Ultra violet lights are designed to emit ultraviolet radiation, a form of electromagnetic radiation, with wavelengths in the ultraviolet (UV) range, which is shorter than visible light, although longer than x-rays.

What are Ultra Violet Lights? Ultra Violet Lights: Types and Applications 1

Ultra violet lights are designed to mimic ultraviolet (UV) wavelengths from the sun, which are typically divided into three basic subcategories.  UV wavelengths are measured in nanometers (nm), with the following distinctions made for the three common bands of ultra violet lighting:

  • UVA –  315 to 400 nm, long-wave, not absorbed by ozone layer
  • UVB –  280 to 315 nm, medium wave, 95% of UVB rays are absorbed by the ozone layer
  • UVC –  100 to 280 nm, all UVC rays are absorbed by the ozone layer

Far UVC light describes ultra violet wavelengths in the range of 200 to 230 nm, specifically 222 nm, which is gaining interest for many UVC germicidal applications.

All short-wave UVC light and about 95% of UVB rays emitted by the sun are absorbed by the ozone layer. Exposure to UVB light increases the risk of cellular damage to living organisms and is the main cause of sunburns and is thought to be the main cause of skin cancer, the most common form of cancer in the U.S.

Ultra Violet Lights: Types and Applications 2UVB light is also, however, the main source of vitamin D to most land vertebrates, including humans. Vit D assists with bone development and helps the body absorb calcium. Ultra violet lighting can be both harmful and beneficial to life. UVB and UVA lamps are also useful for a variety of medical phototherapy applications, such as treating skin conditions, mood disorders, and other health conditions.

All UVA light from the sun reaches the earth’s surface and is the main cause of suntan and skin aging, including wrinkles. UVA damages the skin’s elastin and collagen in the skin and generates free radicals. UVA lamps are the main types of lamps used in tanning beds.

UVC Germicidal Ultra Violet LightsUltra Violet Lights: Types and Applications 3

Exposure to UVC light is also harmful to human skin and eyes, and UVC germicidal lamps should be used in unoccupied spaces. Far UVC lights, however, are gaining recognition as providing highly effective germicidal properties while safer for human exposure and can be used for sterilization purposes in occupied spaces.

UVC ultra violet lights are used in a wide range of germicidal applications and are proven to eliminate harmful pathogens and microbes in the air, in water, and on surfaces. UVC ultra violet lights eliminate airborne pathogens in UV air purification systems and can be used in HVAC systems, including furnaces and AC units, to prevent mold buildup and sterilize equipment as well as the air that passes through the UVC wavelengths.

UVC lamps are also used in many water sterilization systems, and UVC ultra violet lighting can even kill some harmful bacteria in water that chlorine does not kill, such as Cryptosporidium and Giardia. UVC ultra violet lamps are also used for many surface sterilization applications such as in hospitals, laboratories, restaurants, food processing, and many other residential, commercial, and industrial applications.

Ultra Violet Lighting Applications

Ultra Violet Lights: Types and Applications 4There are many practical applications, including biological and chemical effects, derived by the way that ultra violet lighting interacts with organic molecules. UVC Ultra violet lights are used in germicidal applications but ultra violet lights perform many valuable functions to many industries.

UV lights are found in many applications and processes such as:

  • Germicidal
  • Tanning
  • UV Curing
  • Illumination
  • Signs
  • Backlighting
  • Medical phototherapy
  • Specialty purposes

Whatever purpose is planned for the use of ultra violet lighting, it is critical to use quality ultra violet lamps. Not all UV lamps are created, and consulting with an experienced UV lamp manufacturer will help to ensure that you receive the correct type of lamps for your application.

UV Lamps for All ApplicationsUltra Violet Lights: Types and Applications 5

LightSources is a leading global supplier of all types of UV lamps for use in any application. We offer UVC germicidal lamps, UV lamps for tanning beds, specialty ultraviolet lights such as for aviation backlighting, far UVC lamps, UV phototherapy lamps, and many other purposes.

UV Germicidal Lamps
UV Germicidal Applications

LightSources offers a wide selection of UV lamps as well as custom design and engineering to meet your specific UV lamp requirements. We provide OEM-oriented solutions and prototype development and follow strict quality policies. Contact us to speak with an engineer about sourcing the highest quality of ultra violet lights for your application.


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