For much of the past year I have been developing a light integrator system for platinum printing and other historic processes. Initially this was a darkroom project for my own use, but I soon realised that there are other photographers out there who would benefit from this so I have developed a commercial version. I am very happy to announce that this new system, called Light Counter LC2, is now ready for its commercial launch.
For years I was satisfied with manually switching my UV light source, based upon the exposure time I wanted for a particular print. This approach is good enough for most purposes, but it has one severe limitation: the intensity of all light sources varies over time so even if the exposure times are the same, the actual exposures vary. Typically, a light source starts with a low intensity and gradually gets brighter as it warms up. Many light sources also vary in intensity after their warm-up period, for example because of fluctuations in the power supply.
Once I realised this, I couldn’t help asking the question: “Was this three-minute exposure the same as my last three-minute exposure?”
This problem is easily solved by using a light integrator. These devices continually measure light intensity and automatically adjust the exposure time to achieve a consistent exposure. Unfortunately, commercial light integrators are either feature rich and prohibitively expensive, or affordable but with limited capabilities.
When designing the commercial version of my darkroom project, my intention was to create a simple, feature rich and affordable system that will really make a difference to photographers’ printing. I believe that I have achieved this goal.
My new Light Counter LC2 system can be configured in a variety of different ways depending on the specific needs of the photographer.
The basic configuration has a central light integrator (the master computer) and a single UV sensor. It can be scaled upwards by adding a temperature sensor (for monitoring the internal temperature of your light box), a power controller (for automatically switching your lights on and off when needed), and a data logger (for recording all light and temperature measurements for further analysis). Oh, and for people who use visible light processes, for example silver gelatin, there is also a visible light sensor (accurate for exposures above 3-5 seconds).
The Light Counter LC2 system can control exposures from 1 second to 8 hours long.
It also has an automatic calibration process that ensures your exposures are consistent even if you move or realign the sensor.
All of this works simply and quickly, with a strong emphasis on ease of use.
My Light Counter LC2 system is now complete, tested and ready for production. The first devices will be ready for shipping in early November.
The system is available in four kits, plus the individual devices and sensors:
- UV Light: the light integrator and a single UV light sensor. This is sufficient for accurate and consistent printing with ultraviolet processes
- Visible Light: the light integrator and a single visible light sensor. This is sufficient for accurate and consistent printing with visible light processes with long exposure times
- UV Light and Temperature: adds a temperature sensor to the ‘Only Light’ configuration. This allows the photographer to monitor the temperature inside their light box
- UV Light, Temperature and Data: adds a data logger and sensor hub to the ‘Light and Temperature’ configuration. This allows the photographer to fully understand how their light source acts over time
Here is a link to the draft user manual, which gives a better understanding of how the system works. (As an aside, if you have any feedback on this manual that would help me to improve it, then I welcome your thoughts. Thanks in advance.)
The Light Counter LC2 devices and sensors are fully developed, tested and ready for production. I am now working through the final details such as packaging and the user manual. I am accepting pre-orders which will ship in early November.
You can pre-order your system through my website (here). All kit pre-orders will receive a 30% discount, free shipping (for EU and Swiss customers only I’m afraid), and a 15% discount on any additional system sensors or devices purchased in the next 12 months. Pre-orders will, of course, be the first to ship.
If you would like further information, then please email me using the address at the bottom of this page.