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LED Black lights are considered important because of the many uses to which they are deployed. From glow parties to stain detection, document authentication to the treatment of mental health issues, this type of light finds a place in numerous aspects of our lives.
Regardless of the purpose for which you will be deploying it, you will want to know how it works, to get the best of it. You may also want to find out what the different types of black light are. The information you will get from this guide on LED blacklight may come in handy at some point, especially when you’re shopping for bulbs or you want to learn about the types, uses or application of UV light.
Here, we’ll lay out everything you need to know about black lights. We will be zeroing in on LED black lights—and we will explain why shortly —and discussing the various bulbs that rely on this particular technology.
Whether you’re familiar with black lights or you’ve never heard about it, you will find plenty of useful information in this article.
Let’s begin by explaining what black lights are.
What Are Black Lights?
Black lights are bulbs or lamps that emit a type of ultraviolet light. Ultraviolet light is invisible, so you won’t be able to see it when it’s emitted.
However, black lights also emit a bit of violet light; if you have seen or used black lights, you will recognize this as the purplish light that shines when you switch on these bulbs.
But What is an Ultraviolet Light?
We’re going a bit in-depth here.
As we have already explained, ultraviolet (UV) light is typically invisible to the human eyes. If you think of the types of light as part of a spectrum, they will line up from an invisible segment, run through to a visible portion, and then end with an invisible end.
The first invisible portion at the end is made up of light with a long wavelength. This is called ‘infrared’ (or ‘sub-red’ light). Infra-red light isn’t visible to the human eyes.
The second portion is made up of all the colored lights our eyes can see, starting with red, then on to orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet. The wavelength shortens as we advance in this direction. After violet, there’s ‘ultraviolet’ (‘beyond violet), which is also invisible.
Fun fact: sunlight contains all of these types of light. It’s the source of the natural UV light we find on earth.
Black lights are just one type of ultraviolet light. They have a technical name: UV-A (or Ultraviolet-A). The other types of ultraviolet light are the UV-B and UV-C lights.
Here’s how they are different from each other:
- UV-A is the regular black light. About 95 percent of the UV light that reaches us from the sun is UV-A light. It’s the longest wave of all three types of UV light, about 320-400nm.
- UV-B is a shorter wave, about 280-320nm. It’s also harmful to humans. It is known to cause skin burns, damaged skin DNA, and skin cancer. Thankfully, most natural UV-B is absorbed by the earth’s atmosphere before it reaches earth.
- UV-C isn’t as harmful to human skin. It’s the shortest wave of the three UV light types, at about 200-280nm. Natural UV-C doesn’t reach the earth’s surface; all of it is absorbed by the atmosphere. Artificial UV-C is used in welding torches and mercury lamps.
Certain types of black light may cause harm when human skin is overexposed to them. Fortunately, you can tell when the light are switched on because of the violet (purplish) light they emit when powered. This means you can determine how long they have been on for, and prevent overexposure.
Nevertheless, black lights will remain harmless if you use them correctly.
Of course, the UV lights used in blacklight lamps or bulbs are artificial light. In the next section (How Does Black Light Work?), we will talk a bit about how these artificial UV lights work in black light bulbs.
Why are They Called Black Lights?
Black lights are not ‘black’. But the name implies that you cannot see them with the human eyes. If you introduce pure black light in a room, the room will remain in total darkness. Commercial black light bulbs are useful because they also emit a small amount of visible light.
How Does Black Light Work?
If you have ever wondered how black lights work, here’s a brief explanation of the science behind them.
The technology for the traditional blacklight is fairly similar to what’s used in a fluorescent lamp: Electricity is sent into a tube containing mercury and some gases. When it gets to the mercury, it causes the mercury atoms to release energy as light photons (photons are the ‘particles’ that constitute light). Some of these photons are for visible light, but most are for invisible light in the UV wavelength.
The energy represented by the photons in the invisible wavelength is converted into visible light by a special kind of phosphor coating. This coating has fluorescence—that is, it glows when if you expose them to light.
