Developed to give a consistent natural light, the Grafilite features a daylight balanced, energy saving tube that was first developed by Dr. Nash Ott while working for Disney in the 1950's.
Colour Confidence Grafilite: Overview
You may or may not know that different lights give off different casts which can impair your viewing of pictures when they're printed. If you're a professional selling prints, this could have an adverse effect on your business.
The Grafilite works in a similar way to a lightbox by shining a daylight balanced light onto your prints or colour swatches. This allows you to make a more educated opinion on the colour status of your photographs.
It incorporates Ott-Lite technology which was developed in the mid-fifties and uses natural phosphors. Ott-Lite is generally used for craft work, but is also used for reading and growing plants.
Colour Confidence Grafilite: Build quality
Considering it's made from plastic, the Grafilite is surprisingly heavy. This is because it has to maintain balance when the light is tilted at a right angle.
The plug isn't a removable figure-eight lead, so it's impossible to lose it. It also has a removable UK connection to allow for travel, which is a nice touch.
To plug the bulb in, the grey plastic cover on the top has to be removed. This can be difficult and more than once I thought I was going to break it. The bulb can then be easily slotted in.
It's worth noting that the bulb can be put in without removing the cover, but as it's put in at an angle and costing £15 a pop, you won't want to risk breaking them.
Colour Confidence Grafilite: In use
The Grafilite is very easy to get started with. The bulb is separated from the unit for transportation and is slotted in with a firm push once the cover has been removed.
After plugging the unit into the mains, it's ready to use. The light is powered on and off by opening it up or closing it down.
Colour Confidence have supplied an A4 greyscale mat to ensure that any external colours from your desk don't interfere with viewing the pictures.
Getting a print and holding it under normal lights, then holding it under the Grafilite shows a definite difference between colours.
Colour Confidence Grafilite: Performance
The bulbs are good for 10,000 hours although the Colour Confidence website says that the quality of the light will "deteriorate through constant and intermittent use."
Looking at photographs in natural daylight is the best way to get an unbiased view of the image as no artificial light is used which can cause a cast.
When it goes dark or if you're restrained from using natural light through other factors such as a basement studio, the Grafilite can play an integral part in your results.
Holding a print under normal lights, then holding it under the Grafilite shows a noticeable difference between colours which just goes to show how misjudging our eyes can be sometimes.
Colour Confidence Grafilite: Verdict
The idea of the light is to balance out images, swatches or test prints to ensure the correct colour balance when printing and it does what it says on the tin.
At £60 it's a cost effective way of ensuring your pictures are balanced because if you were to buy a viewing booth, this can cost you around £1000.
Mobile photographers could find this item useful due to its compact design along with travelling photographers who will benefit from the multi-national plug.
Colour Confidence Grafilite: Plus points
Ott Lite technology used
Colour Confidence Grafilite: Minus points
Grey card won't help with larger prints
The Colour Confidence Grafilite costs around £60 and is available from the ePHOTOzine shop here.