Does a UV Light Get Hot?

April 27, 2022 5 min read

UV lights have tons of different uses, such as being used as a floodlight or being used in the process of curing resin. But do they get hot, and what can you do to prevent overheating? What are some ways that you can use a UV light safely? This article will answer all these questions and more!

First, let's take a general look at the UV light to decipher exactly what it is and what it is commonly used for

What is a UV Light?

A UV light- or ultraviolet light- is a type of lamp that emits ultraviolet (UVA) radiation. UVA is invisible light with wavelengths between 320 nm and 400 nm. It’s also known as “sunlight in the dark” because it allows us to see objects that wouldn’t normally be visible. 

The most common types of UV lights are mercury vapor lamps, metal halide lamps, and xenon arc lamps. These three types of UV lights are very similar, but each has its own unique characteristics.

How Does a UV Light Work?

A UV light works by emitting energy from the ultraviolet spectrum. When this energy hits something, it causes chemical reactions within the object. For example, when a UV light shines on the water, it breaks down the bonds holding hydrogen atoms together. 

In doing so, the oxygen and hydrogen atoms become free radicals. Free radicals are unstable molecules that are constantly trying to bond back together. They are extremely reactive and can cause damage to other substances. 

So, when a UV light comes into contact with water, it causes the water molecules to break apart. Then, the oxygen and hydrogen molecules combine to form hydroxyl ions, which are then neutralized by the chlorine ions in the water. As a result, the chlorine ions are released into the air, where they are harmless.

The same process happens when a UV light shines onto any substance that contains carbon. Carbon is found in many things like paper, plastics, and even human hair. When a UV light shines onto this material, it breaks down the carbon chains and releases carbon dioxide gas. 

Why Do We Use UV Lights?

There are several reasons why we use UV lights. One reason is to cure resins. Resins are materials that harden when exposed to certain rays of light. If you want your resin to harden properly, you need to expose it to a specific wavelength of light. However, not all lights give off the exact same amount of light. Some lights emit too much heat, while others don’t produce enough. Therefore, it’s important to know how to choose a good UV light. 

Another reason why we use UV lights is to sterilize items. Sterilization is done to kill bacteria and viruses without harming humans. To accomplish this, we use high-intensity UV lights. Lastly, UV lights are great for disinfecting surfaces. You can use them to clean countertops, floors, walls, and even clothing. 

What Are the Different Types of UV Lights?

There are various types of UV lights available today. These include:

  • Fluorescent Lamps – These are the most common type of UV lights used today. They consist of two parts: a tube containing mercury vapor and a fluorescent coating. The coating converts the ultraviolet radiation emitted by the mercury into visible light.
  • Mercury Arc Lamps– These are similar to fluorescent lamps, except that they use a metal arc instead of mercury. Metal arcs have a longer life span than mercury lamps.
  • LED UV Lights– These are becoming increasingly popular because of their energy efficiency. Unlike other types of UV lights, LED UV lights don’t require electricity to work. Instead, they use semiconductor technology to generate light.
  • Compact Fluorescent Lamp (CFL) – CFLs are becoming increasingly popular because they last longer than traditional bulbs. However, they still contain toxic substances such as mercury.
  • Xenon Flashlights– These are used in photography. They are extremely bright and can be used to illuminate dark areas.
  • Blacklight – A blacklight is a special lamp that emits long-wave UV light. Its main purpose is to detect bloodstains.
  • Ultraviolet Germicidal Irradiation (UGI) – UGI is a process where UV light kills germs on fabrics and textiles. It’s especially useful for killing bacteria on medical equipment.

Are UV Lights Safe?

Yes, UV lights are safe for our health. Because they only emit short wave UV light, there is no risk of burning skin or eyes. Also, unlike incandescent bulbs, UV lights do not contain lead. 

Although they may look scary at first glance, they actually emit less heat than regular bulbs. This means that they won’t burn your hands if you touch them.

How to Stay Safe Whilst Using a UV Light?

It’s important to remember that UV lights aren’t just used for fun! Many people use UV lights to help improve their lives. For instance, some people use UV lights to get rid of acne. Others use them to remove wrinkles and other signs of aging, whilst they are also used to treat various medical conditions such as psoriasis and eczema. If you decide to use a UV light, make sure that you follow these safety tips:

  • Always wear protective eyewear.
  • Never point a UV light directly at your face.
  • Keep children away from UV lights.
  • Make sure that you keep an eye out for anything that might be damaged by the UV light.
  • Finally, always turn off the UV light after using it.

Do UV Lights Get Hot?

So, now that we have a better understanding of UV lights in general, let's get to the main point in question: do UV lights get hot? The short answer is, yes! UV lights do indeed get hot when they are turned on. 

But, they aren’t as hot as an incandescent bulb can get. An average UV light will reach about 50 degrees Celsius (122 degrees Fahrenheit). This temperature isn’t dangerous to humans. However, it could potentially harm plants and animals. 

How Can You Tell If a UV Light is Getting Hot?

If you notice that your UV light seems to be getting hotter than normal, it might mean that it needs to be replaced. It should also be noted that UV lights are very sensitive. If they start to glow more brightly, it could indicate that they are overheating. 

How to Avoid Overheating a UV Light?

To avoid overheating a UV light, you must pay attention to its color. A UV light that glows yellow-orange is usually fine. However, if it starts glowing orange-red, it’s time to replace it.

Where Do I Find a Good UV Light?

You can find a good UV light at any home improvement store. Many stores sell UV lights under the name “blacklight.” Make sure to check out the specifications before buying one.

Is a UV Light Right For My Home?

A UV light or a UV lamp is perfect for homes with pets. Pets often shed hair and fur, which can cause allergies. A UV light can help keep these allergens from entering the house.

Final Thoughts

It’s important to note that UV lights- or a UV lamp- are not meant to replace regular lighting. In fact, they are better suited for certain applications. While they may seem like a great idea, they are best left to professionals who understand them. When it comes to the heat levels of a UV light, make sure to pay attention to its specs. 

Also, if you notice that your UV lights are starting to glow brighter or hotter than usual, it could signal that they need to be replaced. If you do plan on using a UV light, do so with care and consideration, as they can get warm.