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Nature’s Rainbows is a non-commercial web site maintained entirely by volunteer hobbyists and contributors.  Our mission is to provide information about UV and luminescence, premium fluorescent mineral photos, and a fluorescent mineral database for the enjoyment of FL mineral collectors around the world.  Information on this web site is covered under a Creative Commons License.


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What is Ultraviolet Light (UV)?

8.4.2015

People new to the hobby of fluorescent minerals typically have a lot of questions about UV.  What is the difference between shortwave (SW), midwave (MW), and longwave (LW)?  Is UV light harmful?  What kind of bulbs/tubes/LEDs are needed to generate UV?  I came across a couple of videos that are pretty basic and answer these questions quite clearly.

 

First a quick explanation of the light spectrum and why 365nm is important to us as fluorescent mineral collectors (as well as filters).  Of course this video is trying to sell something - a 365nm LED light for >$1,000 (hint - don't buy it unless you've got really deep pockets).  But it's a good explanation of UVA (longwave) and visible light.

 

Secondly an explanation of the various types of UV tubes/bulbs available (and a little about the dangers):

 

Third - a few experiments with Ultraviolet Light and Fluorescence. Also explained are the three colors of UV and phosphorescence.

 

 

 

 

 

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