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ATEX and IEC Ex Flame-proof Explosion Proof Lighting & Equipment
Explosion Proof Lights
Explosion Proof Motors - Motors for Hazardous Locations
Industrial and Vaporproof Emergency Failsafe Lighting
Industrial Cord Reels and Tool Taps
Industrial Work Area Heaters
Machine Vision Lights
QC Series Industrial Portable Lighting - Quick Change Mount
Rig Lights
Stadium lights
String Lights and Temporary Light Stringers
Tank Cleaning Lights
Three Phase Motor Soft Starters
Vapor Proof LED Lights
Variable Frequency Drives (VFDs)
Vehicle Mounting Plates
Workboat Light Fixtures & Lighting Equipment
Yacht Engine Room Lights
Color Changing LED RGB Lighting
Explosion Proof Cord Reels
GOLIGHT Spotlights
Larson FUTURE - Lease Lighting
Remote Area Lighting and Scene Lights
Utility Bucket Mount, Receiver Hitch & Trailer Mount Lighting
Aevum Control Lighting and Equipment - IIoT
Butane and Solvent Extraction Room Lighting and Equipment
DC to DC Transformers and Power Supplies
Explosion Proof Fans & Blowers
Explosion Proof Paint Spray Booth Approved Lights
Explosion Proof String Lights
Explosion Proof Switchgear & Controls
Fleet Service Lights and Lighting Equipment
Industrial Equipment Trailers
Industrial Handlamps & Droplights
ISO 14644/FS-209E Clean Room Lighting
LED Blasting Lights
Night Time Fishing Lights
Portable AC Power Supply Units
Portable Power Distribution Panels
Power Distribution Panels with KVA Transformers
Self-Contained Lighting
Service Pit Lighting
Solar Generators & Solar Powered Lighting
Agricultural Farm Equipment Lighting & Beacons
Explosion Proof Cameras & Surveillance Systems
Explosion Proof Emergency Lights
Explosion Proof Heaters
Garage & Gas Station Canopy Lights
LED Grow Lights
LED Lights
NDT Ultraviolet Lights
Portable Hazardous Location Lighting
Radio Communication Towers and Equipment
Salt Water Processing Equipment
Shelter & Tent Lighting
Thermal Monitoring Cameras and Systems
48V LED Equipment Lights
ATEX Rated Explosion Proof Lights
Automotive Lighting
Class Rated Signals, Alarms, and Systems
Hazardous Location Area Lights and Portable Lighting
HID Equipment Lights
Hot Work Permit Lighting and Equipment
Hunting Lights
Industrial lasers
Industrial Transformers
Light Towers
Outdoor Lighting
Remote Security and Surveillance Systems
Temporary Construction Lights
Vehicle Mounted Spotlights
Equipment & Heavy Machinery LED Light Package Fitouts
Phase Converters - Single to Three Phase
Marine Shore Power Cords and Equipment
24 Volt Military Lights
Disaster Relief / First Responders / Search & Rescue Lighting
Plastic Handcuff Key
110/120 Volt Flood Lights
Post Mount Spotlights
Magnetic Work Lights
Crank-up Light Masts
Intrinsically Safe Lights
Military Flashlights
LED Waterproof Lanterns
Work Area Lights
12 Volt Flood Lights
Boat Spotlights
New Boat Lights
HID Boat Lights
Boat Dock Lights
Remote Control Lights
Control Lights
Tow Lights
Magnetic Control Lights
NEW Lights and New Products
Evaporative Coolers
Police Equipment
AC/DC Transformers
Power Supplies
Military Spotlights 24V
Infrared Filters, Covert Covers, and Blackout IR Lenses
Military Equipment
Ultralife Batteries
Remote Control Pan Tilt Base
Larson Electronics Spotlights
Larson Electronics Parts
Replacement Lamps
Cords - Brackets
Portable Wheeled Generators
Non-Hazardous Location Extension Cords / Plugs / Outlets
HID Work Lights
HID Dive Lights
HID Off Road Lights
Acro Lights HID Lights
Halogen Lights
Acro Light Flashlight
Xenon HID Flashlights
Powerlight Flashlight
HID Flashlights
Xenon Flashlights
LED Status Lights
Forklift Lights
Tractor Lights
HID Post Mount Lights
Roof Mount Lights
Post Mount Light parts
Flashlight Holder
Magnet Spotlight Base
Tripods-Magnetic Base
Recharging Spotlights
Fire Rescue Lights
LED Street Lights
Utility Lights
Hazard Lights
Strobe Lights - Battery Operated
Strobes & Beacons
Strobe Light Bars
Headlights - Headlamps - Hard Hat Lights
Suction Mount Lights
Magnetic Spotlights
12/24 Volt Spotlights
Gifts For Men
New 12 / 24 Volt Lights
Explosion Proof Accessories and Replacement Parts
Explosion Proof Lighting
Explosion Proof Hand Lamps (Drop Lights)
Explosion Proof Lights - Stand/Dolly
Explosion Proof Tank Lights
Explosion Proof Phones and Intercoms
Explosion Proof Extension Cords
Black Friday & Cyber Monday Specials
Crane Lights
Explosion Proof Light Rentals
General Light Rentals
Light Tower and Light Plant Rentals
Power Distribution Rentals
Power Plant Lighting
Refinery lights
Environmental Services Lights
Aerospace Lights
Chemical Plant Lights
Food Grade Safe Lights
Film and Entertainment Lights
Handheld Meters and Devices
Waste Water Treatment Lights
Mining Lights
Ship Yard Lights
Work Site Lighting

