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Ultraviolet Light - 10 Interesting Facts!

1. UV light lies in the invisible spectrum hence the name ‘black light’.



2. UV light is usually invisible, but depending on the conditions it can sometimes be seen down to about 310nm.

3. UVA (315 – 400nm) is commonly used for tanning, aquarium lighting, inspection equipment, glow lights, entertainment uses etc.


4. UVB (280 – 315nm) is used for medical treatments, curing, water purification, forensic analysis, grow lights etc.

5. UVC (200-280nm) is highly dangerous and can cause damage to eyes and skin. It is germicidal and can be used for air sterilisation. It penetrates the membrane of germs, bacteria, mould and dust mites, eliminating them.

6. UV light can be seen by bees – it reflects off flower petals and the bees use it to direct themselves to the pollen.


7. The lifetime of traditional mercury lamps is just 2000 hours - UV LED’s have a lifetime of at least 20,000 hours.

8. The market for UV LED’s is expanding rapidly, expected to reach $150m by 2016.

9. Scorpions glow blue or green under UV light due to the presence of fluorescent chemicals.


10. UV light can be used to treat some skin conditions such as vitiligo, eczema and psoriasis. This is known as light therapy or phototherapy.

TSLC offer a range of UVA LED’s and ILS have put these on boards to make them easy for customers to integrate into designs, now available to buy from RS Components:

TSLC UV LED's available from RS Components

Picture credits:

"Scorpion Under Blacklight edit" by The original uploader was Jonbeebe at English Wikipedia - Transferred from en.wikipedia to Commons.. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Commons -

"Bumblebee 05" by I, Tony Wills. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Commons -

ILS is a division of Intelligent Group Solutions Ltd (IGS) a well-established and respected industry leading display and opto-electronics solutions provider. IGS’ provides semi-custom or custom products both in component and sub-assembly form. All the senior staff have been involved with the opto-electronics industry for at least 20 years and are dedicated to ensuring that ILS is an innovative and highly successful operation.


April 30, 2021 15:09

very insreting

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September 7, 2020 10:40

Is there a filter available to remove any visible light and just pass the UV?
Has the market or product ranges evolved over the last 5 years?

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September 10, 2020 08:33

@Boss Thanks for the comment!

The filter all depends on what type of LED is being used, and whether you are trying to remove all traces of visible light, or just simply trying to remove the blue element – Let us know some further info and I can provide you with a more specific answer.

The market and product ranges certainly have evolved in recent years, particularly with the new-found importance for sterilisation, purification and disinfection.
Check out this more recent article on UV and our latest LED product ranges here -

September 10, 2020 08:32

@ILS Thanks for the reply. I'm interested in trying gemstone detection on the coast i.e. wet sand and shingle. I have read gemstones emit visible light (fluorescence?) when they are excited by UV, but the problem is the fluorescence is small although visible to the eye and can often be swamped by any visible light emitted by the source which reflects from the wet surfaces.
It's just a general interest I have had for a long time, but as UV LED's extend into UVC wavelengths and come down in price it makes this long term experimental project ever more feasible! As to whether its all visible light or just blue I am unsure, but certainly reducing any visible light would help.
Regarding the article related to UV and viruses it is very interesting and I also see articles on robotic devices performing this function very exciting, certainly, dentists could benefit from this now with their very strict sterilization and cleaning between patients but I have not seen it being applied.

September 5, 2016 13:50

Polymer Optics now produce standard LED optics for UV applications. These optics are made in high quality optical silicone resin, so they transmit across the UV range and suffer no degradation. The optics are available from stock in two designs - a collimator for beam projection and a concentrator for light insertion applications - and these are supplied with various holder options to correctly mount the optic to the particular LED package.

More info at and by contacting us directly.

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