Best Black Light 2020 – Buyer’s Guide

 

best black lightBlack lights are super popular because of the cool glowing effect they create. They’re perfect for glow in the dark parties, DJ lighting, art installations, productions, and more!

 

We’ve reviewed the best black light in several categories, so you can find what you’re looking for quickly. We’ve reviewed both LED and traditional fluorescent fixtures, black light strips, and more. Take your party or event to the next level and enjoy the glow!

 

To find the best black light for you, just browse the list below!

 

Name CategoryPrice
American DJ UV Bar 20best blacklightBest Blacklight for Partybest black light
American DJ Eco Bar DMXblack lights for partiesBest LED Black Light Barbest black light
American DJ UV Floodbest black light for large areaBest Black Light for Large Areabest black light
SUNVIE LED Stripbest black light ropeBest Black Light Ropebest black light
DeepDream LED Stripbest black light LED stripBest Black Light LED Stripbest black light
American DJ 72 IPbest outdoor black light fixtureBest Outdoor Black Light Fixturebest black light
Chauvet LED Shadowbest black light panelBest Black Light Panelbest black light
American DJ UV Cob Cannonbest outdoor black light fixtureMost Powerful Beambest black light
Elation UV Spotbest blacklight spotlightBest Blacklight Spotlightbest black light
American DJ UV Panelbest fluorescent black lightBest Fluorescent Black Lightbest black light
OPPSK UV LED Barbudget black light barBest Black Light Barbest black light
UV Beast Flashlightbest black light flashlightBest Blacklight Flashlightbest black light

 

1. ADJ UV Bar 20 (Best for Party)

 

best blacklight for partyWhen it comes to finding a powerful, versatile DJ black light, we highly recommend checking out the American DJ UV Bar 20. For starters, thanks to 20 1-watt UV LEDs this fixture has a high output and is extremely bright. With a wide beam angle (10 degrees vertical, 40 degrees horizontal), the UV Bar 20 is ideal for washing large areas like a dance floor, gym, backyard, bowling alley, glow-in-the-dark dodgeball court, etc. When mounted to a stand or truss, this light has a tremendous throw that will illuminate everything within reach.

 

Improving on An Already-Powerful Light

 

The UV Bar 20 is updated and improved from American DJ’s previous model – the UV Bar 16. We love this DJ black light! Some of the new and helpful features include:

 

Wireless Remote: the UV Bar 20 comes with a wireless IR remote, which makes it easy to control the light without accessing any of its DMX features. Use the remote to turn the fixture on/off as well as control its strobe speed.

 

More LEDs: as you likely deduced from the name of this light, the UV Bar 20 has 4 additional 1-watt LEDs than the previous model (LEDs rated at 50.000 hours). This added brightness makes the fixture all-the-more ideal in situations requiring a powerful UV effect. In some settings you may actually want to tone down the UV intensity, which is simple thanks to DMX dimming from 0-100%.

 

Power Linking: Every DJ has experienced the terror of running a lot of power cables. One notable upgrade included in the UV Bar 20 is power linking. On the back panel of this light you will find IEC input/output sockets. You can link up to 10 fixtures @ 120 V and 20 fixtures @ 230 V.

 

Unique Features:

All-metal construction: this light is not only bright but tough, which is why we’ve made it #1 on our list of best DJ black lights. The housing on the ADJ UV Bar 20 is metal – no cheap plastic here!

 

Brackets: you can mount this light easily thanks to dual metal brackets. Due to its wide horizontal beam angle, you can also use this light for wall washing.

 

DMX Control: the UV Bar 20 offers three DMX channel modes that include features like strobing, electronic dimming, etc.

 

4 Modes: like many ADJ fixtures, this light includes an LED panel on the back. From this panel you can set the light to one of four operational modes: sound active, DMX 512, Master/Slave, and Manual.

 

Compact: despite the power and throw of this light, it is compact (13.25 in. long, 2.5 in. wide, 7 in. high) and weighs only 6 lbs!

