What is Blacklight?

Black light is a light that’s black in color instead of the clear or white lights normally used in flashlights. Black light makes objects to glow in the dark when turned on. Fluorescent, neon, and white colors are the most affected.

Invented in 1935 by William H. Byler, it’s now commonly used in novelty locations. Some of these include bowling alleys, concerts, amusement parks and night clubs. Black lights can also be found in haunted houses, Halloween-themed parties, and teen rooms.

Black light is useful in locating leaks in machines, analyzing crime scenes, and authenticating antiques.

The human eye can naturally see visible light including violet, blue, green, yellow, orange, and red. Beyond violet there is ultra-violet light (also known as UV). The human eye cannot see UV light.

The 3 kinds of UV light are UVC light, UVB light, and UVA light.

Types of Black Light

Black light falls in 2 major categories: incandescent light and tube black light. The two operate similarly during the production of UV light reacting with phosphors.


This type emits 4 times more micro-watts for every square centimeter of light energy compared to incandescent black lights.

It’s completely covered in a phosphor coating responsible for emitting UVA light. The black glass doesn’t permit visible light to pass through. Only violet, blue, and UVA light can pass.

Fluorescent black lights are normally in the form of CFLs. CFLs are usually black light tubes or compact spiral fluorescent lights. They’re known for being more environmentally friendly and energy efficient compared to incandescent black lights.

Bug Zapper Tubes

Zapping tubes don’t use Woods’s glass. Instead they utilize UV trans missive glass and phosphor (glow near UV). When not lit it’s white. And when it is lit, it’s blue.

The combination of visible 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 of the UV responsible for the dramatic affect of black lights. This black light is known to become very hot when used. Therefore, it must be used with caution and in accordance to the manufacturer’s instructions.

In addition, it isn’t wise to use high wattage for any incandescent fixture. This means that if a fixture has a 60-watt rating, then do not exceed the number in any circumstance. Doing so my result in danger to the user.


Black lights are very common today and can be found in most home improvement stores. They are also available in energy efficient models that protect the environment. Black lights are easy to clean, use, and can have a transformative affect in homes.