Previously, I used two 500 watt 4800K EBW lights from Eiko. These were terrific, but they drew a tremendous amount of electricity, and they were extremely hot. So hot that I accidentally melted part of my lightshed, in fact. They were rated at 3 hours of life, and they were a bit expensive.
After checking out the alternatives, I decided to go with Eiko fluorescent bulbs. They are rated at 5000K, which is comparable, but here's where it gets interesting: they use 42 watts. 42 watts!! Even better, they are advertised as having a lifespan of 10,000 hours.
You can see why I was intrigued! They were twice as expensive, but if they last even half as long as advertised, it will be a tremendous savings overall.
I experimented first with black and grey tones:
I noticed immediately that I had to change the F-stop and aperture settings because the interior of the lightshed is darker. The flash of the reflective hematite-colored coating is slightly duller, as well.
I decided to try a couple of different colors:
Clearly I have to do a little color correction here, but part of this is just due to my camera, which doesn't capture reds well.
I am definitely liking the new lights. I'm still tinkering with the temperature of the colors and checking the tones, but so far I'm grooving on them. The real test will be when I photograph pieces of jewelry.
Another step forward in my journey toward understanding photography. And hopefully I won't melt my lightshed further. :)