When photons on the UV wavelength strike the phosphor atoms, the phosphor atoms give off energy that later condenses into more photons, which are in the visible light spectrum.
In summary, the phosphor converts energy into visible light.
In black light bulbs, the phosphor coating ‘mops up’ the harmful UV-B and UV-C lights and emits the UV-A or black light. However, the bulb has a filter material which prevents most of the normal visible light from shining through. Only the UV-B and some visible violet and blue light come through.
Bulbs that use the internal filter are designated as ‘BLB’ (‘Black Light Blue’). Some other bulbs do not have the filter material, so they let out more visible lights. They emit a bluish glow. These second type of bulbs is identified as BL (‘Black Light’). It’s often used in bug zapper insect traps.
Watch Hank Green of SciShow as he explains why blacklights make some things glow!
Types of Black Light
There are several black light bulb types, each conforming to an existing light bulb technology. They include:
- Fluorescent Black Light
- Compact Fluorescent Light (CFL)
- Incandescent lamps
- Mercury vapor lamps
We explain them below:
1. Fluorescent Black Light
Fluorescent black lights employ fluorescent technology for the most part. One difference between them and the regular fluorescent bulbs is the special phosphor coating which emits the UVA light instead of the white light you’ll get with normal fluorescent lamps.
The Black Light Blue (BLB) and Blacklight (BL) variations apply to fluorescent bulbs.
- BLB lamps have a filter coating that prevents most types of visible light from shining through the bulb. They emit a dark purplish light, which peaks at about 365 nm.
- BL lamps do not have a light filter. They emit bluish light. There are different emission peaks for bulbs of this type. Bulbs with emporium-doped phosphors have an emission peak range of 350-353 nm; those with lead-peaked phosphors will peak between 368 and 371 nm.
2. Compact Fluorescent Light (CFL)
These are fluorescent lights, with a few tweaks. CFLs come in different shapes (the ‘coiled’ type being the most common) that allow the user to fit them in standard sockets. You can use them as a direct replacement for incandescent light; some of them fit directly into sockets made for incandescent bulbs.
3. Incandescent Black Light
Incandescent black lights can be created by coating regular incandescent bulb surface with a UV filter, such as the Woods glass. This gives the bulb tubing a different color from what you’ll see in normal incandescent bulbs.
They are usually so dark that it’s hard to see through them. Incandescent represents the oldest black light technology and is also the cheapest type available.
However, they do not produce much UV light; most of the light they emit is visible light, which gets blocked off by the filter coating. They also produce a lot more heat than the other types.
Interestingly, they tend to yield more UV light if they are hotter because hotter filaments yield more ultraviolet photons.
As a result of its heat problems, the incandescent black bulb doesn’t last very long.
Some newer versions (for example, a Phillips incandescent black light bulb) are slightly different from the older generation bulbs. They may be easier to see through, and may also produce more visible light. But they are still less energy-efficient than other alternatives.
4. Mercury Vapor
The key difference between mercury vapor black lights and black fluorescent lights is that the former uses high-pressure mercury in the place of phosphors. The bulbs are coated with UV filter material which blocks most visible light. This makes the bulb dark and hard to see through.
These lamps are more energy-efficient than most incandescent bulbs and yield more UV-A from every unit of power they consume than fluorescent bulbs. But they contain mercury, which can be poisonous when it’s exposed; this may happen if a mercury vapor bulb gets broken.
5. LED Black Lights
Light Emitting Diode (LED) black light bulbs are the newest technology in this niche. These bulbs contain LED filaments that produce UV light.
There’s been a debate around whether LED bulbs produce UV light. Some black light ‘purists’ have claimed that it doesn’t; they point to the color of the light emitted by many LED products, which seems a bit more bluish, instead of the traditional dark purple seen from older technologies.
For these critics, fluorescent bulbs with a wavelength of 365 nm are the gold standard. According to them, LED black lights, which have a wavelength between 385-400 nm, are not ‘true black lights’.
But do LED light bulbs emit UV?