 

Runs Cool: unlike some UV lights, the UV Bar 20 runs very cool so you don’t have to worry about burning yourself or your clients. Operate this light for hours without worrying about it overheating.

 

The ADJ UV Bar 20 is an excellent light for DJs, productions, and virtually any setting that requires a powerful UV effect. Operate with or without DMX and enjoy features like strobe, dimming, and sound active. Conveniently power link multiple fixtures and reduce the number of IEC cables in your setup. Durable metal design that is still light/compact.

 

 

 

2. ADJ Eco UV Bar DMX (Best LED black light bar)

 

best black lightsAmerican DJ is a leader in producing high-quality, versatile lighting fixtures. The ADJ Eco UV Bar is an affordable fixture that doesn’t cut corners on quality. It is primarily for indoor use and ideal for performance stages, theatrical productions, mobile DJ setups, and special FX installations. This fixture includes 18 3-watt LEDs with a 120-degree beam angle, which will create a glow-effect in a fairly large room. With LEDs rated at 50,000 hours, you’ll have no worries about replacing diodes.

 

Position the light exactly as desired thanks to mounting brackets. You can attach this to a lighting stand, truss, or place on the floor as uplighting. Due to the Eco UV Bar’s sleek design (39.5 x 2.5 x 4.5 in), it fits nicely under scrim or behind a DJ facade. Weighing only 6 lbs, this light is easy to move around and won’t add unnecessary weight to your lighting stand.

 

Unique Features: What makes this an exceptional light, especially for the reasonable price, is its controllability. There is an on/off switch on the rear panel, but this light also comes with ADJ’s IR remote. This allows you to turn the fixture on and off and also make it strobe. With a simple remote click, this UV light will strobe brightly and add some variety to your light show.

 

 

 

3. ADJ UV Flood 36 (Best Black Light for Large Area)

 

ADJ UV FloodThe American DJ UV Flood 36 is a powerful and compact black light with 12 3-watt LEDs. This UV fixture is easy to transport and set up, making it a great choice for mobile DJs. Thanks to a sturdy metal hanging bracket, it is mountable and can also be installed permanently if desired. What does this light make our list? The ADJ UV Flood is stellar at washing large areas due to its 57-degree beam angle coverage. If you’re looking to wash an entire gym or ballroom with an incredible UV glow-effect, this light is up to the task.

 

Unique Features:

 

Brightness: not only will the 12 3-watt LEDs (rated for 50,000 hours) in this light provide a bright UV wash, but its 57-degree beam angle will cover large areas.

 

DMX: this fixture offers 3 DMX modes allowing you to control features like sound-active mode, strobe, and dimmer (0-100%). Link multiple lights with a 3-pin XLR cable.

 

Control Panel: for those not desiring to use DMX, the UV Flood 36 includes a back panel LED display with 4 control buttons. This allows you to control the light quickly and easily.

 

Operational Modes: sound active (built-in mic), dimmer, DMX

 

Power Linking: 26 units @ 120 V, 57 units @ 240 V

 

5 Dimmer Curves: standard, stage, TV, Architectural, Theater

 

The American DJ UV Flood 26 offers a powerful wash black light at a fraction of the price you could pay for something comparable. This fixture contains all the features a mobile DJ will need: DMX, manual rear control panel, compact and lightweight design, sound active mode, electronic dimming, and hanging bracket. This light was designed to fill a room with UV light and it does so outstandingly.

 

 

 

 

4. SUNVIE LED Strip (Best Black Light Rope)

 

black light ropeIf you’re looking for an easy, creative way to utilize black lights, the SUNVIE LED Strip is a cost-effective way to do so. It’s perfect for getting that glow effect in harder-to-reach spaces that a larger light fixture may not reach.

 

The options for installing these rad LED strips is endless – in your car, on the wall, under bars, counters or cabinets, on a DJ booth, in an art installation, etc. If you can imagine something glowing, you can make it happen thanks to SUNVIE’s excellent product!

