Ultraviolet lamps emit light waves that fall within the ultraviolet range of the light spectrum. The amount of visible light they produce will vary based on certain features of the light bulb. In addition to providing varied visual effects, they can perform unique functions that make them useful for many applications.
UV lamps are categorized according to a range of different features, including the bulb type and the wavelength of ultraviolet light they produce. Some of the most common are UVA, UVB, UVC. All of these ultraviolet light bulbs will give off wavelengths of light that are shorter and are measured in nanometers. Light energy within this range will produce some notable effects.
Other ultraviolet lamps used in medical facilities include UV lamps that are known as bilirubin bulbs. These lamps are used in phototherapy equipment, which treats skin conditions and can reduce increased levels of bilirubin in the blood.
In the commercial market, UVA ultraviolet lamps are among the more familiar. These lamps include blacklight blue (BLB) bulbs, which are used to make certain pigments, inks, and coatings fluoresce. They are useful for detecting certain substances, including security inks, traces of certain chemicals, and for creating dramatic lighting effects in entertainment venues, displays, and more. These bulbs include a special filter to suppress visual light.
Regular blacklight ultraviolet bulbs do not have this filter and are used to attract insects to observation traps and bug zappers. They are also common in tanning beds and in UV curing lamps, which will harden UV-reactive resins and other polymers.
UVB bulbs are more specific, in that they are primarily used in reptile habitats. They may not be as readily available from major retailers but they can be sourced from specialty and authorized light bulb distributors.
Ultraviolet lamps are frequently fluorescent, incandescent, and mercury vapor bulbs that are specifically designed to emit certain wavelengths of UV light. LED UV lights have also recently become available but they can only emit the lowest UV energy photons.
When large quantities of UV lamps are needed by OEMs, they will purchase them directly from the bulb manufacturer. If single units or small quantities are required to replace a bulb, a dedicated light bulb distributor will fulfill such needs and can provide advice on identifying and selecting the most appropriate product for a fixture or purpose.
Is a UV light the same as a black light?
A blacklight in the conventional sense will usually refer to blacklight blue, UV-A lights that are used to fluoresce and illuminate certain pigments, coatings, inks, and other substances. Black lights emit long-wave UV light energy. The addition of a filter will further reduce the amount of visible light produced by these bulbs.
Are UV lamps dangerous?
Almost all ultraviolet radiation can be a risk factor for developing certain skin cancers. The risk factor will increase with the type of ultraviolet light energy and the duration and frequency of exposure. For example, UVA bulbs have longer wavelengths and are closer to the spectrum of visible light.
Occasional exposure to UVA light from blacklight and blacklight blue will not be as dangerous as exposure to UVB lightwaves, which can cause sunburns, and UVC germicidal lights, which can pose more serious risks of cancer and skin damage.