Uses of blacklight fixtures
Blacklights are most commonly used as novelty lights. They can be found in wide range of consumer light fixtures, as well as commercial UV effects fixtures for stage lighting.
However, blacklight uses go far beyond just novelty and entertainment. Increasingly, ultraviolet light is being used for fraud detection and inspection applications. They can also be used in health-related applications, including identifying organic material for cleaning or pest extermination.
Detecting counterfeit currency is one of the main uses for blacklights today. All US dollar bills of any denomination have an anti-fraud strip that shows up under a blacklight. This can help retailers, banks, and government agents determine if the money they are handling is counterfeit or not.
Most international currencies also have a thread, hologram, or watermark that may not be visible except under a blacklight.
And it's not only currency that has ultraviolet protections. US Treasury checks and US Post Office Money Orders have these features, as well as traveler's checks from banks.
Other Anti-Fraud Applications
Admissions control is another big application for blacklights. Passports and other legal identification documents can be marked with a special ink that can only be checked under an ultraviolet light. This helps prevent fraud and identity theft.
In the commercial world, theme parks, night clubs, and other recreational venues often stamp people's hands when entering. These stamps can be checked for legitimacy with a blacklight fixture, so the stamps can't just be recreated haphazardly by non-authorized people trying to enter.
For many years, carpet cleaning companies and hotels have used ultraviolet light to detect human and animal stains that are not visible to the human eye. This helps in janitorial servicing of hotel rooms, as cleaning staff can identify areas that need special attention. It can also be used by homeowners or renters to clean floors whem moving into a new home or apartment.
Distasteful as they are, blacklights can also help detect bed bugs in a mattress. Bed bugs are averse to light, so they hide during daylight hours. The blacklight won't detect the bed bugs themselves, but can identify the path the bugs use to move from their hiding place and through the bedding. This is the trail of waste and blood the bugs leave behind. Using a blacklight to follow this trail helps exterminators (professional or DIY) determine where to apply treatment to eliminate the pests.
More Applications, More Types
As the applications for blacklights have grown, so too have the types of fixtures they are used in. Blacklight fixtures are generally safe for humans, unlike germicidal light used in air or water purification equipment. This means that blacklight fixtures, from stage lighting to fraud detection, are often smaller and more portable. We carry a line of very portable blacklight fixtures for use in inspection and detection. Some are stand-mounted, while others are small and light enough to be handheld. The fixtures themselves are very inexpensive compared to the potential loss of currency fraud, and the replacement blacklight bulbs for them are also some of the most reasonably priced specialty lamps on the market.
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