The evidence suggests they do. Although they tend to have a longer wavelength than the average fluorescent black light, they make and emit some UV light. They also produce less UV than fluorescent, to begin with; but what they lack in quantity of UV produced, they compensate for in their energy efficiency.
Besides, LED may be a better option in situations where having plenty of UV light might be a problem. For example, CFL black lights may damage painted surfaces and carpets after long term exposure. LED may be the more appropriate lighting for these materials.
What is Black Light Used For?
There are many areas of application for black lights. Most of these applications relate to a property called luminescence, which refers to the ability of certain objects to glow in the dark when exposed to some kinds of light (such as UV light). Some are related to the effects this type of light has on human mental wellbeing.
We talk about some of these uses below.
1. Glow Parties
Black lights are often used at parties because they contribute to a ‘feel-good’, excited, maybe even energetic atmosphere. Smaller bulbs are used in parties organized at homes, especially in smaller rooms. Some of the bigger ones are best deployed as stage lighting at concerts.
You may find this type of lighting in use at Halloween parties, birthday parties, and even at indoor-weddings.
Black lights are also used at glow in the dark parties. Here, attendees paint their bodies with luminous paint, which glows when exposed to UV light in an otherwise dark place.
Some displays are designed to glow when exposed to UV light. These include signposts at bars and other locations, and artwork made (at least in part) from luminous material, such as patterns and inscriptions made with glow in the dark paint.
3. Pet Urine Detection
Sometimes an unpleasant odor is all you will detect pet urine on your furniture or rugs. You may not be able to clean the urine off your property if you can’t spot it in the first place.
Blacklight torches are a widely used solution to this problem; they make dog and cat urine glow in the dark. The urine of these animals contains phosphorus and proteins that glow when they are exposed to UV light.
With it, you could even discover old stains that weren’t properly cleaned.
4. Insect Detection
If you’re having a hard time detecting troublesome bed bugs, you can beat them to their hiding antics with black lights. The shells of bedbugs contain phosphors that absorb UV light and glow with visible light.
Other creatures you can spot with this light include scorpions and armyworms. Like bed bugs, these insects have bodies that glow when UV lights gest shone on them. Armyworms are a common farm pest. Farmers can set black light traps to capture them.
Entomologists—scientists who study insects –often use black lights to attract insects. Many insects can perceive UV light, which is invisible to human eyes. Some are even attracted to it and will fly towards it where it’s present.
Note that bedbugs have an opposite reaction to sensing UV light—they generally run away from it.
Black lights are a part of the recommended paraphernalia for night fishing. They are used to illuminate monofilament fishing lines, so they can be seen from some way off. This lets you detect any movement on the lines that may indicate a bite by a potential catch.
If you are into fishing, you can put some fluorescent paint on your equipment to make them easy to locate with a black light when you are fishing at night.
6. Document Authentication
Some IDs have details that glow when exposed to UV light. You can tell that they are fake if those components don’t shine under black light. Currency notes may also have a thread running through them, which will glow when exposed to black light. As a result, UV light is frequently used to determine the authenticity of money.
Fluorescent black lights are known to do this best because they peak at a wavelength that makes luminous material shine with the greatest intensity.
7. Medical Uses
Medical personnel uses UV lights to detect fungal infections, acne, and melanoma, and to treat neonatal jaundice. It’s also used as a disinfectant, as it has anti-germicidal properties (it can kill bacteria and viruses in water).
Black Light Fixtures
Black lights come in many different forms designed to be used in a variety of situations. Your bug-hunting light won’t be designed the same way as black light meant for use at a party.
LED black lights are preferred by many users because they are more energy-efficient, last longer, and ultimately provide a better value for consumers’ money. Here, we will discuss several LED lighting fixtures, including their types, uses, and how to use them.
LED Black Light Bulbs
These are the most commonly used type of LED black light. They look just like your usual light bulb- many of them have a globular shape that narrows at the base. But there are several differences as well.
First, their light comes from a LED filament that produces UV light and some (visible) violet light. Many of these bulbs also have a purplish tincture. In many cases, the bulbs are made of plastic, with an aluminum base.
