No party is complete without black light bulbs! With black lights, you can create a fun atmosphere for any event. But with the abundance of black light bulbs on the market, it may be difficult to find the best black light bulb.
So we’ve compiled our top picks for black light bulbs in this buying guide and reviews article. Keep reading to learn more about UV lamps vs black lights – which one is better? What are some considerations when choosing black lights?
Table of Contents
Black lights are small lamps that emit an ultraviolet (UV) light. These black lights produce a specific wavelength of UV energy (350nm to 410nm) which is invisible to the naked eye and safe for human skin.
Blacklight bulbs are blacklight lamps that have a black coating, making them more durable than a standard bulb.
Since black light bulbs emit UV rays, they cause white objects to glow. A black light makes fluorescent paints and clothing more vibrant amongst a bluish purple background color creating stunning effects.
Have you ever been to a night club, halloween party, or disco and been amazed by how the white colors of people’s clothing stands out looking incredible – unnatural even?
You can now introduce this type of lighting effect into your home or party and amaze you friends and family. Black lights are used by party planners to create a fun, exciting atmosphere.
You can replace existing ceiling bulbs with the appropriate lamp base black light and immediately your room is transformed.
Halloween black lights are used in table lights and spotlights, even outdoors or in porches to cast an other worldly vibrancy across the house and passers by!
Both black lights and ultraviolet (UV) light bulbs emit a specific wavelength of invisible ultraviolet energy that we cannot see with our naked eye, making objects glow under blacklight or bright neon colors in normal lighting conditions! However, black light bulbs are typically blacklight lamps that have a black coating, making them more durable.
Black light to some people are better than fluorescent ultraviolet bulbs because they emit longer UV wavelengths which is able to penetrate surfaces and objects better even without the black light paint, causing them to fluoresce when exposed to this black light energy.
However, fluorescent UV light is still deemed to be the very best, even better than the LED version as the slightly lower wavelengths cause the objects to fluoresce more dramatically.
In balance, LEDs longevity, power saving and ability to be applied to various form factors including linear strips, make it the first choice.
Black light bulbs are best for parties, Halloween decor and blacklight makeup!
Halloween black lights are perfect for creating a haunting atmosphere for your home, outdoors in the garden and halloween parties. It’s important to use blacklight bulbs that can be used outdoors because they’re designed with UV coatings to increase durability when exposed to elements such as rain or sunlight.
The best black lights are the long wavelength type – typically with a bulb color of ‘deep purple’ or ‘UV’. For most applications requiring extended lighting periods without any significant brightness loss, choose blacklights that have an average rated life of more than 20,000 hours.
When blacklight bulbs are used in the home or party setting they emit invisible ultraviolet (UV) light that causes white surfaces to glow brightly – making black lights more fun for kids!
If you own a bar or have a small home bar set up why not introduce an alternative black light setting to stand out from the crowd and show your creativity. This is a black light that can be used by adults as well!
Choose black lights with a deep purple color to match your bar decor, this will emit an eerie glow across bottles of spirits on display – great for bar owners or party planners looking for ideas to enhance their home entertainment area!
Black light makeup is a fun way to introduce black lights into your household. People are more likely to notice your tattoos when the UV light is on.
You don’t have to put a lot of paint on your skin. Just a little bit will make it easy for others to see. But if you do, be sure that your clothes are clean whenever you go near the UV light!
However black lights can also be used to check bank notes to make sure they’re authentic – this is done by holding a UV blacklight up to the note, which will glow if it has been printed on black paper.
There are different black light options for you to choose from:
Black lights that emit UV energy and can be used as a regular lamp. These blacklights require an electrical outlet, but will work anywhere in the world since they take standard bulb size according to your countries format. Switch them on and blacklight black light bulbs will glow a bright blue/purple color.
Create your own black lights by connecting these black light strips together to make one long strip! These are easy to use, and will connect with an extension cord. They do not get hot so they can be used in plastic enclosures.
A more dedicated black light fixture can be used as a black lights stand, floor lamp or ceiling fixture to mount the blacklights. They are easy to install and use with an outlet. These have adjustable necks so you can point them in any direction desired and create a higher output than a standard black lamp.
These black light bulbs contain the best quality of energy to fluoresce colors and objects. However they emit less blue/purple glow than standard blacklights since it is very concentrated with blacklight energy.
These black light rope lights are installed in a sealed casing, so they can be used around water to create an incredible aquatic blacklight effect! They also have the advantage of being able to cut them at any length.
These black Light flashlights emit black light energy. They are small and easy to transport, making them an ideal choice for outdoor use or emergencies where black lights will be needed! Just point the flashlight at surfaces – you’ll see how they fluoresce brightly under black light.
If you think something is dirty, turn off the lights and shine it on that thing. You will see material that you didn’t know was there before, like dirt or bug problems.
These blacklight bulbs are perfect for DJ decks as they often clip onto any surface and will transform your music mixing into a black light show! These little blacklights emit a high UV energy to still fluoresce surfaces, objects and people under these black light conditions.
CFL lamps are still used instead of LED in some circumstances as they so still offer some energy saving and last a long time. If you buy a black light for your lamps or room fixtures, this is an excellent product. One bulb lasts for up to seven years, but if you use it for less than three hours per day, the time goes longer.
The professional’s choice for a full AV theatrical set up, usually requiring specialised DMX control so be aware if shopping around for a more powerful black light fixture as it may need accessories to run them. There are some powerful stand alone theatre style UV lights that can be used in bars and home envirnoments.
When choosing black light bulbs there are some key factors that need consideration:
A short light bulb is okay for bodypaint and small parties. But if you need a light for something else, like a hall or outside, the range needs to be higher than normal.
The intensity of the light should be about average. It should not be higher than normal like a flashlight.
The revolution of LED has successfully been applied to this incredible lighting effect, creating a higher wavelength of around the 400nm range. LED has a very long lifespan and should be your first choice wherever possible.
Black light bulbs can range in price, but there are choices at different price points. The black light that you buy should be within your budget and offer the best value for what you need it to do.
You will need the right amount of black lights for your entertainment space when you want to explore the unknown spectrum of black light. When it comes to partying, there are some key considerations on how many black lights you’ll require:
Blacklight bulbs emit less blue/purple glow than standard lighting since it is very concentrated with blacklight energy, so if your party is outdoors or in an open area where blacklight will be spread across the walls, floor and ceiling – black light bulbs are needed to cover all of this surface area.
Estimate approximately 1 bulb per 100 square feet (9 sq.m) ie every 10 ft (3m)
, the owner of Orange Lighting qualified and worked as an interior designer in 1993 before specialising in lighting working on high profile projects based in London. Since starting Orange Lighting Ltd in 2003 he has been sharing his knowledge and unique teaching style mostly to his designer clients, offering practical real life advice born from running a busy consultancy and lighting supply business. Launching in 2020, his blog has evolved into Quick & Easy Lighting, curating some 25 years design experience into making the lighting choice and design process achievable and easy to understand for all.
A lighting pro guide to how many lumens is good for a flashlight, associating brightness categories with potential suitable applications for each type.
Different LED light colors have a big impact on how we feel and on the spaces around us. Explaining the best LED light colors to use to create different moods.
Explaining Dim to Warm LED with a quick & easy buying guide for dim to warm lighting products for residential and commercial spaces.
Buying guide for the best floor lamps for bright light, chosen and explained focusing on where to use them for the brightest floor light solutions.
Guide tips and choices for the best lighting for vaulted ceilings to suit architectural constraints, deliver light where it’s needed to create beautiful spaces