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Thread: Best inexpensive UV light or LED replacement bulb

  1. #1
    Flashaholic
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    Default Best inexpensive UV light or LED replacement bulb

    Like most of my posts I'm always looking for the best bang for the buck stuff! I want a UV light for general curiosity use like hunting scorpions, fluorescing minerals, checking out money, finding pet stains etc. I have looked up many of the eBay lights and name brand vendor lights and trying to find the best light or bulb replacement without spending an arm and a leg. From what I can tell most of the UV lights don’t throw very far. I would think that would make scorpion hunting harder? Also what would be the best wavelength for general use? The 400nm seems to be the most popular with the 385nm being more expensive. From what I have read so far I’m guessing I would want a 385nm if I can get one right? (less visible purple light but more fluorescence)

    Would like feedback on these lights

    Inova X1 UV spotlight - $22 – seems like a good choice? Spot should throw farther than many of the 5-9 LED’s like on eBay right? Or is it too much of a spot to be useful?

    Inova X5 UV - $48 – twice the price, does it put out twice the light?

    eBay 6 LED inline 3AA UV - $15 – very cheap looking. From the pics it looks like all the LEDs are different shades! I’m guessing that this would give more plain purple light than real UV?

    eBay 7 UV LED Flashlight 380nm - $25 – 385nm but does it have enough throw to be useful?

    eBay 12 LED 2 CR123 lithium cells - $26 -400nm but uses 123 cells so it sould be really bright?

    eBay 9 LED UV 1W “CoolEyes” 2 CR123 - $40 seems better quality than the other eBay lights?

    32 LED UV Mag drop in - $39 – I’m guessing this should throw further than these other lights?

    Super Tiger 9 LED UV 3D light- $16 – just found this, seems like a bargain!?!?


    More options?

  2. #2
    Flashaholic*
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    Default Re: Best inexpensive UV light or LED replacement bulb

    Do what I'm gonna do, though it's gonna be very little light. Take a Dorcy AAA, open up the head, get some UV LEDs and swap em

  3. #3

    Default Re: Best inexpensive UV light or LED replacement bulb

    For hunting scorpions, our customers like the 395nm wavelength (also our least expensive!). There's just enough "blue glow" to navigate through the desert or around the back of the building your are inspecting in the dark. In the desert, you can spot them from 20 to 30' (yes, feet) with out lights.

    If you want to experiment with more fluorescent stuff, like minerals, diamonds, urine, hotel room inspection etc, the as you suggest, shorter wavelength is required. The 390nm is a good compromise -- as excellent for scorpion hunting (although you might trip over things in total darkness), and also view diamond fluorescense, cat and dog pee, vomit that hasn't been cleaned up properly in the carpet, etc.
    Hope that helps!
    Piers

  4. #4
    *Retired* NewBie's Avatar
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    Default Re: Best inexpensive UV light or LED replacement bulb

    Retrofit one of the CREE UV 1 Watt LEDs into a light. Output is 200mW of 395nm off one watt (350ma), many 5mm UV LEDs only put out 2-12 mW. Output is equal to anywhere from 100 to 17 5mm UV LEDs, depending on the quality of the 5mm parts you are using (at 395nm). Over drive it a tad to 1.3W, and you are as bright as the OptoTech Shark LED (~100.00 ea), and you are just as bright. But the Cree UV only cost 10.00 ea.

    Bonus? The CREE XLamp UV doesn't degrade very fast, where the UV 5MM parts degrade rapidly. By degredation, I'm talking a drop in light output levels.

    Since the Cree UV XLamp is a single die UV part, it is alot easier to make them throw.

    Where do you get them? www.etgtech.com

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Best inexpensive UV light or LED replacement b

    Which one is the 1W uv led?

  6. #6
    Enlightened jake359's Avatar
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    Default Re: Best inexpensive UV light or LED replacement b

    I've got an X1 and a LED-Lenser V8 small keychain (3 button cells). The X1 throws far, due to the lens, but is a higher wavelength, as the light is more visible.
    The LED-Lenser is a lower wavelength, and makes thing fluoresce much better, even though it is smaller, it runs on 4.5 volts with a regulation circuit, while the X1 is a 1.5 volt (1 AA) with a step-up circuit.

    UV light is not that visible, so a good UV light is not necessarily going to show a lot of visible through, or provide that much light. As xenopus points out, a light that is more "visible" is better for hunting things in the dark (like scorpions).

