Friday, November 28, 2014

LED bulbs and unintended consequences

Part 1. When our camera decided to take time off during our vacation north a few years ago I bought a Fuji JZ100.

Part 2. We replaced the rather inadequate lights in the living room with track lighting. The regular bulbs burned out so fast that I decided to invest in LED bulbs instead. With my rock solid or rocky memory skills I wound up mixing both warm and cool light bulbs in the replacements. Of three bulbs in a row, the ones on the end are more yellow and the one in the middle is bluish (which I think is the one called "Natural daylight").

Part 3. Our "international student" guests wanted some pictures from our Thanksgiving dinner. I offered to use our camera; set it on a tripod and pushed the button.

The images were washed out in blue glare. Repeatedly, even with the flash going. Nothing worked until we turned out all the LED lights in the living room and used the flash.

I surmise that the Fuji uses one particular frequency to adjust its exposure setting and that the LED bulb's collection of frequencies omits that one. Result: the room is estimated to be much darker than it really is, the automated exposure is therefore too long, and everything gets washed out.

Maybe I was taking a nap when the memo about LED bulbs went around, but just in case it isn't widely known--watch out when taking pictures under LED lights.

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