|Self Portrait in Winter|
16 x 12
Lumens are a measure of the total amount of visible light emitted by a source (thank you Wikipedia). Some bulbs will have this measure on the package and a typical 100W bulb is 1500 lumens. But 100 W is not nearly enough to create the effect of the sun.
I've been using an LED light panel of 500 tiny bulbs made by Lumahawk. It seemed bright when I bought it but doesn't actually throw light a great distance so my still life is brightly lit right next to the lamp but dims across the length of the set up.
Another bulb that I tried was a 600W photo bulb. It was terrific - except that it blew up spectacularly after 6 hours of use.
Currently, I'm using another short-lived bulb by Sylvania: Osram BCA 250 W. It's gorgeous at a staggering 8900 lumens; lighting up most of the set up and showing great colour. It has a colour temperature that I really like: 4800 Kelvin; not as bluish as most "daylight" bulbs which are around 5600 K but not yellow either - just right! But it blows every 6 hours, too so it's not a long-term solution.
Which brings me to the self portrait above. After a day spent researching and moving my lighting around in the studio, next to windows, inches from the still life and so on, I decided to bag the whole thing and take my paints outside where the lumens were superb and the temperature was unusually gentle for February. I set up a mirror on my portable easel, put my pochade box on my lap and sat on the deck against the glaring white of my house. And I saw the light.