    I also bought some 3mm UV LEDs on eBay and modded a Maglite Solitaire. Not much light, but adequate (I use it to make watch faces glow for photographs) and cool!


  7. #7
    *Flashaholic* IsaacHayes's Avatar
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    Default Re: Best inexpensive UV light or LED replacement b

    NewBie ! I was thinking of using 10 of the Cree 20mW 5mm, but only $10 for a single die is even better! That's cheap, but I can't find it on the site either, they don't list an UV xlamp or prices. Is shipping high? I think if more people knew/had these then it would be the next hotness. I'd put one in a 2D mag or put 3 or more of them!!!

  8. #8
    Flashaholic* Zelandeth's Avatar
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    Default Re: Best inexpensive UV light or LED replacement b

    Depends if you're looking for throw or not. If you're looking for a light to cause things to fluoresce around the house, there's a cheap option. And it doesn't necessarily involve LEDs.

    Go out, get yourself a cheap fluorescent lantern (using an F4T8 liniear tube), and then go and find an F4T8 BLB tube. They're usually around 360nM, giving out very little visible light, but causing a heck of a lot of fluorescence. It is however a flood rather than a spot.

    I found that the Energizer 4D folding lanterns work well with BLB tubes in - though the plastic window does cut down on the output as you'd expect.

  9. #9
    Flashaholic* nexro's Avatar
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    Default Re: Best inexpensive UV light or LED replacement b

    I installed a UV CCFL light in my room. Causes some of the glow in the dark stuff to fluorence nicely [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img]
    It's made by: http://www.sunbeamtech.com/PRODUCTS/CCFL.HTML
    I believe this is quite cheap, probably about $15 - $18.

    As for a handheld light, I modded one of the UV LEDs that I got from lsdiodes.com into my Inova X1. Nice purplish round spot [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img]

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Best inexpensive UV light or LED replacement b

    Inova X5 is great for that... I use it to check the ambulance for bodily fluids etc... and it gets right in the corners and floods it out.

    Great UV light.

  11. #11
    *Retired* NewBie's Avatar
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    Default Re: Best inexpensive UV light or LED replacement b

    [ QUOTE ]
    IsaacHayes said:
    NewBie ! I was thinking of using 10 of the Cree 20mW 5mm, but only $10 for a single die is even better! That's cheap, but I can't find it on the site either, they don't list an UV xlamp or prices. Is shipping high? I think if more people knew/had these then it would be the next hotness. I'd put one in a 2D mag or put 3 or more of them!!!

    [/ QUOTE ]


    Shipping UPS ground was 4.95. You'll need to call them for the part.

    I had fun with mine tonight, throwing the beam around outside at various things in the neighbor's yards and on down the street....well after bed time for most sane folks.

    I did find one pesky weed that glows pinkish, which makes it easy to find target for elimination.

    Some fluorescent kids toys down the block lit up like they had lights inside of them, really neat.

    Now two get it inside a handy host.

  12. #12
    *Retired* NewBie's Avatar
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    Default Re: Best inexpensive UV light or LED replacement b


    [ QUOTE ]
    IsaacHayes said:
    NewBie ! I was thinking of using 10 of the Cree 20mW 5mm, but only $10 for a single die is even better! That's cheap, but I can't find it on the site either, they don't list an UV xlamp or prices. Is shipping high? I think if more people knew/had these then it would be the next hotness. I'd put one in a 2D mag or put 3 or more of them!!!

    [/ QUOTE ]


    Shipping UPS ground was 4.95. You'll need to call them for the part. It is one of the variants of the XL7090 series.

    I had fun with mine tonight, throwing the beam around outside at various things in the neighbor's yards and on down the street....well after bed time for most sane folks.

    I did find one pesky weed that glows pinkish, which makes it easy to find target for elimination.

    Some fluorescent kids toys down the block lit up like they had lights inside of them, really neat.

    Sure puts my 7 LED Peak UV to shame, even close up.

    Now to get it inside a handy host.

    [/ QUOTE ]

  13. #13

    Default Re: Best inexpensive UV light or LED replacement b

    The Photon Micro Freedom UV is a single LED 370nm. I don't know if it's powerful enough for you but it works well up close and has a great wavelength for the money.

    Jeff

  14. #14
    Flashaholic
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    Default Re: Best inexpensive UV light or LED replacement b

    What light would be the least expensive/easiest to put this Cree UV led in? Another 1w led light perhaps?

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