What is the difference between BL and BLB Blacklights?

The fluorescent blacklight category consists of bulbs with phosphors that create a peak wavelength at 365 nanometers. This part of the spectrum is called UV-A, it is just inside the boundary with visible light.

Blacklights have two different designations: BL and BLB. BL blacklights look just like standard fluorescent light bulbs. They are used for insect trap, curing and phototherapy applications where visible light along with the UV is not a problem.

BLB blacklights, by contrast, are easy to spot with a dark blue filter that covers the bulb. The filter blocks most visible light, leaving only a faint violet glow when the bulb is turned on. BLB blacklights are used for special effects and inspections such as mineral analysis.

UV-A is relatively low power, longer wavelength ultraviolet light and is considered the safest of the UV spectra. It is still prudent to avoid long exposure times, especially if looking directly at the light.

Check Out UV-A Bulbs Now

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Dave Burtner

Dave has been active in the lighting industry since 1994. Formerly a member of the Illuminating Engineering Society of North America and certified by the National Council On Qualifications for Lighting Professionals, Dave now writes blog posts, lighting tips and provides lighting product assistance for the Topbulb website.