Even designers who utilise CAD will usually pick up a pencil at some stage in their work-flow because to some degree the computer interface always stifles creativity. Don't get me wrong, many solutions come close to replacing the pencil and paper completely. Touch screens that can be drawn onto directly with a 'pencil' mouse go a long way, but that initial doodle for the most part will always belong to the paper and pencil.
For most illustrators and designers, a light box is a must if they prefer the hands-on approach to their art. Tracing, sketching and final design are all made much easier if you can rely on a consistent light source to enhance the details of your work and reproduce colours accurately.
Laboratory light boxes are a different beast altogether. Generally speaking the bigger the better and great consideration needs making for hygiene and safety when dealing with spills.
For this reason they tend to be built into the work bench; creating a seamless worktop which can be easily cleaned whilst preventing liquids from finding their way into the light box.
These professional light tables ensure a consistent and even light distribution. This provides a great way to calibrate light measuring equipment for scientific analysis of transparency. Also perfect for viewing sample slides and detailed microscope work.
When you drink a cup of tea, eat a flat fish or put on a nappy (probably not on yourself) you can be assured that a light box or light table has been involved at some stage to ensure that the product meets quality specifications. Light boxes come in very handy in quality control and assurance for the production of many products throughout the world.
Orchard have supplied light boxes to many different industries but second to design, the food industry in one of the largest. Checking the consistency of bacon and tea as well as sexing flat fish .... believe it .... are just some of the uses our lighting equipment has been used for over the years.
Analysis of nappy absorption may seem like a grizzly job, but to ensure quality it has to be done and light boxes providing an even and consistent light source intense enough to shine through certain materials is perfect for this kind of work.
I say 'certain materials' hoping that 'certain individuals' realise it won't shine through everything. We have in the past had to disappoint a customer who believed that our light boxes could be used in lieu of x-ray machines in airports. I'm sure it would have been a brilliant money saving solution, but not even with UV light tubes fitted (which the client suggested as a possible solution) will our lightboxes shine completely through solid objects ... sorry about that, R&D will keep working on it.
You'd be amazed at the unique problems our light boxes can solve. A film studio once used our light boxes to simulate windows in an enclosed room by mounting them on the outside of the set's window frames. I suppose with the 5000K daylight LED's it does make sense; as they reproduce the natural white light we get from the sun.
Every year someone surprises us with a new and ingenious use for our light boxes, and we will continue to work closely to ensure the customer gets the result they are after.