France, 2nd August 2010
When you are out in the sun like I am at the moment, you really need to put on some protection. With that I mean UV protection. I have a tendency to “burn” quickly, so I generally put on some of the highest UV protection grades available. As we had forgotten to bring it along we went to buy some today. It was not a simple as I thought as they come in creams, oils and sprays! I opted for the spray as it seems easy to apply… 🙂
As the sun spray acts as a filter on your skin (cutting of the damaging UV rays) it got me thinking about the way we use filters in lighting. With the arrival of color controllable LED’s the need for color filters is gradually diminishing, but there still seems to be a great use for filters for our traditional light sources. We mostly use filters for color correction, for color absorption or reinforcement and light beam adaptations. From the lighting manufacturers we know that they offer standard color filters mostly related to natural light such as blue and amber. Also like sunscreen filters we apply UV filters to cut out harmful light to sensitive objects, specifically when it comes to artworks and paintings.
I am not a great user of color filters because I believe in the “natural” approach but there is certainly a place for color filters to reinforce or dramatise lighting effects. For those of us with experience in the theatre and stage lighting world, color filters are key to creating certain moods. It maybe a hint of a color and hardly noticeable to the untrained eye but its these small additions that can add that extra feel to a space. Regardless to the final need I think it is important that light fittings have the option to include a filter of some sort. These are the little tools we have to create that extra effect in our lighting designs.
In a totally out of the box thought, would it be possible to spray our color and correction filters on to our light sources, just the way we spray the sun protection on to our body?