Black Light Bulbs

Written by Ingrid Chen
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Anyone who has visited a nightclub or dance club is likely to have experienced the entertaining effects of black light bulbs: Anything white on your body, such as clothes you're wearing, will outshine everything else, and essentially glow in the dark. They in effect also make every non-white object practically indistinguishable. Flash a smile, and you might take on the appearance of a Cheshire cat, showing only a toothy grin.

The Inner Workings of Black Light Bulbs

These lights look similar in shape and size to normal incandescent or fluorescent bulbs, and work similarly to fluorescents, but produce an entirely different light. Regular fluorescent lights produce a chemical reaction resulting in ultraviolet (UV) light waves, invisible to the human eye. The phosphorous coating on the outside of the glass absorbs UV light and emits visible light. Black light bulbs employ a different kind of "black" phosphor coating that allows only certain UV rays to show through.

Unlike the distracting quality of an overhead light or spot light, black lights don't detract from dark atmospheres and instead provide a unique lighting effect. These lights are now even used beyond entertainment purposes. You can see them utilized at science museums, for example.

Despite what you may think, black lights can work well in a residential environment. With a little creativity, one can easily and affordably turn an ordinary apartment into a stylish loft. Adding a black light in your home can spice up your living space and make entertaining guests even more fun. Many different kinds of black light bulbs are available in the market; shop around and see what suits you the best.

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