04/17/11 The Practical Side of Ultraviolet Light

Chances are your only real familiarity with ultraviolet light has been with the classic two foot long tubes sold in novelty stores that lit up your old Jimi Hendrix poster back in 1981. Although the most common, these simple fluorescent tubes represent only a tiny fraction of the real practical uses that UV light provides. In the most basic of terms, UV light is light emitted just above the range at which human eyes are able to perceive light. Some objects become “fluorescent” or more accurately, fluoresce, because when exposed to UV light they tend to very readily absorb light in this range of the light spectrum, then immediately re-radiate that same light, only at a spectrum that is then visible to the naked eye. Although the light emitted in the ultraviolet spectrum is for practical intents all the same color, the light radiated by different objects exposed to the same UV light appears as different colors because the different properties of different materials tends to cause them to re-radiate UV light at different wavelengths. This is why your old Jimi Hendrix poster had all those cool greens, reds and blues when you flicked on the old black light.

Similarly, different material textures can also have an effect on how an object radiates the UV energy it absorbs. A smooth piece of aluminum for instance may not appear to fluoresce much at all, but break that same piece of aluminum in half and the rough and jagged edges will show a much different appearance as the UV light is no longer being re-radiated evenly and the rough edges tend to break up the uniformity of the radiated UV light. A practical example of this would be an inspector checking an aircraft’s fuselage for damage. By applying a fluorescent chemical to improve detection and passing a UV light over the aircraft’s aluminum surface, hairline cracks that were previously invisible to the naked eye are revealed, signaling a possible structural safety problem that could have easily gone unnoticed.

UV light is a natural part of the light spectrum and is emitted by the sun on a constant basis. The sun emits UV along the entire UV spectrum, but only part of this light makes it to earth, which is lucky for us since things would be a bit uncomfortable if the full force of the sun’s UV radiation were to reach us. Imagine a barbeque with you as the main course.


UV-A: UV light used in commercial applications such as the aforementioned aircraft inspection is generally produced in the 400nm-315nm range and is known as UV-A. This is the longest of the UV wavelengths as well as the safest UV range has it holds the least energy. This is the one that lights up our old posters, the ones we threw away once we grew up, or not. We’re not here to judge, just talk UV light, so everyone can relax.

UV-B: The next UV range is the 315nm-280nm portion of the light spectrum, known as UV-B. More than likely, you are more familiar with this one than you realize as it’s the part of the UV spectrum largely responsible for all those nasty sunburns. Although a very aggressive form of UV, this part of the UV spectrum remains quite useful in commercial applications.

UV-C: The last of the UV range is made up of the 280nm-100nm range and is known as UV-C. This end of the UV spectrum is generally only encountered with artificial sources as the earth’s atmosphere tends to completely absorb it before it can penetrate to the surface. UV light in this range is quite powerful and dangerous, yet still has practical uses in commercial and industrial applications.


Most commercial and practical industrial uses of UV light take advantage of the way objects fluoresce when exposed to it. In commercial settings these applications are quite varied. As well as our previous safety inspector example, UV light is used to inspect antiques and valuables for condition and authenticity. Consider that before 1950, paper was made simply by purifying and compressing wood fibers. After 1950, paper manufacturers began adding special chemicals that react with UV light, causing their paper products to appear whiter. Thus, if a would be seller of antique books wishes to authenticate a particularly old volume, one of the ways this would be done would be to expose it to UV light. If the pages fluoresce beyond what is expected of “clean” paper, the book is likely a reproduction and not an original.

Similarly, banks and law enforcement agencies make use of UV in much the same way.  Certain paper money is impregnated with materials that fluoresce a specific color when exposed to UV light, giving banks and police investigators an easy way to quickly determine a real bill from a counterfeit. UV light is also useful in law enforcement as certain organic materials will readily fluoresce although they are invisible to the naked eye. Blood, semen, urine and other bodily fluids will readily fluoresce when treated with a compound such as luminol and then exposed to UV radiation if even small trace amounts are left behind, giving investigators an effective way to locate and identify evidence that once was undetectable.

UV light also holds a great deal of usefulness in military applications as well. Identification papers, object and personnel markers and even some covert operations equipment make use of UV light to provide fast, accurate and easy verifications. Combined with a portable source of UV light like a Larson Electronics  UV LED Pistol Grip Spotlight, fluorescent dyes, markers and materials can be used to identify friendly forces from long distances, mark locations and objects for later covert reference and even as a covert light source for certain types of specialized night vision devices.

To be certain, the above is only demonstrative of a tiny fraction of the practical uses associated with UV light. UV light can be used to sterilize foods and chemicals, purify water, speed up the curing process of adhesives, assist in medical procedures, test and identify manufactured goods and hundreds more uses it would take volumes to list and explain. Suffice it to say, UV light is more than just a cool novelty, it’s an effective tool that has led to improvements we benefit from every day of our lives.     

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