Besides the regular globular form, LED black light bulbs come in many other shapes. For instance, the Onforu BR30 (15W) bulb has a flatter-than-usual top. Others like the Kingbo PAR38 (36W) is mostly aluminum, with 18 pieces of 2W LEDs dotting its flat top.
As is the case with many LED black light fixtures, these bulbs usually produce illumination within the 385-400 nm wavelengths.
They are generally energy-efficient and don’t produce as much heat as other alternatives. Many of them are made from materials that cool faster after they are disconnected from their power source (including aluminum).
Some have a special ceramic heat dissipation technology that removes whatever heat is produced within a short while.
A good number of these lights could last you a cumulative 50,000 hours if they are used for three hours every day. If you’re buying one of them, be sure that they have a warranty that you can take advantage of if they develop a fault early on.
You may want to read the article I wrote on the best black light bulb here
The LED black light bulb is used at glow in the dark parties, Halloween parties, and Christmas celebrations. They are also used on fluorescent posters, at bars, and aquariums.
How to Install LED Black Light Bulbs
Most black light bulbs are easy to install. The real work is in finding the right type for your purposes. Here’s how to go about it:
- Find out what features a bulb needs to have to meet your specific needs. This includes wavelength, wattage, screw base size, room size, etc.
- Get a bulb that meets the criteria from point 1.
- Switch of the light source for the socket you will be using.
- Gently remove the old light bulb, if there’s any in the socket.
- Screw the new black light bulb into the socket
- Switch the light on to see if it’s working.
Most of these bulbs have screw bases that fit into E26/E27 sockets, which are the most common kind of sockets in use.
Things to Consider When Before Buying LED Black Light Bulbs
Here’s what you should consider before buying a LED black light bulb.
Generally, LED light bulbs cost more than fluorescent bulbs, so you should be prepared to spend more on them. Nevertheless, they will give you several things that a fluorescent won’t: less heat, better energy efficiency, and a longer lifespan.
The most common types of bulb fitting are the bayonet and the Edison screw. Of these, the standard Edison light screw fitting, also identified as the E27, is more widely used. You will find that a majority of LED black light bulbs carry this particular fitting; they are what you will need in most cases.
If your socket takes something else, say an E14 (smaller Edison screw) or B22 (larger bayonet screw) you will have to look for products with these particular fittings.
Look out for bulbs from reputable manufacturers. If you’re not sure who is or isn’t a reputable name in the industry, you could check the reviews for various LED black light bulbs. If there are a lot of mostly positive reviews at online stores, it’s probably a good idea to try it out.
It’s not a bad idea to try out some new names, as they could offer quality products too. But you’ll have less user information to go by in such instances.
Think about the space your bulb will be lighting up. Will one or a couple of bulbs be enough? One black light bulb could do for a lounge room. You may have to install two if it’s, say, a 30ft x 30ft room.
LED Black Light Strip
LED strips are thin, long reel-like lighting that can be mounted and extended over a wide area. The light they give off comes from LED emitters embedded within them, usually situated at uniform distances from each other. In the black light version of strip lighting, regular LED emitters are replaced by chips that produce UV light with some visible violet (purplish) light.
Blacklight strips come in various lengths. Brands like Onforu have both 16.4 ft and 33 ft LED black light strips. You could even find strips as long as 50 ft. A lot of these lighting can be cut to fit into space within which you plan to use them. But you will only be able to use the length that’s connected to a power plugging point.
Because these are LED lights, you’re not likely to have heat issues with them. They can be touched even while they’re switched on. Some light strips are waterproof; others don’t have this property. Generally, LED black light strips should work fine in temperatures between -20⁰C and 40⁰C.
LED black light strips typically have adapters that let you plug them into a power source. Most adapters for this kind of light are 12V, so they should work in most locations.
As with most LED products, higher quality strip lights will last you a very long time; they have a cumulative lifetime of up to 50,000 hours. If you’re careful enough with your product hunting, you may find a producer that also offers an extended warranty.
These lights are used for decorations, especially for parties—weddings, Halloween, glow parties, etc. They make good Christmas decorations as well. You could find them at art galleries, and in aquariums. They can be used for fishing as well.
