I came across my old portable black light in a desk drawer this week. I cleaned the corroded battery contacts then put in some fresh AA batteries. The gadget worked like new. It emitted the desired level of ultraviolet light.

Anyone who has ever owned a black light bulb has shined it on various objects to find out if they glow or not. They soon discover that regular paper gleams with a white intensity and certain paints and dyes react with a neon-like quality.

Black lights have been popular in the past with people who enjoy black light posters and phosphorescent psychedelic objects. That’s the main reason I bought my first incandescent black light bulb back in the 1970s.

I waited until dark last night in order to take a few photographs of objects around the house that react with ultraviolet light with the idea of sharing some of them with you today. I shot a multitude of frames–enough for a few blog posts.

UV or black light beautifully enhances most artificial flowers. They are the most obvious choice for a post about ultraviolet photography. I guess that about 75% of my faux flowers react to ultra violet. The flowers in this shot are in the conventional glass emerald green “sack” vase I featured in a past Floral Friday.

Portable UV lights are often used to detect impurities and flaws. This ability easily reveals that common everyday objects that are not flaws can be detected with the lights. This roll of “Scotch Magic Tape” casts an eerie glow.

The main reason I still have a black light is for the enjoyment of my few uranium glass pieces. Uranium glass aka Vaseline Glass, looks like conventional green glass when seen with regular room lighting. However, when sunlight hits the glass, it displays a subtle aura. The best way to enjoy uranium glass is in a darkened room with ultraviolet light shining on it. By the way, Vaseline glass glows in UV light because of its uranium oxide coloring agent. It has nothing to do with the “safe” levels of radioactivity in the oxide.

Before downloading the camera images to my laptop, I aimed the black light at my miniature replica 1955 Ford Crown Victoria. The room was illuminated with conventional LED lighting and the black light was used to enhance the colors. The coral pink paint and white trim reacted mildly to UV. The white sidewall tires gleamed as expected. The object in the right corner is an old painted vase. The neon green highlights are from a uranium glass pitcher I’d forgotten was stored behind the Ford.


The Blue Jay of Happiness quotes Isaac Newton. “Are not rays of light very small bodies emitted from shining substances?”

About swabby429

An eclectic guy who likes to observe the world around him and comment about those observations.
This entry was posted in Gadgets, Hobbies, photography, projects, Vintage Collectables and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Ultraviolet

  1. Alien Resort says:

    Somehow “White Rabbit” keeps going through my head.

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