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Colored Fluorescent Answered

Hi there,

My first time posting here, but have been reading the website for a long time.
Recently I have been fascinated with lights and light art. I have been a fan of Dan Flavin for awhile and love the way he uses fluorescent lights. 

One question I have is, how do I achieve colored fluorescent lights? I have done a bit of research and a few people have suggested cellophane wrapped tubes, but I'm concerned that this might burn / melt, and may look slightly amateur? 

Any help would be much appreciated. I have attached a couple of examples below.


4 Replies

tumidaj (author)2013-07-02

Awesome! I must try this...

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mpilchfamily (author)2013-06-10

Chances are the art was made with colored sleeves. It's much cheaper then having special bulbs made or trying to alter them yourself. Much safer then trying to alter existing tubes.

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Sparticles (author)2013-06-09

Well, the colours are there because of a combination of the spectrum of the gas and a fluorescent material inside the tube.
If you apply a (transparent) fluorescent dye (like those used in highlighters) onto one, the colour should change. How it changes depends on the absorption and spectrum of the dye.
Daylight lamps are perhaps better for this because they also let the nasty UV rays out. (These should react very well with whatever fluorescent material you use)
Or even better than that: black lights. Bring a highlighter close to one of those and it starts shining very bright.

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Sparticles (author)Sparticles2013-06-09

On the other hand, there are people selling coloured tubes:

There are even sleeves available

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