How to Install LED Black Light Strips
LED black light strips can be fixed on walls and held in place with Velcro tapes or wall mounts and screws. These are the steps you should take to install this lighting.
- Measure the space you would like to have the strip light installed in. This lets you know the length of lighting you will need, and whether you will be cutting your strip later. Note the distance between the location and the nearest power source, and get a lighting or extension cord that’s long enough to cover the gap.
- Check the voltage of the LED to determine whether it’s compatible with your power source. The 12V lights are more common and are suitable in most cases. But 24V will usually produce more brightness, and power longer strips.
- If you are using an adhesive LED strip, be sure to clean the surface you will be sticking it on beforehand. Do this with a clean cloth dampened in warm water. Let the cleaned spots dry for a bit.
- Fix the strip light on and along the wall or other surfaces you prefer. Hold them in place with tapes or wall mounts. If they are longer than what’s required, you may cut them to fit into the installation area. Be careful to cut them at the points specified by the manufacturer (these will usually be indicated by visible marks).
Things to Consider Before Buying LED Black Light Strip
- LEDs Per Length
The more LEDs per foot your light strip has, the brighter the light output will be. If they are spaced too far apart from each other, they will look more like bright dots, and won’t provide you with the quality of distribution you want.
Use a strip light that extends the length of the surface you want to illuminate. If it’s too long, you can cut off the excess segment from a point designated on the strip.
- Power Supply
Know your LED light strip’s power needs, and connect it to a power source that meets those needs. The power supply’s wattage should be at least 10% more than the wattage your LED light strip consumes.
If you’re concerned about exposure to water, you can buy a waterproof black light strip. Check the product description for the lighting to find out if it has this feature.
LED Black Light Flashlight
Flashlights are lighting aids you can carry around with you. You light up your path with them while you’re out on a walk at night. Or you use them when you’re doing nocturnal tasks at your workshop or garage.
UV LED flashlights are generally built the same way as regular flashlights- They are built to be held in the hand. But they’re different from the ‘regular’ types because the light they produce comes from UV LEDs installed within them. The glow also tends to be purplish. You can expect a UV flashlight to produce light within the 370 to 395nm wavelengths.
Flashlights are powered by rechargeable or non-rechargeable batteries. The rechargeable batteries are typically included in the product package or pre-installed in the torch. Most non-rechargeable battery torches don’t come with the batteries required to make them work (usually 3 AA cells). If you’re getting any of those, you may have to buy the batteries separately. A few brands will include free non-rechargeable batteries in their product package.
Fully charged batteries should power your UV torch for up to 6 hours.
Here’s what a black light flashlight can do for you.
- Spot scorpions and other dangerous insects. Because scorpions shine when they are exposed to UV light, a black light torch is a good tool for finding them when they’re hidden.
- Find crop pests like vegetable worms that glow in the presence of UV light (at night).
- Discover pet urine stains on rugs and similar household material.
- Authenticate Identify Cards, passports, and currency. Anti-counterfeiting features will glow when they come under black light.
- Detect fuel or gas leaks.
- Observe minerals and gemstones.
Things to Consider Before Buying LED Black Light Flashlight
Here’s what you should have in your minds when prospecting for these flashlights.
- Battery Type
Can you afford to buy new batteries every time your torch needs some? Or would you prefer a flashlight you could charge through a power source?
Note that each type has its advantages and weak points. For instance, rechargeable flashlights discharge quicker than non-rechargeable flashlights.
If you can, you should get a flashlight with adjustable light focus. This lets you do multiple things with your torch; you can focus the light when you’re doing close-up work, and adjust for a broader spread of light if you want visibility over a wider area.
- Size and Weight
You will want a torch that’s light and small enough to carry in one hand without much difficulty. There’s a wide variety of sizes within the comfortable range that you can choose from. Some are just slightly larger than an average pen, and can easily fit into a pocket in your shorts. Others are somewhat bigger and may serve a different set of needs.
