The Light Counter system is a precision light integrator system for photographers who work with ultraviolet (UV) printing processes such as platinum/palladium, carbon, cyanotype and gum. The system also works for visible light processes such as silver gelatin and albumen. The system allows photographers to make accurate and repeatable exposures regardless of the light source: the sun, fluorescent tubes, LEDs, HIDs, and so on.
Light Counter is designed as a flexible system. The basic configuration has a light integrator and a UV sensor. Advanced users can add additional peripheral devices to support their specific needs.
The system components are:
- The Light Integrator
- UV Sensors
- Visible Light Sensors
- Climate Sensors (temperature and humidity)
- Smart Power Controller
- Data Logger
- Remote Control
The LC4 supports up to six attached devices, including multiple light sensors for monitoring large exposure areas.
The system is designed by a photographer for photographers. It works simply and quickly, with a strong emphasis on ease of use.
This video explains the key features of the LC3+ and LC4 light integrators. It shows an LC3+ but the software in the LC4 is identical so it works in the same way.
The Light Integrator
The light integrator is “the brain” of the system. It controls the exposure, and all peripheral sensors and devices. It continually samples the UV intensity, and automatically adjusts the exposure time to allow for lamp warm-up and any fluctuations in the power supply.
The LC4 light integrator has a large 4.3” TFT display with a capacitive touch screen (using the same technology as your mobile phone or tablet computer). This allows incredibly easy set-up and control. It supports up to four sensors (UV or temperature), so you can monitor exposure in every part of your UV printing unit. It stores up to eight exposure presets and four programs, for fast switching between your favourite printing variations.
The LC4 features an automated calibration process, ensuring that your exposures are consistent even if you move the sensors.
The LC4 supports a power controller device that will switch your UV light source on and off as required. The system also works without the power controller, of course: you just have to switch the light source on and off yourself.
The LC4 supports a data logger device that records exposure details to an SD card for further analysis in a spreadsheet such as Microsoft Excel. The data logger also enables firmware upgrades to the light integrator.
Two versions of the UV sensor are available. The standard version has a 365nm narrowband filter installed to optimise the sensor for iron-based printing processes. A broadband version without the filter is available by request.
The second generation sensors are designed to work with the LC3, LC3+ and LC4 light integrators. Their design is optimised for maximum precision.
First generation UV sensors designed for the LC2 light integrator continue to work with the LC4 light integrator, albeit without the advanced features introduced with the second generation sensor.
The temperature sensor monitors the temperature inside your UV printing unit. This allows you to be confident that you are not over-heating your prints during exposure.
The second generation sensors are about 25% smaller than the first generation. This allows them to fit easily into smaller spaces.
First generation temperature sensors designed for the LC2 light integrator continue to work with the LC4 light integrator.
Visible Light Sensors
The LC4 supports a visible light sensor as well as UV sensors. This allows it to work for non-UV processes such as silver gelatin.
Note that only one type of light sensor can be connected at a time. If UV and visible light sensors are connected, the visible light sensor is ignored.
Smart Power Controller
The smart power controller is an add-on device that allows the light integrator to switch the UV light source on and off. This brings extra convenience and a small increase in exposure accuracy.
The LC4 work with up to three smart power controllers, allowing you to manage an array of peripheral devices.
Two versions of the power controller are available. The standard smart power controller (first generation) can switch loads up to 5A, which is approximately 1100W in Europe, and 550W in the USA. This is sufficient for most photographers’ UV light sources.
The professional smart power controller (second generation) has double the capacity: 10A which is about 2200W in Europe and 1100W in the USA. This is designed for high intensity professional light sources, especially high power LED systems.
The data logger has two purposes:
- To record exposure data onto an SD card for further analysis in a spreadsheet. The data is stored as a simple CSV file
- To allow firmware upgrades to the LC4 light integrator
The data logger plugs into any of the light integrator’s device connectors.
The remote control allows you to start and pause the exposure when you are at a distance from the light integrator. It has a button for starting/pausing the exposure, a small display to show progress through the exposure, and a backlight switch.
The remote control plugs into any of the light integrator’s device connectors.