During the 90s, the blacklight tube, along with the lava lamps, was one of the most popular decoration elements in youth rooms. About 20 years later, the light, which in the dark can shine many objects, not only visitors of discotheques again. Even in domestic climes, it is great.
What is blacklight?
Blacklight – an often heard and often used the term. Undoubtedly many of you have seen it somewhere before. But what exactly is blacklight, how does it work and what can you do with it?
Blacklight is the colloquial term for ultraviolet radiation (short UV radiation) and here especially for the range of UV-A radiation. UV radiation is electromagnetic radiation. Being outside of the human visible light spectrum of 400 to 700 nm, we can not perceive it.
The necessary accessories for black light
Of course, we have a lot in our online shop ready, with which you can conjure without light artisan skill or crafting blacklight in his apartment.
Areas of application and occurrences of black light
In the natural range, ultraviolet light occurs in solar radiation, in the polar light or thunderstorm lightning. However, it can also be generated artificially. For example, with a so-called low-pressure gas discharge lamp (similar to the fluorescent lamp), the so-called black light tube – or with the help of ultraviolet light-emitting diodes – the black light LED. It is mainly used in discotheques or is used to show effects. Its effect unfolds only in darkened rooms. The radiation excites neon colors and other fluorescent substances to glow (for example, the often-used optical brightener in many detergents).
Furthermore, the radiation is used to detect various security features on important documents (such as identity documents) or means of payment (euro bills) as well as neon stamps, which are today often used as tickets for concerts, for example. Another application for blacklight is mineralogy. For some years, the so-called blacklight tattoos are on the rise, where a fluorescent color under the skin, which then shines under black light.
Blacklight at home
Of course, black light is now also available in handy sizes and at low prices for home use. You can use it as a whim to set your own four walls cool. The following things should be considered:
- The appropriate size of the black light bulb (you should choose the size of the lamp as needed if you only want to illuminate a blacklight poster, then a short tube, but the whole room should be “lit,” then you should certainly use several large tubes)
- Darken room (important for using black light is that your room is dark or no sunlight is shining in)
- Fluorescent materials (only black light alone is not enough to create great effects – there must also be materials that make the black light shine … here you can see the poster, blacklight marker, blacklight cord, powder or tape help)
Blacklight: Do it yourself?
Ultraviolet light surrounds us unnoticed every day because it is also included in the spectrum of sunlight. Of course, we can not just filter it out and catch it there. How to easily build a black light bulb yourself, we show the following two tricks.
For the quickie in between
Always with us is our smartphone. And this is the perfect basis for a quick life hack to conjure black light. All you need is transparent tape and a blue and violet permanent marker :
- Stick a small piece of tape over the flashlight of the phone.
- Paint this layer of adhesive tape with the blue marker.
- Stick the second piece of tape over it.
- Also, stain this layer blue again.
- Stick the third layer of adhesive tape on it.
- Paint the piece with the purple marker.
And already the mobile black light on the smartphone is ready and operational! Very fast and easy. Of course, the performance is not a true blacklight tube, but it still works well enough to see the effect.
For the more patient hobbyists
Also very handy and always with you can have small LED flashlights. These can quickly produce black light with a few simple steps. For this you only need appropriate LEDs (best in the range 365 – 385 nm) and a bit of tool:
- First, the back cover and the battery are removed.
- With a screwdriver can now carefully the front unit with the LEDs are removed. It is usually easy to squeeze out.
- The ultraviolet ones now replace the normal LEDs. Attention, use with the correct polarity!
- Now test the lamp once and when all the LEDs light up reassemble.
For this construction guide, it may be advisable to have some experience with LEDs. In principle, it is not difficult and the more elaborate Fummelarbeit worth it – because such a black light flashlight is convenient!
Why do you need a black light to go?
There are moments when it is quite convenient to have a small black light.
In restaurants and hotels
For example, who has never stood in front of a seemingly clean toilet or officially fresh sheets in a hotel room and wondered how clean and fresh they are? A little examination with a black light can provide clarity here because urine and other body fluids with high protein content glow in blacklight. They contain fluorescent molecules that glow under the shortwave, high-energy light of an ultraviolet lamp. Therefore, UV lamps are ideal for finding such stains on carpet and upholstery.
For party animals
Even at parties, a black light is always good. If you are the host yourself and want to create a fun effect, you can, for example, make ice cubes from Tonic Water. The bitter substances contained therein are a natural, fluorescent source and make the drinking glasses light up blue.
Who wants to be beautiful …
And finally, in the beauty industry, the black light has arrived. In addition to glowing nail polishes and make-up products, UV tattoos are also becoming increasingly popular. So who would like to wear body jewelry, without it is immediately apparent – for the “black light ink” is ideal?