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17 Examples of Ultraviolet Light

Ultraviolet light (UV) is electromagnetic radiation that has a shorter wavelength than visible light in the range from 10 to 400 nanometers. Generally speaking, this is invisible to humans although some people can see light down to about 310 nanometers. Exposure to ultraviolet light has broad health implications for humans. For example, ultraviolet light from sunlight is the cause of sunburn. The following are common examples of ultraviolet light.
Black Lights
Disinfection Machines & Robots
Electric Arcs
Gas-discharge lamps
Medical Devices (e.g. UVB phototherapy)
Tanning Beds / Tanning Lamps
UV Curing Lamps
Ultraviolet Air Purification
Ultraviolet LEDs
Ultraviolet Lasers
Ultraviolet Sterilizers (e.g. use of UV in food processing to control microorganisms)
Ultraviolet lamps
Water Purification Infrastructure
Welding Arcs
Ultraviolet represents about 10% of the electromagnetic radiation output of the Sun but much of this is filtered by the atmosphere of the Planet Earth.
Fluorescence is when a material absorbs electromagnetic radiation such as UV and emits visible light.
Ultraviolet light plays a role in the production of vitamin D by humans and other organisms.
Ultraviolet light is important to astronomy. For example, astronomers use solar-blind devices that ignore sunlight but are sensitive to bands of UV light.
Fires, particularly hot fires, produce UV rays. For this reason, UV detection can be used to detect fires.
Fluorescent lamps emit some UV.
The list above is not exhaustive -- there are many sources of UV light.


This is the complete list of articles we have written about light.
Bright Things
Neon Lights
Shiny Things
Ultraviolet Light
Visible Light
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Diffey, Brian L. "Sources and measurement of ultraviolet radiation." Methods 28.1 (2002): 4-13.
Diffey, B. "Human exposure to ultraviolet radiation." (1999): 5-24.


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