# Make Up Table Lighting

#### TomJ

##### Member
Hello all. Been following for several years. Great advice here

We (StageDoor Community Theatre in Conifer Co) have been in our current facility for about 10 years. We are reconfiguring our backstage area, and a current project is to provide lighting for our new actor stage make up area. I would like to go LED, but look for inputs on what is the best system to use. I’m thinking tunable Kelvin temperatures that can adjust to show specifics, and I aim to create a lighting area per actor. 3 to 5 areas. I have an electrical background, and have been the theatres primary lighting designer for quite a few years. Any suggestions?

#### ship

##### Senior Team Emeritus
For now, unless you see something at least 95% CRI, I would stick with incandescent in skipping the compact fluoresecent and cold cathode science thing. LED lamps but wait a little while more for this purpose.

#### RickR

##### Well-Known Member
Forget matching show lighting. Makeup work requires accuracy and repeatability. Then you go onstage for director comments, sometimes under several lighting cues.

Color quality, CRI or the new TM30, really matter here.

#### tdtastic

##### Active Member
YES! on my soap box here: I agree that you should forget tunable makeup mirror lighting - it's unnecessary and will make your project more \$. You DO have to watch out for too high a color temp (too blue) with any LED but I must plug the REVEAL LED line from Phillips. They are the warmest LED replacement for a standard bulb on the market, and they are truly wonderful. You can find them at Home Depot and Lowes, in a distinctive red box, in many different lumen ratings so you can find what works best -- I'd go with their 40w equivalent or less if you're talking about 6-8 bulbs per station. Blind actors can't put makeup on very well.

We have these bulbs in all of our makeup lighting at the theatre here, plus they are in every socket in my home. I love these bulbs and love telling people about them. They are the best (truly) warm white LED replacement. And let's face it, even with cages over them, actors looooove to hang crap on makeup mirror bulbs, or when that freshly hairsprayed wig gets inadvertently pushed up against a hot light bulb.....it's bad news.

LED's are great in your dressing rooms for safety as well as comfort -- 50+ incandescent bulbs in one chorus room heats the room up dramatically. And....if they accidentally get left on at night who cares?!

#### macsound

##### Well-Known Member
Wanted to clarify.
It's GE Reveal and while I like these bulbs, their packaging is confusing. Even more confusing when you look at them from Lowes as the box image appears to be photoshopped. It shows an incandescant GE Reveal (halogen with blue glass coating) but the text says it's LED.
The lineup itself is also Increasingly misleading because the soft white only comes in 40w equivalent and daylight is rated as 60w equivalent but has a more powerful LED chip and is 150lm brighter than clean white.
For me, household light bulbs are the worst most annoying thing to buy online.

Here's my understanding of the GE lineup.
Brown box is 2700k. Deep Blue box is 3500k Bright Blue box is 5000k

edit: clarify

#### RonHebbard

##### Well-Known Member
Wanted to clarify.
It's GE Reveal and while I like these bulbs, their packaging is confusing. Even more confusing when you look at them from Lowes as the box image appears to be photoshopped. It shows an incandescant GE Reveal (halogen with blue glass coating) but the text says it's LED.
The lineup itself is also Increasingly misleading because the soft white only comes in 40w equivalent and daylight is rated as 60w equivalent but has a more powerful LED chip and is 150lm brighter than clean white.
For me, household light bulbs are the worst most annoying thing to buy online.

Here's my understanding of the GE lineup.
Brown box is 2700k. Deep Blue box is 3500k Bright Blue box is 5000k

View attachment 21234
edit: clarify
@macsound Every time I was in my local Home Depot's lamp aisle carefully selecting lamps in the 2700 to 2900 area, some helpful high school student would approach with a couple of 4500 to 4800 lamps in hand and point out:
"Excuse me sir, these are brighter and they're on sale this week."
To too many people, higher numbers HAVE to be better.

Clearly our retirement home's new Chinese owners think that way. Entering our dining room's akin to entering a steel mill.
I often had the same experience when shopping for 4' fluorescents.
Toodleoo!
Ron Hebbard

#### tdtastic

##### Active Member
Wanted to clarify.
It's GE Reveal and while I like these bulbs, their packaging is confusing. Even more confusing when you look at them from Lowes as the box image appears to be photoshopped. It shows an incandescant GE Reveal (halogen with blue glass coating) but the text says it's LED.
The lineup itself is also Increasingly misleading because the soft white only comes in 40w equivalent and daylight is rated as 60w equivalent but has a more powerful LED chip and is 150lm brighter than clean white.
For me, household light bulbs are the worst most annoying thing to buy online.

