black light bulb

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Black Lights are bluish or purplish ultraviolet lights, known primarily for their use in concerts and parties, where their glow contributes an excitable atmosphere.

Their rays can cause objects with fluorescence to shine in the dark. The rays that blacklight emits means that they are suitable for making body paints glow, and for spotting otherwise invisible insects and pet urine stains.

Regardless of the purpose for which you’re getting a black light, you’ll want to buy the best bulbs that your budget can get.

The quality of bulbs you’ll find on sale at the stores will vary widely.

It’s important to know what makes a good black light bulb and how to identify one. This article should help you sort this out.

But if you’re put off by the extensive range of options you have to choose from, we’ve compiled a list of best black light bulbs you could choose from.

We’ll review each one and let you know why you should give them a try.

First, let’s have a quick look at the general types of black light bulbs that are available.

Best LED Black Light Bulb Review

1. Onforu 7W A19 E26 UV LED Black Lights Bulb

This product takes the globular shape of regular light bulbs. But you can tell that it’s different from its purple color.

Within this protective glass sits 16 LEDs, which glow with UV light when the bulb is switched on.

This bulb isn’t heavy-duty; it takes in just 7W of power, but gives a fair amount of brightness in return.

It belongs in the 385nm to 400nm wavelength, so it’s safe for the human eyes and skin.

If your body paint has fluorescence, it should glow when it comes under this light.

You can use this bulb at your indoor Halloween, Christmas, or other kinds of parties, as well as in aquariums or for body art photo-shoots.

While the Onforu bulb isn’t generally harmful, it’s advisable not to look directly at it when it’s shining.

You want to stay on the safe side with your sight, as you would when you’re using other kinds of bulbs.

The manufacturer puts the product’s lifespan at about 50,000 hours- a mark you could reach with it if you’re using it for a few hours a day and being careful with it as you do so.

2. Onforu 15W BR30 E26 UV LED Black Light Bulbs

The Onforu BR30 model isn’t very different from the first bulb above, except in at least two respects.

First, this one has a shuttlecock-like shape, with the bulb taking a flatter form at the top.

Then there’s also the fact that it consumes more power, precisely about 15W.

All the other features are intact; its wavelength is between 380nm and 400nm, safe enough for human use while maintaining some ability to cause fluorescent objects to glow.

All this comes from 34 ultraviolet LEDs fixed inside the purplish bulb. The bulb itself has a 120-degree beam, which lets it illuminate vast areas.

It’s also easy to install; a quick wriggle should fit it into an E26 socket. When it comes on, it gives a cool bluish shine.

If the product manual is correct, this one should last you a cumulative 50,000 hours.

3. SHPODA 3 PACK 9W UV LED Blacklights Bulb

This bulb has twelve ultraviolet LEDs sitting inside of it.

When the bulb is turned on, these fixtures emit a slightly cool but bright light. And because the bulb has a 270-degree beam angle, it’s able to take care of a sizeable room.

The energy efficiency of this black light bulb is widely attested.

Reviews note that it doesn’t heat up like older fluorescent types.

It is also safer; the primary safety concern with LEDs is the wavelength they represent, but this one is about 380nm to 400nm, well within the usable range.

Regular uses include indoor birthday, Halloween, and Christmas parties, aquariums, and body art.

Like the previous bulbs we’ve reviewed here, this one’s lifespan is estimated at 50,000 hours.

4. KINGBO 36W LED UV Light

Kingbo takes a different tack with its design.

Instead of one plastic or glass globe covering the light-emitting LEDs, it has a flat circular aluminum surface punctuated by LED beads.

Each of these 18 beads consumes 2W of power and gives out an impressive amount of illumination in return.

The wavelength of this UV light is about 395nm to 400nm. It’s both safe for human skin and great for fun uses like parties and aquariums.

A 120-degree beam angle allows it to spread its shine across the room that you want to use the light it.

The producers have taken special care with this bulb’s heat dissipation. Its aluminum surface lets it lose heat quickly, and ensures that it doesn’t scorch even after a full day’s use.

With proper use, the Kingbo UV light could remain functional for a decade. But if it develops a fault soon after it’s purchased, you can take advantage of a 12-month warranty and get the problem sorted out.

