As most of you know by now my condominium is undergoing a major renovation.  We're not three weeks into the renovation and there is at least two more weeks before we're finished.  We're doing everything from electrical, to plumbing, to baths, kitchens, ceilings, floors, walls, lighting, and more.  When we started this renovation I challenged myself to include every little improvement I could think of to help improve my imaging.  There are four things I'd like to share with you which I think will make a difference

      • Electrical.  Equipment malfunctions are a reality, and inconsistent power delivery is your worst culprit.  To combat this I have several high-end large capacity Uninterruptable Power Supplies feeding all of my workstations, networks, etc.  The problem I've been having with the UPS's is that they require a solid grounding to work properly.
      • As part of the renovations my contractor has completely rewired my home to include all new wiring, new 3 prong receptacles, new switches, new breakers, and that a proper ground system was installed so the UPS's could properly do their job.
      • Paint.  Ideally my walls and ceilings would be a 18% grey color so my eyes could properly see the colors on my imaging monitors.  My wife of course would never allow this.  The next best thing is a uniform coverage of a slightly off-white color.  This is what we've done.
      • Lighting.  Lighting is a very big thing for imaging.  Your light temperatures should never be mixed and this includes light from outside.  No artificial light should be directed at your monitors.  A good separation is key.
      • We've ordered extra thick vertical blinds, reflective on the outside, the same color as the walls and ceiling on the inside.  With these I can cut off the outside light when I'm working on my workstation.  Our contractor has also installed recessed light fixtures in our ceilings, all of the same incandescent temperature and type, and all with dimmers so a constant level of illumination is always possible.
      • Workstation Table Top.  The table top?  You think I'm kidding I'm sure.  I'm not.  My workstation table was a good quality, but after nearly ten years and a zillion glasses of ice water with condensation dripping down into the wood, the natural wood surface was in terrible condition.  More, it originally came with a shiny lacquer.
      • Our cabinetmaker was asked to replace the table top.  At the time I wasn't sure it would make for much of a difference, but I requested he try to find a 18% grey Formica to inset into the top of the table.  I figured the 18% grey would be neutral to my eyes as both imaging monitors sit directly on the table top, and the Formica would be water resistant and last a great deal longer than natural wood.  The cabinetmaker probably thought I was crazy but he did as requested and had to search around for almost a week to find the right color.  He said he finally found a piece at a local studio leftover from their own renovation which they had special ordered and waited months to arrive.  I feel a bit fortunate for not having to wait.
      • When the table was finished I was very surprised that it turned out looking so nice!  I expected a compromise with the looks, but both my wife and I very much like the new look, especially since at the same time he refinished the rest of the table.

But what really made the difference was the color.  Once my monitors were back on the table, the new lighting turned on, and I started to work I couldn't believe the difference.  Of course I can only work at night after the workers go home for the evening, and not everything is one, so in the daytime I cover everything.

I'll get back to you on the total effect of these relatively inexpensive but worthwhile improvements once the renovations are complete and I've had the time to thoroughly test drive everything.

 

Until next time..