The durability of a flashlight will be partly dependent on the sort of material it’s made from. Your UV torch should be sturdy, able to withstand falls and collisions.
If you will be using the UV flashlight on objects with fluorescence (verifying ID cards or lighting up glow in the dark paint), you should be sure that the UV light it produces belongs to a wavelength that’s short enough.
Fluorescence is at its strongest with black lights that fall in the 360-365 nm wavelengths. Most LEDs emit UV lights in the longer wavelength, usually in the 385-400nm range. You could go for something in the lower end of this range, or even shorter, where you can find one.
LED Black Light Bar
LED black bar lights are similar to string lights. They’re both extended lighting fixtures and are designed to be placed on level surfaces. However, bar lights are built to be more permanent fixtures.
LED bar lights consist of a row of LEDs fixed into a rectangular casing made from a durable material (e.g. cast die aluminum). They could be between 1 ft and 5 ft long. Some bar lights can be connected to create an extended lighting fixture. They also come with a cord and plug with which they can be connected to a power source.
One type of LED bar light, the UV wall washer, has movable brackets on which it can be stood. These are deployed either to illuminate artwork on a wall or shine the light that bounces off walls to illuminate a room. The adjustable brackets allow it to be directed at specific angles, as the user would like.
Some LED blacklight bars are dimmable. You can go for those if you want to be able to switch between light intensities.
If you are careful enough with your light bars, they could last you well over a decade. Just be sure that the brand you purchase has a good warranty covering it, in case something goes wrong with your light early on.
Bar lights are used at bars, fluorescent parties, event centers, and art exhibitions.
How to Install LED Black Light Bar
- Choose an appropriate mounting location. This could be on straight and flat wall surfaces, shelves, or cabinets. This location should accommodate the wires you will run as well.
- Make sure there are no obstacles around the area in which you will be installing the bar. If you have shelving in the cabinet, you can remove them to make your work easier.
- Measure the space you have selected to determine dimensions that match your bar’s length. Mark the holes for the bar’s mounting bracket or feet. Make sure they can take drilling without getting damaged.
- Drill a hole in each marked position.
- Attach mounting clips to the holes using a screw (do this if you are using a bar light without mounting brackets).
- Press the LED bar light into the clip (for bars without mounting brackets) or screw the bar in place with nails (if they do have mounting brackets). Don’t tighten it too much if you’re using brackets if you’re going to adjust the beam angle later on.
- Connect the blacklight bar to the power source.
- If it’s a bar with a bracket, you may just beam angle if this is necessary. Tighten the screw.
Note: You may need a wiring harness to connect the bar to the power source. You can purchase this separately from the light bar.
Things to Consider Before Buying LED Black Light Bar
- Size of the Space
The bigger the space you have, the more black lights you will need to properly light it up. Most bedrooms will only require one or two bars. A full-sized football court may need up to eight.
- Mounting Hardware
You may prefer a fixture that can be screwed into place over one that fits into clips, or vice versa. Your decision here could be based on the ease of installation or the nature of the surface you are fixing the bar on.
- Cord Length
Think about the length of your fixture’s electric cord as well. Do you want to avoid long cords? Would you be comfortable with using an extension?
Brightness is measured in lumens. A 24 lumen (lm) lamp will be brighter than a 16 lm bulb. Some bars are dimmable, so you can control the degree of brightness they produce.
Some lighting will cost more than others. Although higher prices are often seen as an indicator of quality, it’s still possible to get a good product that’s also affordable.
Black Light Flood Light
Floodlights are large light fixtures used to illuminate large areas outdoors. They are often deployed to light up sporting events, such as lawn tennis games, or outdoor parties or concerts. They can also be used in a home yard.
LED blacklight floodlights perform some of these functions, but they are generally built for a slightly different set of purposes. Most of them are made the same way: square or rectangular boxes holding a series of LEDs behind a screen. You can check this article I wrote on the best blacklight for party and other uses
They typically have brackets with which they can be positioned or mounted, and a cord that can be plugged to a light source. Some of these brackets can be moved up to 180⁰. The more adjustable they are, the greater the degree of flexibility you have with directing their light.