If you purchase a damaged package, you can have it returned and get refunded within 30 days of buying it.

5. Litake UV LED Black Light Bulb

Reviews of this product are generally positive. It’s a bright blacklight, consumes 11W of power, and works well for indoor uses.

About 30 LEDs located inside of the globe produce the light when it’s turned on. One package contains two of these bulbs.

Litake’s light wavelength is about 385nm to 400nm, about the average you’d expect from many indoor black lights.

The bases are designed to fit into E26 sockets.

Installation is pretty easy; screw them into the socket, and they should hold up well.

When switched on, they’ll shine at a 270-degree beam angle, enveloping the area around them in their light.

Your glow parties should come alive with this black light bulb; it brings the best out of fluorescent paints and objects.

On a general note, it functions just fine for parties, bars, and reception halls.

What’s more, you don’t have to worry about heat building up in and around it. It sheds whatever heat it produces rather well, and doesn’t get too hot to touch.

Best Fluorescent Black Light Bulb

Fluorescent black light bulbs represent an older technology than LED.

But they are still sought after by many people.

They point out that fluorescent versions tend to give out a ‘truer’ black light of the dark bluish variety since they are lower on the wavelength spectrum (an average of 370nm) compared to LED black lights (which tend to be more violet).

These are our selection of best fluorescent blacklight bulbs.

6. Sunlite 05645-SU CFL, Spiral Blacklight

Three black spiral bulbs are contained in one package of this product. The fluorescent bulbs have a design that helps it to illuminate surfaces close to it, but not for extensive areas.

The wavelength of this bulb is about 463nm, and it emits a blue glow that you would expect of lower wavelength black lights.

You can use these bulbs in parties, where their shine can contribute to a festive atmosphere.

They can also be used to detect security features on currency notes, passports, and other documents.

It’s great for detecting pet urine stains on the surface of curtains and carpets, as well as insects with florescence.

If you’re looking for something that directly replaces your older incandescent bulb, this Sunlite bulb does the job pretty well.

All you need to do is unscrew the old bulb from the socket and screw in the new one (the Sunlite bulb).

They could last you up to seven years, assuming you use them for three hours every day.

7. Bluex 2 Pack BlueX CFL UV Blacklight Bulb

Bluex has two black spiral bulbs in one package. They are built for local lighting and are fit for exclusive art shows, where they could illuminate individual art objects.

These bulbs are also useful for authenticating things with built-in fluorescent markers, like ID cards and money.

The same glow effect makes them an excellent choice for photo shoots of decorative body art and glow parties. Other occasions that you can use them include Halloween, Christmas, and birthday parties.

It saves a good deal of energy compared to the older incandescent bulbs; it consumes 24W of power, but gives the same shine as you would expect in a 100W incandescent light.

That means a few bucks saved on your electricity bills. If you’re convinced of its quality and would want it to replace your older bulb, you can screw it into a vacant E26 socket.

The cumulative lifespan of the Bluex bulb is 10,000 hours.

8. SleekLighting 23 Watt T2 Black Light

The two spiral black lights in this package are 23W bulbs (a 13W version is available). Like the other fluorescent bulbs in this package, they save a fair deal of energy compared to older incandescent alternatives and can be a direct placement for them.

Sleeklighting’s bulbs are Halloween party material.

They’re lower wavelength lights, so they have a deep blue glow that gives gatherings an excitable, yet slightly foreboding feel.

In general, they should do for indoor glow parties, as they reflect off white rather well.

They can also serve as outdoor insect repellants if you’d prefer a more mundane use for them.

Stick this into a functional E26 socket, and it should work just fine.

The lifespan of this bulb is 8,000 hours. There’s a six-month replacement guarantee on it as well if you’re unlucky to have purchased a subpar piece.

9. Xtricity Compact Fluorescent Colored Light Bulb

This 13W bulb consumes about 75% less energy than incandescent lights; it’s a suitable replacement for a 60W halogen bulb.

You can have it installed for Halloween Christmas, or birthday parties, theaters, bars, or for fluorescent signs and displays. The low wavelength also makes it useful for spotting otherwise invisible pet urine on your carpets or other material.

