How UV Bulbs Work

UV Bulbs emit a purple glowing light, commonly used at discos, amusement parks and bowling alleys. UV Light is often referred to as black light, they are very similar to fluorescent and luminescent lights. But these lights do something completely different from others; Turn the lights on and these UV bulbs will make white objects like shoes, t-shirts, socks and even teeth, glow in the dark.

If you put a fluorescent picture in your room and shine some black light on it, the picture will become radiant. There are also many currency notes with special characters and patterns printed on them that can only be seen under black light. Have you wondered why does it happen? How does your stuff start to glow when you are under a black light? This article will explain you the working behind this.

Our human eye can only see some light spectrums. We can see colored lights like red, orange, yellow, green, blue and violet. After violet comes ultra violet. This type of light is not visible through the naked eye. If you switch on a black light, you see purple or violet light. What you cannot see is the ultraviolet light produced by the bulb. The bulb only produces UVA light, which is least harmful for the eye.

The glowing t-shirts and socks ‘magic’, as some may call it, is possible because of a substance known as Phosphors. Phosphors are tiny particles used to coat any bulb or tube-light. These particles convert UV wavelength photons into visible and UV light. The energy released by the photons reacts with the Phosphors to create white light. In the case of a black light, the outer part of the glass is coated with a special type of Phosphors coating. This coating disables UV B and UV C rays to pass from the bulb. This also does not allow much visible light to pass through because of the black color of the bulb. The question still remain that how do our white clothes glow. Well, this is because the detergents used to wash clothes also contain some amount of Phosphor that makes UV light turn into white light.

UV lights are famous all around the globe. These lights are used for many different purposes. Also, the glowing in the dark gives a cool and funky feeling to the environment. Black lights are also used in clubs, which takes the dance floor to a whole new level.

UV Bulbs (like this one) can also be used in ponds to help keep the water clean. What other uses for UV Bulbs can you think of? 

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