> ultraviolet lamps

Ultraviolet lamps

Which one do I need?

A wide range of ultraviolet lamps are available for the mineral enthusiast today. They are made in long-wave or short-wave (or a combination of both) models, and in a range of sizes from pocket-sized to large display units.

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Typical small short-wave UV light (UVP 21) Large display lamp. (UVP D-68)

Long-wave (LW) lamps have a peak output around 360 nm ; short-wave (SW) lamps around 254 nm. Short-wave lamps are generally more expensive than long-wave due to the special filter glass required to remove visible light but still pass short-wave ultraviolet (ordinary glass stops this type of UV).

Most of the more spectacular Franklin-Sterling fluorescent minerals respond strongest to short-wave ultraviolet light. These are more expensive, but worth every penny if you wish to see the brightest response from most of the local fluorescent minerals.

The major manufacturers are ultraviolet lamps designed for the mineral collector are Ultraviolet Products (UVP) of Upland California, and Raytech Industries of Middletown, Connecticut.

Several smaller makers also produce lamps, and one of these, UV SYSTEMS, makes one of the best short-wave lights available: the Superbright 2000SW.

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UV Systems 2000SW UV Systems 2000SW, interior view

This lamp has an exceptionally strong short-wave output, and its maker provides equally exceptional customer support.

Most of the brightest fluorescence at Franklin-Sterling Hill is created by short-wave ultraviolet. Those minerals that do fluoresce under long-wave generally do so in paler colors or less intensely. 

A table of locally fluorescent mineral species, with responses noted for long-wave (LW) and short-wave (SW) ultraviolet, is provided on this website.

Additional information on ultraviolet light and light technology can be found on a web site prepared by Don Klipstein.


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