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How to Get More Life and Light From Your Lamps

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Why you should replace your lamps even if they still light!

Your lamps gradually lose intensity over time. The gases and the special additives inside the lamp become inert, resulting in longer startup time, while the ultraviolet (UV) output diminishes. This results in longer, inconsistent exposure times.

You may not be aware of the change, because your integrator compensates for the difference. I suggest that you make a weekly test of the number of seconds that correspond to the number of "units" for your standard exposure. This will give you a good idea of how much strength your lamp has lost.

When you first turn on the power to your equipment (cold-strike), it provides a high voltage until the lamp lights. This strains the power supply, the starting circuitry and the quartz (glass) of the lamp. If you allow excessive start time to cold-strike and expose with old lamps, you risk equipment failure and even breakage.

Unreliable and inconsistent lighting causes makeovers and wastes time and materials.

I suggest that you replace your lamp before it burns out and save your old one as a reliable spare. Your new lamp will give you faster exposures, and your equipment will operate at maximum efficiency.

If you have a graphic arts camera or camera/platemaker, replace all the lamps at the same time (most use four). You'll get more even lighting, not to mention saving maintenance time, because when one burns out, the others are likely to follow.

Here are some simple steps you can take to get the most from your investment in new lamps:

How to get the most value from your new lamps