UV flashlights reveal the invisible. They are the item you need for so many things and you likely didn’t even know it. They turn you from humble you in to Spy Extraordinaire with the click of a button. In fact, UV flashlights are akin to magic, they are so versatile.
However, first of all you need to know why they work for a range of applications. Sorry, we’re dispelling the magic. Secondly, you need to know which UV flashlight you need for your specific purpose.
What is a UV flashlight?
A UV flashlight may seem like magic, but actually it’s just pure physics. Before you switch off, it’s not complicated and we promise it is interesting.
A UV flashlight emits ultraviolet (UV) light which isn’t visible to the human eye. When UV light lands on an object you see a bright glow if they contain fluorescence. These same objects don’t appear to glow under normal, or ‘white’ light. It’s all about a fancy-pants thing call luminescence – the ability for something to glow without a heat source. Ok, yes, we’re back to magic.
A UV flashlight looks much like any other standard flashlight. It’s hand held and goes on and off at the click of a button. The difference is that the light it emits is UV using LEDs. These are available in various different sizes including 9 LED flashlights, 21 LED flashlights and 51 LED flashlights. The difference is simply about size which effectively determines the strength or range of the flashlight.
UV flashlights aren’t strong enough to cause any trouble. You may have heard about the dangers of UV light. Our flashlights aren’t in that territory. They are strong enough to play with the fluorescence effect.
What can UV flashlights be used for?
Now you’re talking. In a way the science or magic doesn’t matter as long as they work for you. So do you need a UV flashlight in your arsenal?
The answer is absolutely yes. They can be used for an enormous range of things:
- Be a detective: UV flashlights turn you from being Joe Bloggs in to Sherlock Holmes. Indeed, modern forensics relies heavily on UV light. It can help uncover fingerprints, blood and other bodily fluids. Before you start picking on your younger sibling as a victim, probably of more use to you as a member of the public is the UV flashlight used to detect counterfeit currency (hence their use in shops). You can also use it to determine the authenticity of a range of different official documents including passports and licenses too.
- Go on the hunt: UV flashlights are great for revealing a lurking scorpion, shifty bed bugs and other insects. Don’t say we didn’t warn you – but now you know! At least if you uncover something you can now get set to removing or avoiding it.
- Uncover that smell: UV flashlights are great for determining urine left for you by your not-so-house-trained pets or vermin. This can help you to track and eliminate any odour. It can also help you identify where vermin are entering or if they’ve succeeded in getting in to your secret stash of chocolate.
- Be clever: Inspecting a gem? Want to know if that jewel is worth a penny or two? A UV flashlight will make you look like a pro. Indeed, gemmologists and jewellers will have a UV flashlight in their toolkit. It reveals impurities and flaws in a way the naked eye can’t.
- Be beautiful: No, we’re not talking home tanning beds! But you can use a UV flashlight to cure some gel nail polishes. Additionally, the UV light can also prove helpful if you suffer from eczema, psoriasis or vitiligo.
- On the door: Bouncers and those at venues manning re-admittance can use UV flashlights along with special stamps. When someone tries to claim they’ve already paid, you can simply reveal the truth.
Which UV flashlight should I choose?
As we said, much of the difference between types of UV flashlights is simply about size. That’s assuming you’ve chosen a reputable supplier like Glowsticks.
If you’re looking elsewhere, you need to check the wavelength is correct. You need the right wavelength. Look for UV flashlights which are labelled above 365nm. That’s a measure of wavelength and will ensure you get one which picks up the fluorescent glow you want.
A handheld UV flashlight is best for most applications. The combination of the number of UV LED bulbs and the battery power are sufficient to get the job done. If you want the UV flashlight running continually, then you’ll need a more industrial variant. You can buy these here.
So what will you be?
Detective, gemmologist, spy, bouncer or beautician? What will you be once you get your hands on some UV flashlights?