The best photo studio lighting system for large format digital photography.

What is the best photo studio lighting system to use with a scanning back (large format digital photography such as Better Light or PhaseOne)? We tested Dedolights and have recommended them for years.

But in the new era of digital photography, things are changing. It turns out that certain models caused potential digital interference (dark banding as the lighting flickered). As a result, we are testing North Light Sun Spots. Michael Collette, developer of the successful Better Light scanning back, recommends North Light Sun Spots as a good choice for digital photography or whenever cool lights are needed.

The advantages of North Light Sun Spots are considerable. The fixtures remain cool due to the fan cooled heads. With other kinds of lighting you can burn your fingers severely. If you are photographing heat-sensitive objects (including ancient art) it is helpful to have cool lights.

North Light Sun Spots are also useful because their daylight balance works with digital fluorescent lighting.

North Light Products, Inc., 2487 Sprint St. #2, Redwood City, CA 94063,, e-mail:

Sun Spots are sold exclusively by Calumet (and Calumet Digital Solutions), tel 1 888 888 9083. If you need a reliable source for professional camera and studio equipment, Calumet Photographic/Calumet Digital Solutions has everything. Besides, you can talk to them about the latest digital photography technology and get friendly information on what is the most practical equipment for your needs. Contact George Zimmerman, e-mail, tel (888) 237- 2022.

DedolightDedolights can be battery powered, or you can power them from your cigarette lighter in the car.

Bulbs come in 20W, 50W and 100W for the 12 volt system. Dedolights now come in more powerful 24 volt system, but I have not yet tested these.

Although some models of Dedolight may cause digital defects, you can still use these traditional Dedolights successfully for traditional photography with film. We have two sets of Dedolights and use them frequently, except when we do digital photography, when we turn to fluorescent lighting in general and North Light SunSpots in particular.

For most systems of this nature it is usual to get the lamps (bulbs) from the same company that makes the light fixtures.

The catalogs from Dedo Weigert Film GmbH in Germany, or Visual Departures in the USA, will provide you with abundant additional information.

GIF WS DedolightsThe Dedo system with the build in attached transformer pod (DLHM) appears to work fine with CCD scanning backs, with no noticeable banding. Since we have eight of the Dedolights that cause banding, naturally these are the model that our reviews cover. If we had more of the other models then it would be easier to indicate that they work just fine with scanning backs.

American Contact for Dedolights Visual Departures 1 800 628 2003. Email:



Design updated June 19, 2008.
Revised Oct. 5, 1999, links added Jan 23, 2000.