 

Unique Features: 

 

This LED strip is waterproof, allowing you to use it anywhere worry-free. The flexible strip can be bent around corners without breaking, giving you complete freedom and creativity. With 16 feet of lights, this compact product will give any space ultimate glow!

 

 

5. DeepDream LED Strip (Best Black Light LED Strip)

 

best black light LED stripThe DeepDream LED Strip is a versatile UV lighting strip, with 32 feet of glowing power! This LED strip provides 600 diodes for whatever context – DJ booth, Halloween, party, or event.

 

This LED strip comes on a convenient plastic spool, making it easy to install. The adhesive backing also makes for easy setup. You can literally put these lights anywhere you want!

 

Unique Features: 

 

This LED strip comes with a convenient power adapter. Just plug into a normal household outlet and go! The adhesive backing is easy to peel off, making setup hassle free. This product is water resistant, but not totally waterproof. You can connect up to four LED strips together, for a total of 128 feet of black lights!

 

 

 

6. ADJ UV 72 IP (Best outdoor blacklight fixture)

 

best outdoor blacklightIf you’re looking for a weather-resistant black light, check out the American DJ UV 72IP. Housed in a solid metal casing, this light has an IP65 rating. It is ideal for outdoor use including concerts, DJ events, theme parks, and even cruise ships. This light holds its own in dust and rain thanks to secure housing and powerCON DMX/power connectors.

 

Enjoy all the features expected of an American DJ product including 3 DMX channels, 5 dimmer curves, 1-100% electronic dimming, and flicker free performance. For any mobile DJ or production that works outdoors, this UV light is worth serious consideration.

 

Unique Features:

 

Control Panel: 4-button DMX digital display

 

Mounting Options: includes scissor yoke so light may be placed on the ground, or mounted using a clamp

 

DMX: this light uses DMX technology which makes it easy to control.

 

Brightness: 235 lux @ 2m, 57.7 lux @ 4m

 

Power-Linking: linking multiple units can save you time and headaches. This fixture includes powerCON connectors which allow you to connect multiple units outdoors.

 

Performance: enjoy complete control of the UV 72IP by utilizing the light’s various features – electronic dimming (0-100%), strobe, dimmer curves, and flicker free performance.

 

The American DJ UV 72IP is a professional black light built to withstand outdoor conditions. If you desire a versatile light that can perform indoors as well as outdoors, this fixture is a worthy investment. It is easily mountable, DMX compatible, extremely powerful and bright, features insulated connectors, and can be operated wirelessly thanks to ADJ’s diverse line of remote control products. Any drawbacks? Not really, but keep in mind that this unit weighs 12 lbs and is slightly heavier than your average black light. If you’re planning to move this fixture often, make sure you’re up to the task.

 

 

 

7. Chauvet LED Shadow (Best UV Panel)

 

Chauvet shadowChauvet’s LED Shadow offers a unique look and design and has quickly become one of the best-selling black lights for DJs. This fixture is easy to mount to lighting stands or truss (using o-clamps). Additionally, due to its flatscreen-style construction, the LED Shadow can also be mounted directly to a wall. Mount it without even needing a stand! This light is reasonably priced and offers high-level features like DMX and sound-active mode. Perfect for birthday parties, dances, stage performances, etc.

 

Unique Features:

 

Unique Panel Design: the Chauvet LED Shadow provides a powerful LED wash using 192 .25 watt LEDs (ranked at 100,000 hours). Why so many LEDs? One of the coolest aspects of this light are the built-in auto-programs that allows the LEDs to flash and strobe in patterns. The result is a light that catches the eye and performs in ways other black lights simply can’t pull off.

 

Mounting Versatility: this fixture offers multiple mounting options. First, a traditional bracket allows easy attachment to any stand using an o-clamp. Additionally, the LED Shadow can be mounted directly to a wall using flush brackets (much like a flatscreen TV). This allows for more permanent installations if desired.