Because they are used outdoors, they will also be waterproof, and able to withstand a variety of weather conditions, including rain and heat.
You would expect that lighting fixtures producing the amount of light that a LED floodlight does will emit a lot of heat as well. But LED usually doesn’t do this. And if your floodlight is built to release heat quickly (as any good floodlight is), you won’t have any significant issues with heat retention anyway.
A good LED UV floodlight should remain usable for a cumulative 50,000 hours.
Black light floodlights are commonly used as stage lighting in outdoor concerts, and as lights for outdoor parties. But they could also be installed indoors, in theaters for stage performances, and aquariums. If you’re into fishing, you could use it as your fishing black light.
How to Install Black Light Flood Light
- Choose the right location for the floodlight. Find out what spots need more light, and determine a point in which the floodlight can be installed. You might need a ladder to climb this place. When you do this, mark the spot with a visible tape
- Locate a power source. The source must be able to supply power adequate for the floodlight, without the risk of an overload.
- Fix the floodlight in the position you have marked out, and connect it to the power source with a cable. The higher your floodlight is set, the broader the lighting coverage it will provide. If you’re not certain that you can handle the wiring, you should get an electrician to help you do it.
- Test the light. Do this at night to see how well it works.
Things to Consider Before Buying LED Black Light Floodlight
If you are using the floodlight for an indoor party, it’s probably better to get one that emits light with brightness commensurate with the space you want to illuminate. But if it’s for a large concert, you may need several large floodlights.
- Beam Angle
A fixture’s beam angle is the angle at which is light is distributed. Floodlights with wider beam angles will cover larger areas.
Whether you’re using the lights indoors or outdoors, you want it to last for a long time. Before making a purchase, check its lifespan, waterproof status, and ability to withstand various weather conditions, laid out in its product description.
LED blacklight floodlights are available at a wide range of prices. Compare the prices of your preferred options and go for the one that you can afford. But don’t sacrifice quality for the price; if you do, you may end up paying for a new floodlight much earlier than you should.
Black Light Penlight
Penlights are like smaller versions of regular flashlights. They are shaped like a pen (they are not much bigger than one) and have the characteristic pen clip with which they can be clipped to a shirt or shorts. Most are small enough to slip into a pocket.
The size and weight of penlights make them very comfortable to carry around. Most are between 5 and 6 inches long and weigh just a couple of ounces. Despite their size, they can emit very bright light.
If you’re buying a LED UV penlight, look for one that’s made out of durable material (aluminum alloy for instance) and waterproof. These features will help it survive falls and heavy rain—both events that could happen given the size of this tool and what it’s used for.
The power for penlights is usually provided by two AAA batteries. In most cases, you will have to purchase them separately from the light.
This light is used in situations that require you to move about and shine the light on specific spots. This includes finding scorpions and other insects that glow under UV light, inspecting rugs and other material for pet or rodent urine, and authenticating currency notes and identity cards.
Things to Consider Before Buying LED Black Light Pen Light
There are several penlight designs you can choose from. Some look plain and austere; others are stylish and built to impress. Go for one that suits your aesthetic tastes.
There’s no point having a fine penlight that isn’t light and easy to carry. Convenience is the reason why there’s such a thing as a penlight in the first place.
You should buy a penlight that runs on batteries that are widely available at the stores. Most lights of this kind will require AA or AAA batteries.
A penlight’s runtime is the number of hours it can stay on for until it stops shining. The runtime for these lights varies very widely. Some will last barely three hours; others could stay on for up to 18 hours. This may be determined by the lumens (brightness) of the light. The brighter the illumination from the torch, the shorter its runtime is likely to be.
Black Light for Party and Stage Decoration
What kind of black lights should you use at your party or concerts?
The answer to this question will depend on the type of event you’ll be illuminating with the black light and their specific function will be.
If you are organizing an indoor party, say a Halloween event, birthday party or fluorescent party, you could use one or a combination of these:
- Black light bar
- Black light strip
- Black light bulb
You may use floodlights as well, but be sure that they aren’t too bright for the space you’ll be deploying them to.
