY lighting, you’ll be confused by the angry responses from your clients and companies that rely on your color accuracy, accusing you of being color blind.
Then, you’ll be convinced that everyone ELSE must be crazy because your lamps SAY 5000K right on them!
So you’ll try the same projects again using your DIY lighting again, to prove your point. This will be followed by more angry responses and more craziness.
Next, you’ll wonder if you actually are color blind.
Finally, after spending money on supplies for your homemade lighting project,
spending money on redoing several of your business’ color projects,
spending money on an eye doctor,
spending time arguing with your clients
about who’s the crazy one,
(still think you’re being clever and resourceful??) you’ll call GTI, you’ll order a TRUE standardized color viewing system, and you’ll finally see TRUE color.
Or you can skip all that other stuff and just call GTI.
You can read about how not all 5000K lamps are created equal, and about how vital the precision of each and every guideline in the industry standard for color viewing is, and about how important standardized lighting is for color viewing, or you can take our word for it and count this one in the win column.
So in summary, we’ll leave you with some simple DOs and DON’Ts regarding substitutions to make your life easier (or at least when it comes to color viewing anyway, you’re on your own with that dishwasher situation!)
DON’T: Try this at home.