What Is A Black light?



Black light is light that is black in color instead of the usual white or clear and are not use in flashlights. They normally make objects to glow in the dark when they are switched on. Fluorescent, neon and white colors are most affected. It was invented in the year 1935 by William H. Byler. Black light is commonly used in novelty locations like bowling alleys, concerts, amusement parks and night clubs. Other areas that they may be found in are haunted houses, Halloween-themed parties and teens rooms. Black light is useful in used to locate any leak in machines, in crime scenes and to differentiate authentic and fake antiques. The human eye can see visible light naturally and this ranges from violet, blue, green, yellow, orange and red. Beyond violet, there is ultra-violet also known as UV and the human eye cannot see it. 3 kinds of UV light are UVC light, UVB light and UVA light.

Phosphors are responsible for the visible glowing effect. When exposed to sufficient radiation, phosphor produces visible light. That is why black light shines UV rays on phosphors, it results in visible light. Therefore, all objects that glow in the dark have phosphors.

Types of blacklight

Black light falls in 2 major categories i.e. Incandescent black light and Tube black light. The two operate in a similar manner in the production of UV light that reacts with phosphors.




This type emits 4 times as many microwatts for every square centimeter of light energy compared to incandescent blacklights. It is totally covered in phosphor coating that is responsible for emitting UVA light. Its black glass does not permit visible light to pass through, it only allows violet light, blue and UVA. Fluorescent blacklights are normally in form of black light tubes or spiral compact fluorescent lights also known as CFLs. CFLs are known to be environmentally friendly and energy-efficient as compared to incandescent black lights.

Bug zapper tubes

They do not use Wood’s glass instead have a U.V transmissive glass and phosphor (glow near UV). When not lit, it is white but turns blue when it is lit. Its combination of visible light and UV light attracts most kinds of insects. Bug zapper tubes also have industrial uses and can be used to provide stage lighting effects.


This type does not emit much UV and that is what is responsible for the dramatic effect of blacklights. This blacklight is known to become quite hot when in use. Therefore, it must be utilized very carefully and in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions. In addition, it is not wise to use a higher wattage for any incandescent fixture. This means that if it is rated 60 watts then that should not be exceeded under any circumstance or it might be a danger to the user.




Black lights are common today as they can be bought from an array of home improvement stores. Black lights are available in energy-efficient models that protect the environment. These lights are easy to clean, use and have a transformative effect to homes hence ideal for setting certain moods.