 

Operational Modes: this light includes several modes including auto, sound active, manual, and master/slave. If you’re in a hurry or don’t want to mess with DMX, this light easily functions as a “plug and play” fixture. On the back there is a menu display with buttons, as well as a microphone sensitivity knob to give you easy access and control of all features.

 

Remote Control: for added convenience please check out the Chauvet IRC-6 remote. If your light is mounted in a high location, this remote allows you to control the LED Shadow from the ground.

 

DMX Features: explore the full capabilities of this fixture by connecting it to your preferred DMX controller. Not only does this light feature pre-set programs, but you can make it blackout, run static, dim, and strobe.

 

Power-Linking: thanks to this light’s low power draw you can link up to 43 units @ 120 V and 74 units @ 230 V.

 

The Chauvet LED Shadow is an innovative and affordable addition to your setup. Although not as compact as some other black lights, it provides a unique visual effect that makes its dimensions well worth the space.

 

 

 

8. ADJ UV COB Cannon (Most powerful beam)

 

outdoor black lightNext on our list of Best DJ Black Lights is the American DJ UV COB Cannon. This black light spotlight creates a very powerful, high-output UV wash effect that’s ideal for virtually any context. Whether you’re adding this light to your DJ rig, special effect installation, club, or stage lighting, you will not be disappointed. Built into the light are 5 selectable dimmer curves including standard, stage, TV, architectural, and theater. The LEDs in this light offer 81 watts of UV light (rated at 25,000 hours). Competitively priced, this is an investment worth making.

 

Unique Features:

Technology: The technology in this light is worth mentioning. It features COB (chip on board) LEDs, solid state electronics, and a 100-watt UV LED engine, which means very smooth color and dimming performance. With flicker-free operation, this light allows you to get high-quality video footage of any performance.

 

Operational Modes: the ADJ UV COB Cannon functions in three modes – sound active, manual, and DMX. Link up multiple units via 3-pin DMX cables and create synchronized light shows. For those not using DMX, enjoy American DJ’s easy-to-navigate LED panel which gives you access to the same features. This light is capable of strobing and dimming 0-100%.

 

Power: this black light canon offers a long throw without utilizing too much power (up to 120 watts total). Power-linking is available via the security of PowerCON connectors.

 

The ADJ UV COB Cannon is black light flood lights that’s a powerful addition to the world of best DJ black lights. It provides high output, incredible dimming curves, advanced COB technology, and DMX compatibility. What makes it different from other UV lights we’ve reviewed? Mainly it’s bright output and high-tech electronics. This is a high-quality fixture built to last.

 

 

 

9. Elation UV Spot (Best blacklight spotlight)

 

brightest black lightThe Elation UV Spot 670 is a high-quality black light that utilizes 365 nm LEDs. This light will achieve a pure UV effect with minimal extra visible light. If you don’t want extra light interfering with your glow-effect, the UV-Spot 670 is definitely worth serious consideration. With LEDs rated at 20,000 hours, it’s built to last and can be used in mobile or stationary contexts. Featuring a 15-degree beam angle, its coverage is precise and powerful. With so few 365 nm UV LED lights on the market, the UV-Spot 670 is truly exceptional.

 

Unique Features:

 

Flicker Free: this light allows you to capture high-quality video without worrying about the dreaded flicker-effect in your footage. The LED technology in this fixture is top-notch ensuring your videos will come out clean.

 

DMX: 2 channels, link via 5-pin XLR

 

Control Panel: this fixture includes a control panel on the back with 4 buttons. Adjust the brightness and strobe speed quickly and easily.

 

Durability: the solid metal housing on the Elation UV-Spot 670 is road-ready and durable. This is a light you can setup/teardown at gigs. Make sure to store your investment in a quality case.

 

Mounting: a dual bracket can be adjusted with a convenient knob, so you can mount to a stand or truss. The bracket can also be used as a stand so you can easily station this fixture on any flat surface.

