Playing With Black Light

Playing With Black Light

I was just looking around the internet for some cool stuff, and I found something that catches my eye. I found black light.

A blacklight (or often black light), also referred to as a UV-A light, Wood’s lamp, or simply ultraviolet light, is a lamp that emits long-wave (UV-Aultraviolet light and not much visible light.

Black light fluorescent tubes. The violet glow of a black light is not the UV light itself, which is not visible to the human eye, but visible light that escapes being filtered out by the filter material in the glass envelope.


One type of lamp has a violet filter material, either on the bulb or in a separate glass filter in the lamp housing, which blocks most visible light and allows through UV, so the lamp has a dim violet glow when operating. Blacklight lamps which have this filter have a lighting industry designation that includes the letters “BLB”. This stands for “blacklight blue”, which is a contradiction in that they are the type that does not look blue.

A second type of lamp produces ultraviolet but does not have the filter material, so it produces more visible light and has a blue color when operating. These tubes are made for use in “bug zapper” insect traps, and are identified by the industry designation “BL”.

But I don’t have a blacklight. So I made my own from the internet (man! I can’t live without the internet). 20170804_15213520170804_152200


Let’s test it by using highlighters.

It worked!

But I found this: Wikipedia says: “Scorpions are also known to glow a vibrant blue-green when exposed to certain wavelengths of ultraviolet light such as that produced by a black light, due to the presence of fluorescent chemicals in the cuticle. One fluorescent component is now known to be beta-carboline. A hand-held UV lamp has long been a standard tool for nocturnal field surveys of these animals. Fluorescence occurs as a result of sclerotisation and increases in intensity with each successive instar. This fluorescence may have an active role in scorpion light detection.”

And I have one! Let’s try it.20170804_152439

I collected this on November 2016. It’s about 12 cm which is quite small.

I wish I have another one to show you how I pinned it.20170804_152505

Nope, it didn’t work. Maybe because the scorpion is dead or I need to use a real black light.


The next thing I wanted to do is to put the highlighter’s ink in water and I would like to compare it with water.


Let’s do it!20170804_192513

It didn’t work well like I thought but at least it’s glowing nicely. Let’s compare it with the water.20170804_192518

Plain water looks nice too.

Hope you enjoyed this if you did, drop a like on the bottom ↓ 😀




6 Replies to “Playing With Black Light”

  1. I grew up with black lights! We used to put them in our bedrooms many years ago…lol! Nice job showing your source, very important! Great research and experiment…once again!

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