Ultraviolet Light and Black Light: a beginner's guide
by David Rudd Cycleback

1) Introduction

2) What is ultraviolet light?

3) The different kinds of UV light

4) Your tool for this guide: a black light

5) Where does ultraviolet light come from? How was it discovered? Why can't we see it?

6) How are black lights made?

7) Practical and interesting uses for your black light

8) Examining art and collectibles: Introduction

9) Identifying modern fakes of antique paper memorabilia

10) Identifying counterfeit US currency

11) Identifying alterations to art, collectibles

12) Examining cloth

13) Examining art glass

14) Making glow in the dark art and crafts

15) Protecting yourself from the Sun's UV

16) UV light in science and industry

17) Miscelanious facts and notes

Making glow in the dark art & crafts

With a black light and fluorescant materials, you can make all sorts of glow in the dark arts and crafts. This can range from sketches to mobiles to sculptures to holloween costumes. This chapter shows various techniques and ideas. You can expand on these ideas and come up with your inventions. Your imagination is your only limit.

Sketch on cardboard in invisiable ink. The
sketch is visible in the dark under black ligh


Invisible ink pen art.
Those inexpensive UV ink pens are great for drawing sketches and designs on paper, cardboard, wood and other surfaces. Though the UV ink does fluoresce on normal white paper, you may find it best to draw on material that doesn't fluoresce. This is particularly true if you want something to stand out on its own in the dark-a skeleton sketch for Halloween for example.

Of course one should be careful what one writes one, in particular if it's not yours. The ink may or may not be easy to remove or cover over. Writing a design on a disposable plastic toy or shard of writing paper is one thing.. Writing on mom's silk scarf or your parent's hallway wall is another. Also, it only makes sense that you don't want to me writing on areas that people eat or drink from, like the face of plates. Use common sense.

You can also use other fluorescent materials, like paper. You can cut paper into designs, fold them into dolls and figures, use them to embellish your sketches. There is also fluoescent paint and inks of different colors.



ghost on tongue depessor

Changing pictures

One of the neat things with UV art is you can have the design change when the light is tuned off. For a sketch you can use a regular ballpoint pen or pencil for the daylight picture, then have invisible ink for a diffeent image when the lights are off. You can have a daylight scene on you bedoom mobile and a night design for when you go to bed. For example, the daylight scene can show robins and the sun, while the nigh scene can show bats and owls. UV designs in your room, like stars on you ceiling, won't show up intil night. You can have a puppet play with both day and night scenes.

15) Protecting yourself from the Sun's UV

(c) david rudd cycleback, all rights reserved