 

Power-Linking: you can power-link multiple units together via Neutrik PowerCON cables.

 

Operational Modes: DMX and manual

 

The Elation UV-Spot 670 is for professionals who want high-quality 365 nm LEDs that produce a stunning UV-effect with minimal visible light. This light achieves the ultimate glow-effect – causing anything white or florescent to glow beautifully. Offering DMX or manual control, this fixture is intuitive to operate for beginners or pros. This light is a significant investment, but the UV-Spot 670 makes an unbeatable addition to any lighting lineup.

 

 

10. American DJ UV Panel (Best Fluorescent Blacklight)

 

fluorescent blacklightIn a lighting world increasingly dominated by LED fixtures, the ADJ UV Panel is a more traditional approach to the blacklight effect. This light is far from outdated however – it features four 40-watt lamps that throw UV light all over the room. We like this light because of its classic look, but also because it does a great job illuminating anything within reach!

 

Unique Features:

 

Unique Design: the ADJ UV Panel is sturdily constructed to house four fluorescent lamps, which should last you up to 800 hours. That’s a lot of glow time! The included hanging bracket makes this light easy to mount anywhere – as part of your DJ setup, Halloween scene, production, or party.

 

Fluorescent Lamps: the four 40-watt lamps in this fixture look cool as they react with their environment to make things glow. Enjoy the old school fluorescent look while still achieving a rad blacklight effect.

 

Built to Last: the ADJ UV Panel weighs approx. 24 lbs, meaning it’s not made of cheap plastic. This light is durable. Just make sure to protect the UV lamps, as they are delicate (as with any lightbulb).

 

We highly recommend this light, not only for it’s cool aesthetic, but also because it creates a wonderful blacklight effect. Our advice is to use it indoors, rather than outside. A single light will do a great job filling a medium to small room – for larger rooms we recommend using multiple fixtures.

 

 

11. OPPSK UV LED Bar (Best Blacklight Bar)

 

blacklight barIf you’re looking for a simple and affordable black light, check out the OPPSK UV LED Bar. This light is perfect for house parties, DJs, small stage productions, Halloween setups etc. It’s compact construction (18.1 x 2 x 2 in) makes it easy to place. Although this light isn’t manufactured by a major lighting company, it earned a spot on our list because of its high Amazon reviews.

 

The OPPSK UV LED Bar is housed in an aluminum alloy casing. It features 9 3-watt LEDs so this fixture will provide a glowing punch to any situation. Weighing only 1.3 lb, it is easy to move around and lift. Turn the unit on and off via a simple switch. A 360-degree adjustable bracket allows you to angle the light in whatever direction you desire.

 

Any drawbacks? Chances are if you’re looking for a budget black light, you’re not planning to use DMX. Not surprisingly, this unit has no DMX capability. You can turn it on and off, and that’s it. Once again, this light is perfect for smaller spaces (like a living room) that you want to fill with UV light.

 

Depending on your desired application, keep in mind this light is for indoor use only. The OPPSK is not designed to withstand outdoor weather or conditions. If you’re a mobile DJ and plan to use this light at gigs, we recommend transporting it in a case.

 

Want the larger version with twice the LEDs? Check it our HERE.

 

 

12. UV Beast Flashlight (Best Blacklight Flashlight)

 

best blacklight flashlightThe UV Beast UV Flashlight is our top pick for blacklight flashlights, thanks to its powerful UV LEDs. Weighing only 8 ounces, this light is easy to carry around in a pocket, backpack, camping trip, or in your car’s glove box. It uses six AA batteries (included) and you’ll get approx. 12 hours of battery life each time.

 

So why did this light earn our “best blacklight flashlight” award? First of all, this model is upgraded from the original, with a better build and upgraded UV beam.

 

 

 

 

How To Use Black Lights

There are so many fun ways to use blacklights, which is why they remain one of the most popular lighting effects around. You can get super creative without breaking the bank. Let’s consider a few ways to use these lights creatively.

