What is the difference between a UV lamp and a black light lamp?
Black light lamps (BL’s) are often called UV lamps, and for practical purposes they are one in the same. They are the type of lamp used in insect light traps. Black lights are also used in several other applications such as chemical processing, photo polymerization and mineral detection. Un-lit BL’s are a whitish blue in color. There is another type of black light called black-light-blue or BLB. This type of lamp is used by PCO’s in hand held rodent detection units to identify rodent urine left on mice runways. You also may have seen them used in the CSI shows on TV (where they identify bodily fluids). Rodent urine fluoresces under the intense UV light. Un-lit, these lamps are deep purple, almost black color. In summary, black light lamps are manufactured to different specifications. One kind of black light lamp attracts certain flying insects and is typically used inside insect light traps, while another type of lamp is used for inspecting for contamination. These BL and BLB lamps are designed and built for different uses. The BL lamps carried by XtraBrite are for use in ILT’s
Are there different types of protective coatings used on black light lamps?
Yes. The three primary coatings used on BL’s, are FEP- TEFLON (Fluorinated ethylene propylene), NUCREL and PET (Polyethylene Terephthalate). Studies have shown that FEP is one of the best materials to allow passage of UV light for the longest periods of time and is also guaranteed for the life of the lamp. Other plastic coating materials used on fluorescent lamps, such as PMP, may break down much faster, potentially minimizing the strength and performance of containing the glass and minerals during breakage as well as potentially clouding the coating, which could result in a reduction of the number of flies attracted to the ILT’s.
Should I buy replacement lamps from the manufacturer of the ILT unit?
PCOs have done this for years and, of course, this is a decent option. However, whether or not it is your best value depends on the price. Black lights are produced by companies in the light bulb business, like GE, Phillips, Havells-SLI and Sylvania. When ILT manufacturers build ILT fixtures they spec in the light bulbs that are already on the market and incorporate them into their fixture. In some cases the manufacturers have the lamps private labeled. Private labeling makes it more difficult to identify the standard lamp type used in the ILT, promotes repeat business for the ILT manufacturer and can make it appear that the lamp is special in some way. Choosing a brand name lamp that has been successfully tested to attract flies is a wise choice. Quality is always important.
THE COATED AND UNCOATED LAMPS SOLD BY XTRABRITE HAVE BEEN LABORATORY TESTED USING LIVE FLIES WITH VERY POSITIVE RESULTS.
Are black lights that look brighter better than others?
Not necessarily and there are different opinions. Ultraviolet light is invisible to the human eye but very visible to a fly as well as other flying insects. Black lights used in ILT’S are typically made to, 350BL and 368BL specifications. Ultraviolet light (rays) are measured in nanometers (Click links on the specific BL’s for more information).
How often should the bulbs be changed?
The level of UV produced by fluorescent bulbs deteriorates throughout the life of the bulb. While the bulb will continue to glow blue indefinitely, after approximately 8,000 hours the amount of useful UV (which humans cannot see) drops to a level where it is no longer a strong attractant to flying insects.
As a result, it is recommended that UV bulbs be replaced annually to ensure they remain effective in producing useful levels of UV. A typical lamp replacement cycle is undertaken just before the peak insect season, (March/April within North America) to ensure that the light is producing the maximum amount of UV throughout the critical insect season.
Where can I dispose of used lamps?
Fluorescent lamps containing lead and Mercury need to be disposed of and/or recycled by following both State and Federal laws.
Please visit these sites for specific information:
Contains Mercury, Dispose According to Local, State or Federal Laws