Here's my understanding of the GE lineup.
Brown box is 2700k. Deep Blue box is 3500k Bright Blue box is 5000k

View attachment 21234
edit: clarify
Not sure where you're shopping, but I have multipacks of the warm white REVEAL (came in the red box) in the 40w, 60w, and 100w equivalent -- I use all three lumen output ratings in my home, and they are all the warm white. Got them all at my Lowe's in Alabama. I've never seen/tried the other lamps you mentioned. Not sure if they have changed their release recently, but I just bough a two-pack of 100w equivalent bulbs four weeks ago that are warm white and came in a red box.

#### macsound

##### Well-Known Member
What does your packaging look like? Maybe it's a california thing?

#### tdtastic

##### Active Member
Oh gosh yal I stand corrected! I was plugging the wrong thing apparently. Looks like what I meant was their RELAX bulb. I never realized they packaged them this way: RELAX is the warmest white, REVEAL is the mid Kelvin temp white, and REFRESH is the cool white. Lord. I guess that's a smart marketing plan -- it's enough to explain to old folks how wattage is no longer important, let alone start throwing around Kelvin temp numbers....

Thanks, Macsound. I've been calling them REVEAL when I meant RELAX -- I never realized there were three different "R" names. I must have thrown the brightest box away, but here are the 60w and 40w equivalent boxes. The lamp in the shot has two 60w RELAX bulbs in it - you might get an idea of the warmth.

#### tdtastic

##### Active Member
TomJ et all, I'd like to amend my original advice: if I were doing your project, I'd go with nothing but the RELAX warm white LED from GE.

(of course Phillips has a product called REVEAL...why can't we just say "bulb")

#### macsound

##### Well-Known Member
It was increasingly confusing because GE made an incandescant bulb called Reveal which I loved, espically at lower wattages which naturally tended to be warmer. Like a bathroom where you had 10 25w incandescant globes, the GE reveal made them seem more like a regular 60w.

#### RonHebbard

##### Well-Known Member
TomJ et all, I'd like to amend my original advice: if I were doing your project, I'd go with nothing but the RELAX warm white LED from GE.

(of course Phillips has a product called REVEAL...why can't we just say "bulb")
@tdtastic We can, if we're planting crocuses, daffodils, or tulips. Perhaps @derekleffew will comment.
Toodleoo!
Ron Hebbard

ship

#### TomJ

##### Member
Thank you all for your insights. I am definitely looking at a solution using the RELAX warm white LED from GE.

In perusal, I also came across this ESTA ANSI Standard for Theatrical Makeup Mirror Lighting dated 2016. Very insightful wrt physical constraints as well as calling out color rendering and illumination standards. Even broaches from incandescent to LED. I've attached it here.

With the above in mind, I may look into LED tubes for vertical and horizontal runs if they meet illumination and color rendering requirements. Has anyone used LED tubes for make up tables?

#### TomJ

##### Member
Oops - here is the attachment

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#### TomJ

##### Member
TopBulb is one of my first go to sources when looking for lamps. And uniformly displays specs. No LED tube approaches 90 CRI. But several LED lamps do, some as high as CRI 92, and Color Temp at 3000K. This looks like a good choice. Ive attached the spec. Also dimmable which could be handy. Maxlite 17A21DLED930/JA8 | 17W LED A21 Dimmable 90+CRI 3000K JA8

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#### ship

##### Senior Team Emeritus
The math and science is correct, but something in me says won't work right. Why given higher CRI fluorescents has this not been changed to?

I realize that a makeup mirror's lights are all about the mirror in washing out the shadow. Been in makeup class myself. Just something different in the back of my mind about washing with LED tubes and or fluorescents, to that of indidual lamp sources. Don't know what. Same color temperature, same for the most part CRI... cannot figure out what it was in difference.

#### TomJ

##### Member
The math and science is correct, but something in me says won't work right. Why given higher CRI fluorescents has this not been changed to?