 

black light for partyBlack Lights For Parties: when it comes to building hype and creating an unforgettable atmosphere, UV lights are one of your best options. You can make an entire space glow, have people dress in white or neon clothing, blast some music, and your party is sure to be a hit. As mentioned above, we recommend the ADJ UV Bar 20 for parties, as it’s capable of filling an entire room with UV light.

 

DJ blacklightBlack Lights For DJs: most DJs have encountered obstacles when trying to get the party started – either the crowd isn’t dancing, or maybe someone complains they can’t breathe due to a fog machine. It’s a delicate balance, wanting the party to go off, yet also wanting to keep guests comfortable. Blacklights are a great solution, offering DJs the ability to set a cool atmosphere, but without the breathing hazard of fog or haze. UV lights get people excited about how everything is glowing, and it makes them want to hop onto the dance floor.

 

blacklight for HalloweenBlack Lights for Halloween: every October Halloween enthusiasts seek out new lights in order to bring the next level of spooky to their neighborhood. If you seriously dig Halloween, blacklights are a must-have in your setup. They work great for haunted houses, front yard displays, or creepily illuminating a window of your house from the inside. You can write words in fluorescent marker or paint, then light them up with a UV light.

 

UV light stage productionBlack Lights For Stage Productions: whether you’re managing a venue, directing a play, or playing in a band, you probably know already how valuable blacklights are. Yes, UV lights can make things glow, which may be an effect you’re going for. But they’re also capable of setting a dark mood in your production, giving you more options. The warm, purple glow of a blacklight is sure to take your production to the next level!

 

Lighting 101: So what is a black light?

 

are LED black lights safe?Few things are as captivating as a room where everything glows in the dark! Investing in a high-quality black light will expand the creativity and aesthetics of what you do. Glow-in-the-dark events are all the rage and there’s no evidence they’re going out of style. So how do black lights work? Why do they make things glow?

 

Let’s start with the term “UV light.” As you probably know, this stands for “ultraviolet light” which just happens to be undetectable by the human eye. The visible light spectrum (what the human eye can see) is shown below. Our eyes only respond to wavelengths of 390-700nm which includes red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and violet. The color above red is called infrared and the color below violet is called ultraviolet.

 

 

 

 

As you can see from this chart, ultraviolet frequencies are outside the visibility range (10-400nm), so we technically can’t see them. This then begs the question: why do things visibly glow under black lights? If we’re not seeing the UV rays, what are we seeing?

 

what is a blacklight?The answer is something called phosphors. A phosphor is a substance that emits visible light in response to radiation (for example, bright white clothing, teeth, fluorescent paint, etc). A phosphor converts the energy in UV radiation from a black light into something we can see. This glowing phenomenon has a lot of practical purposes beyond DJ lighting, making UV lights quite useful in fields like medicine and forensics.

 

So what is a black light? It’s a light that mainly emits ultraviolet light that can’t be detected by the human eye, but causes phosphors to react and glow. Many black lights emit a bit of blue and violet visible light too, which is why they show up even without phosphors. But you will quickly notice that a black light’s visible output is far less than a conventional household lightbulb. The goal is not brightness, but activating phosphors.

 

LED blacklight vs. Fluorescent?

 

fluorescent black lightFor our purposes (and so you’re not bored to death!) we will focus on two types of UV lighting – fluorescent and LED fixtures. These types of black light are popular due to their high output capability and effectiveness in making things fluoresce, or glow. In other words, they look rad.

 

Fluorescent Lights

 

Let’s start with fluorescent bulbs. There are two main types: blacklight and blacklight blue.

 

Blacklights – although we normally refer to every UV light as a “black light,” this is not totally accurate. In the lighting industry, a “blacklight” is not what you might think. In fact, they’re hardly worth mentioning for our purposes so we’ll keep it brief. Blacklight bulbs emit both UV and blue light. What’s the significance of this?