If you’re organizing an event outdoors, like a concert, for instance, you could use UV floodlights. They could cover larger areas if they are set high enough. They are also the preferred choice for stage lighting.
Black light bulbs can also be used at smaller outdoor parties if they can be positioned well enough to cover the area in which the event will take place.
Black Light for DJs
Disk Jockeys want to bring their audiences to life with the music they play. Their cause will be helped if the lighting adds to the excitable mood at their event. They will often turn to retro lights or LED-powered projector lights to make this happen.
Of all the LED black light fixtures, DJs prefer floodlights and light bars. UV panels are used fairly frequently as well. Floodlights are a better option for outdoor use. Black light strips may be used in DJ booths.
If you’re looking for something that works perfectly for DJs, seek out a black light with multiple light settings. For instance, the Chauvet DJ LED shadow has built-in programs that let the user adjust its flash rate so that it produces regular flashes of light. It also has a microphone sensitivity function that makes it responsive to sound.
Black Light Safety Precautions
Most of the ultraviolet light that humans get exposed to comes from the sun. And most of that is UV-A light. The risk of getting negatively affected by UV light from natural sources is fairly limited. There’s a greater chance that this happens with exposure to artificial lights.
Generally, UV lights are considered unsafe if they fall within the 240nm and 315nm wavelengths. This encompasses some UV-C and all UV-B light. Black lights are in the UV-A spectrum (315nm-400nm) so they are usually safer.
However, you do have to be careful with black lights when you use them. Risks associated with using UV lights may include:
- Damage to the eyes caused by looking directly at it for prolonged periods
- Skin redness within 4 and 24 hours after exposure. Longer-term effects may include aging skin, the destruction of skin DNA, and skin cancer
There are also more general concerns such as bulb explosion and exposure to harmful substances, which may arise with regular lights as well.
Here’s how to stay safe while using your black lights.
- Find Out What Regulations Say
Local authorities may have safety standards for black lights that you should be aware of. Find out what they are, and make sure the black lights you purchase meet those specifications.
- Check Product Description
Read the product description to find out if there are safety measures recommended by the manufacturer. There could be extra safety steps you need to take besides the ones you already know.
- Don’t Look Directly at the Light
If you look directly at UV light, if you do, the outer layers of your eyes (your cornea and conjunctiva) could absorb UV radiation. The radiation may cause a temporary inflammation in your cornea. Prolonged exposure could lead to permanent damage to your retina, a condition commonly called ‘snow blindness’.
- Check for Damage
Before installing or using a LED black light, look for cracks, damaged diodes, or exposed wiring. These things may cause the light bulb not to work. They also pose a danger to the user, as they are bare points of contact with electricity (if they are connected to a power source that’s switched on).
- Use the Right Power Supply
Make sure the lighting demands of your LED black light fixture are compatible with your power source. For instance, don’t power a 12V DC LED light with a 24V DC power supply. This could damage the LED light and even cause a fire.
- Take Protective Measures Where Necessary
Some salons dry polished fingernails with LED black lights. There are concerns in medical circles that this prolonged and close-quarter exposure to UV light could lead to cancer in the long term. There isn’t a lot of evidence to confirm that this happens, but it’s always better to take precautionary measures in this case.
If you’re curing your fingernails with LED black lights, you could wear fingerless gloves or put sunscreen on your hands to protect against any possible skin damage.
There are so many uses to which black light can be put, and several technologies that produce it as well. LED black lights represent the most efficient of those technologies, as far as energy savings, heat dissipation and lifespan are concerned.
Whatever you’ll be using them for, be sure to check your lamp’s product descriptions and manuals to see if they’re what you want. Also, look up reviews where they can be found. These measures will help you make the right buying decision.
LED black lights are safe to use for the most part, but you’ll still need to keep your guards up. Ascertain that they aren’t broken before using them; plug them to a power source that supplies at least enough watts for them, and don’t look directly at the lamp.
The information we’ve shared here should help make your experience with LED black lights a lot more pleasant.