Light magenta and light cyan

Originally uploaded by aspherical element

Our HP D7160 printer uses six ink cartridges: Black, yellow, magenta and cyan – and light magenta and light cyan.

In theory, that should lead to better colours and longer ink life.

In practice, however, the two light ones are never used.

Never. They are still at 100%, although all the others have been replaced at least once already.

Other users seem to have the same problem.

There’s a guy who claims they’re used exclusively for photo printing, but we’ve printed lots of photos, and they still haven’t been touched.

Is our print driver broken, or is this a cunning ploy by HP to sell more ink?


  1. It would depend a lot on what colors are in the photos you print, and probably on what colorspace you use. And it’s possible that your driver doesn’t really understand them, if it’s a generic or open-source driver.

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