It can be fixed into plain E26 sockets, or put in sconces or ceiling fixtures.  When it’s switched on, it begins to function instantly and doesn’t have a flicker.

Xtricity’s black light may last you 10,000 hours, assuming a three-hour daily usage.

10. Adkins Fluorescent Blacklight

The 24W Adkins Fluorescent black light could serve as a replacement for a 100W incandescent bulb, saving you some money on your electricity bill.

And when you do install it, you’ll have a bulb that remains active for up to seven years, if you use it for three hours daily.

You can fix this into E26 sockets when you’re setting things up for a party. It should add an energetic feel to your occasion, whether it’s a birthday celebration or glow party. It can also be used on display art and posters.

Types of Black Light Bulbs

Fluorescent Black Light Bulbs

A fluorescent black light bulb isn’t very different from the regular fluorescent bulb. The light is generated by electricity that goes through a glass tube containing some gas and a little mercury.

But while regular light is usually visible, the ultraviolet light emitted by the energized mercury atoms is not.

The visible blacklight seen from a fluorescent black light bulb is given off by a phosphor coating.

This coating, which covers the inner surface of the tube, converts the energy of mercury atoms into visible light.

Fluorescent black light bulbs are shaped as tubes or spirals.

Incandescent Black Light Bulb

Incandescent black light bulbs work like ordinary incandescent light, except for the filters, which collects most of the light from the bulb’s filament.

However, it doesn’t absorb the less harmful UV light. It lets this go beyond its filter to shine, along with a little visible light.

LED Black Light Bulb

Some Light Emitting Diode (LED) bulbs can also give off UV light. The black lights they produce tend to be of a wavelength higher than 380nm, often around the 390nm to 410nm range.

This bulb typically gives off the least amount of heat of the types reviewed.

Black Light Frequently Asked Questions

Which is the Best Black Light Technology?

As we’ve explained, blacklight technologies include LED, fluorescent, and incandescent bulbs.

You can refer to the section blacklight types at the beginning of this article to get more information on this.

It’s left to the user to determine which the best UV light technology is for them.

LED is favored for its energy-saving and because it lasts longer than the others.

It also doesn’t emit as much heat. Enthusiasts of fluorescent UV light say it’s a ‘truer’ black light than most LEDs.

They point to its wavelength, which generally lies more firmly within UV light territory (averaging around 370nm).

How Often Do You Need to Replace Black Lights?

The answer to this question depends on the technology you’re using.

If you’re going for good fluorescent lights, you may expect them to last for between 8,000 and 10,000 hours if you’re using them for three hours every day.

LED lights last longer; they could hang around for more than 50,000 hours, or more than a decade, if you use them right.

What Kind of Black Light Makes Objects Glow?

The glow effect of black lights depends on their wavelength.

Black lights within the 350nm to 400nm band should cause things with fluorescence to glow in the dark.

This includes fluorescent body paint and posters, authentication markers on ID cards and paper currencies, dog or cat urine stains on carpets or curtains, and creatures like scorpions and armyworms.

Fluorescent black light bulbs tend to do better at this because they’re on the middle to lower end of the wavelength.

Some LEDs are also fairly good at this as well. But note that you may not get the desired effect if the black light’s wavelength is closer to the upper edge of the UV spectrum.

How Safe are UV Lights?

You may have heard that certain types of UV lights are unsafe.  Thankfully, black lights aren’t part of this dangerous group.

Black lights tend to be longer wave ultraviolet lights, i.e. they’re closer to visible light wavelength, so they don’t pose any significant health risks to the human body.

However, you’ll still want to exercise caution when you’re using black lights.

It’s advisable not to look directly at the light when it’s switched on, as direct exposure to the light may cause problems for one’s eyesight.

Apart from the issues directly related to the nature of ultraviolet lights, there are also hazardous substances contained in fluorescent black light bulbs.

These materials may be exposed if a fluorescent bulb gets broken. you must take care when handling these lights so that they remain safe while they’re being used.

Conclusion

Black lights can be an essential tool; you only need to look at the many uses to which you can deploy them to understand this.

There are a lot of them on sale, and it can be hard to tell which ones are the best for our purposes.

This article takes care of choosing part by laying out some great options.

Hopefully, this makes purchasing a black light much easier for you.