I realize that a makeup mirror's lights are all about the mirror in washing out the shadow. Been in makeup class myself. Just something different in the back of my mind about washing with LED tubes and or fluorescents, to that of indidual lamp sources. Don't know what. Same color temperature, same for the most part CRI... cannot figure out what it was in difference.
Good point. And have n answer. But the LED Tubes I found only had CRI of 80. So they are out. I don’t like fluorescent lighting anyway, but did not know they had high CRI ratings. So will use individual LED Bulbs listed above and build according to the ANSI recommended configuration. I’ll report back and post pictures when complete. Thanks all.

#### RickR

##### Well-Known Member
CRI values should be viewed with caution. While we pride ourselves on our color sensitivity, few understand the limits of phosphor converted light.

CRI has been very helpful over the years, but has major limits. The recent IES TM30 is an attempt to supersede CRI and may be more useful here. If you can find lamps with this data you will at least know the company is serious about color quality.

#### rphilip

##### Active Member
CRI values should be viewed with caution. While we pride ourselves on our color sensitivity, few understand the limits of phosphor converted light.

CRI has been very helpful over the years, but has major limits. The recent IES TM30 is an attempt to supersede CRI and may be more useful here. If you can find lamps with this data you will at least know the company is serious about color quality.
While I agree with you that CRI is a very limited measurement and TM30 is better if a fixture has a low CRI (<80-85) it will almost certainly give poor color and show up poorly on the TM30 measurent.

The limit of CRI are much more visable on the other end where just because its "95 CRI" it may still have bad color rendition.

#### teqniqal

##### Well-Known Member
It is possible to get high CRI and brightness and non-glare light, and NOT HOT light at a make-up counter, however your aren't going to get it with screw base lamps. Who wants those anyway? They just stick-out and get broken-off, provide a place for wigs to burn-up, plastic coat hangers to melt, and dry cleaning bags to emmolate upon, right?

I've been specifying BB&S Pipeline fixtures for make-up counters and full-length dressing mirrors for several years now. They have been used in film studios, TV studios, and theatres widely. Be aware that their primary kit sales are for portable production use, but the RAW series of LED pipeline product is better suited for installing. The RAW Reflect series has a 6' long angled bracket and continuous 6' LED strip that is suitable for setting along each side of a dressing mirror and projecting a brighter zone of light than the bare RAW strips do. The LEDs will need to be directly powered from a good quality 36 volt constant voltage power supply. The portable power supply BB&S offers is way more expensive than a good Meanwell industrial power supply. The difference between the BB&S strips and others is that the plastic cover you see is actually a thick layer of phosphor embedded plastic with a row of UV/Blue exciter LEDs behind them. It is the plastic that produces the light, not the LEDs inside. Other manufacturers light strips are just white LEDs and translucent plastic covers. Science wins!

Also, for best results, you should consider refinishing your Dressing / Make-up room(s) so they have color neutral surfaces. I see many rooms that have been painted, stained, postered, and other forms of visual abuse applied so that any light reflecting off the walls, ceiling, floor, and countertops is significantly tainted (sometimes with the most garish colors ).

In conjunction with the lights around the mirrors, you should also consider replacing the ceiling light fixtures (the entire light fixture!) with something that has good indirect light and high CRI LEDs. My go-to fixtures are the Cree ZR22 and ZR24. This way, all the light in the room is correct, not just some of it. Stained Ceiling Tiles? Replace them, too.

Take note that many Dressing / Make-up rooms are not code compliant regarding the power switches for the Mirror Lights and the Power Receptacles. The NEC requires (for a very long time, too!) that there be a pilot light in the corridor OUTSIDE the Dressing Room that indicates when the Lights or Outlets are powered on inside the Dressing Rooms. If you install the pilot lights, be sure to label them, otherwise people will soon just wonder what they are. (It seems obvious that you should label the pilot lights, but, to-date, I have never seen anyone label them except on projects where I have specified it. Most Electrical Engineers don't even know that the pilot lights must be there, so this explains the lack of seeing them in most venues I visit.

Fun side note: I had USB-A charger outlets installed in the power raceways, too, so the receptacles for hair dryers and curling irons wouldn't get cluttered with wall-warts. You can now get these in USB-C format, too. Each quad of power receptacles is separately powered so there is plenty of juice for hair dryers and curling irons. Maybe next time I'll install the wireless charging pad 'hot-spots' in the countertop . . .

Below is an example with new finishes ans 3200K Cree ZR24 troffers and 3200K BB&S Pipeline between the mirrors. The picture doesn't do it justice as the auto-exposure on my camera just didn't get what I was trying to capture.

Pilot Light Plate for Dressing Room Hallway