 

Since they use a combination of both UV and visible light, blacklights actually make it difficult to see objects fluoresce (the blue light essentially drowns out the UV effect). If you’re looking for a cool glow effect, this is what you want. So what are blacklights used for? They’re often used in insect zappers, so although they’re not great for DJs, we’re still appreciative for the role they play in eliminating all those annoying mosquitos!

 

Black light blue (BLB) – the second category of fluorescent light is called a “black light blue.” This is the type of bulb that makes things glow, which is why many DJ products feature BLB lights. So how are these lights different from regular blacklights?

 

best fluorescent black lightBLBs are constructed from a deep violet-blue glass known as Wood’s Glass. These bulbs are purple when unlit and almost appear black. The purpose of these bulbs is to filter out most visible light above 400 nm, thus allowing only ultraviolet and infrared light to pass through. The result? Although these fixtures don’t appear to put off much light, the invisible UV wavelengths will cause brilliant reactions in local phosphors. Translation: everything within reach of the UV light will glow beautifully. With less visible light to interfere with the phosphors, BLB bulbs are the ultimate in achieving the black light effect we all love.

 

One more nerdy explanation, then on to LEDs. If BLBs block visible light from escaping the bulb, then why do they glow so brightly? The answer is that you’re actually seeing phosphors in the bulb itself. How it works: inside BLB bulbs mercury vapor mixed with a rare earth gas (argon or xenon) is activated by an electrical current. The mercury inside the light produces short wave UV light, which then fluoresces the inside of the glass. The glass gives off visible light, or black light, which is what we see.

 

So why go with a BLB?

 

The main reason to invest in blacklight blue fixtures is their affordability. Traditionally BLB lights come in tube form and won’t break the bank. If you’re looking for a relatively inexpensive way to light up an area, this might be the option for you. Solid BLB fixtures don’t allow much visible light to interfere with the UV effect.

 

One potential drawback is how fragile these lights tend to be – they’re easy to break. Unless you’re buying a sturdier fixture that protects the bulb itself, most tube BLBs are not made for the road.

 

Conclusion: Now that we’ve examined two major types of fluorescent blacklight, one final note is in order. When most people use this term they’re referring to a light that makes things glow, which is a blacklight blue, not a blacklight. So for the remainder of this article we will refer to BLBs and LEDs simply as “black lights.”

 

 

LED Lights

 

In case you were wondering LED stands for “light emitting diode.” In the last decade LEDs have dominated the lighting market for good reason. They boast an incredible life-expectancy (in some cases up to 100,000 hours), which far outpaces BLB lights. LEDs tend to be more durable because they contain no filaments or components to burn out. Unlike fluorescent lights, they do not contain mercury which is a poisonous metal.

 

When it comes to black/UV lighting, LEDs are steadily dominating the market. One benefit of investing in a LED fixture is the ability to control them via DMX. UV lighting these days is not limited to washing a dance floor or stage. DJs now enjoy a broad spectrum of capabilities including dimming, strobing, etc. UV lights can now be incorporated into light shows with creativity and versatility. LEDs are extremely energy efficient and run cool so there’s little fire risk. Additionally, they allow manufacturers to control the exact UV wavelengths that are emitted from the unit. This means you can eliminate violet and blue wavelengths which “get in the way” of the UV effect.

 

Of course, every technological advance comes with its naysayers. One criticism of LED UV lights is that manufacturers use the “wrong” type of LEDs in many popular models.

 

What do they mean? Basically the ideal wavelength of an UV LED is 365 nm because this causes the brightest and most dramatic glow-effect, while simultaneously preventing interference from visible light. Despite this fact, many manufacturers often opt for 405 nm. Why? Price and efficiency. First, the ideal 365 nm LED is often more expensive than other types. Second, a 365 nm LED is only about 20% as efficient as a 405 nm LED. While this may feel overly technical, it is something to consider if you have a strong need for absolute darkness when achieving a UV effect.

