Ultraviolet Light Article
The ultraviolet flashlight can be very useful and used for a wide variety of purposes.
There are several professions that use UV (blacklights) to get work done.For example air conditioning repairman and automobile repair, primarily radiator and a/c repair. They inject an liquid ultraviolet dye into the system and use the uv flashlight to find any leaks. The dye will fluoresce (glow) in the presence of the uv light making the leak easy to spot.
Police forensics specialists also use UV light to identify substances (like bodily fluids) and take fingerprints. Some of these operations require another chemical to make the item fluoresce. Others, like counterfeit bill or ID detection can be done with just the light. By shining the UV light on a $20 bill for example you can see the inset authenticity strip inside the bill.
Consumer uses include scorpion hunting (the little devils glow brightly at night when under a UV light) and sanitation. If you travel, you might like to check out the bathroom of the hotel or motel where you stay. Human waste like urine will fluoresce and if its not cleaned up properly, you'll easily be able to see it in a darkened room. (Darkening the room will allow you to see the contrast of the fluorescence better as will orange tinted glasses). Also check out the bedspread, sheets and the remote control and doorknobs. You cannot avoid touching these things so you should find out if its safe to do so. You will soon learn to do this first thing after checking in and bring some disposable alcohol wipes with you. In a similar vein, UV light is useful in detecting pet stains both old or new. By knowing the extent of the stain you can do a better job of cleaning it completely.
Now, what kind of blacklight is best for your purpose?
For most consumer needs the flashlight design using leds for the light source will prove to be most reliable and convenient. The leds last almost forever and draw less power making your batteries go farther.
Safety considerations: The uv lights with an output in the 395nM (nanometer) range or higher will usually not require any ancillary safety equipment as this is considered long wave radiation and not dangerous for occasional use. Of course, you should not stare directly into the light for any length of time.
There are many Other UV light uses. This subject will be explored in future articles.
The author runs the Defensedevices.com website and has been dealing with uv lights for the last 6 years. To see more ultraviolet lights visit the Ultraviolet Lights category on the left.