 

Our advice? While LED purists may insist on black lights that utilize 365 nm LEDs, for most purposes this isn’t necessary. For most DJs, the subtle wash effect of many popular black lights is desirable. Even if that’s not the case, DMX dimming makes it possible to back off the light’s intensity. Many lights highlighted in this buyers guide will achieve a fantastic glow-effect while offering the customization of DMX. That’s a hard combo to beat!

 

Are black lights safe?

are black lights safe?A lot of people want to know if black lights are safe. They wonder if UV party lights will somehow be harmful to their guests. This is valid considering the potential risks of certain UV wavelengths. For example, earth’s atmosphere protects us by filtering out harmful UV radiation. The important distinction to make here is between the different types of ultraviolet light. The UV spectrum is as follows:

 

315-400 nm – Ultraviolet A (UVA)

280-315 nm – Ultraviolet B (UVB)

100-280 nm – Ultraviolet C (UVC)

 

Long wave ultraviolet (UVA) is safe for the eyes. However, medium and shortwave UV light can damage them (UVB/UVC). This is why traditional black lights have an average wavelength of 365nm and utilize glass to filter out anything below 320nm.

 

So rest assured – when using any of the black/UV lights in this buyers guide – you don’t need to worry about your corneas incinerating! All of the fixtures listed here are safe and only emit UVA.

 

Why invest in a high-quality black light?

 

If you browse any party supply store, you’ll usually find an assortment of black light bulbs and fixtures. The problem is, these lights are rarely durable and leave much to be desired in their glow-effect. But then again, is it worth it to drop several hundred dollars on a high-quality UV light? The answer is ultimately up to you, but here’s a few considerations to help you make a good investment.

 

Cheap lights never pay off in the long run! Many UV party lights claim to get the job done, but their life-expectancy is infamously short. There may be some exceptions, but investing in something cheap that won’t last ultimately costs you more money than if you had initially invested in a professional light. Even if you can’t afford a top-level fixture, there are plenty of quality black lights available that won’t break down after a few uses.

 

Keep up with your competition. In some DJ markets (like school dances), lighting is everything! Whatever your context, chances are your competition owns and uses black lights. Thankfully it’s not hard to keep up given the abundance of quality black lights. Don’t get left behind. Invest in your light show and keep clients impressed with what you do. Happy clients means more business for you!

 

An industry standard. For the most part, clients will assume you have black/UV lights at your disposal. Many proms, parties, and corporate events utilize them all the time. Don’t turn away business or appear unprepared. This investment will help propel your business into something you’re truly proud of. Ask any DJ who uses black lights regularly and they will tell you: “I can’t imagine doing this without them!”

 

Black lights are a ton of fun! Is fun an appropriate consideration when weighing the pros and cons of purchasing a black/UV light? We think so! In fact, it’s a huge part of the decision. Any piece of gear can be written off as a “luxury”, but aren’t we in the business of entertainment? Rather than mediocrity or predictability, isn’t the goal exceeding the expectations of our clients? Black lights add a indispensable fun dynamic to any event. People love the glow-effect produced by a UV light (this author included). This is an investment you are certain to have a lot of fun with.

 

Deciding On a Blacklight

scorpion under blacklightLuckily UV lighting is on the rise and helpful innovations are continually developing. All that to say, there is probably a black light well-suited for your purposes. So the primary question is: what will you be using it for? A glow in the dark party? Mounting to a surface with black light strips? Uplighting? To wash the dance floor? To light up a scrim? As a cool component to your light show? For stage productions? Maybe it’s a combination of all these applications.

 

Our advice: read through the following Black Light Buyers Guide and get a feel for the countless ways they can be implemented. A lot of people search black light amazon but the results are overwhelming. Don’t just consider how you might use a UV light now, but dream about the future. Invest in a light that can grow with your business and creativity. Think big!

 

Conclusion

 

Remember, whether you’re looking for the cheapest black lights or looking to invest in a top-of-the-line model, we’ve got you covered. Enjoy reading our reviews and good luck finding the best LED black light on the market!