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Ultraviolet Light


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I am looking around a bit for a good UV light. I know that we are supposed to keep away from LED UV. Also, that the ultraviolet features of different banknotes show better with different wave lengths; such as, British banknotes use 365 nanometers (UV-A) and some Hungarian use 254 nanometers (UV-C).

So I am trying to find an “all-in-one” UV light, but if I have to get multiple that will be ok. I was wondering what everyone else uses. Does anyone have some suggestions for brands of ultraviolet detectors?

Thank you.

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I use a generic fluorescent blacklight bulb I bought from Walmart. I just checked the spare bulb container and it doesn't list the wavelength. The fluorescent bulb is about 18 inches long. So far, this is the best one I've used for checking banknotes. I tried incandescents, and they were not good, plus they get hot, which is something I wanted to avoid. I think I paid about 10 dollars for it - the light fixture and two bulbs. I'm still on my first bulb after much more than a year.


Whatever one you get, one thing you must try though is to remove any covering. Use only the black light bulb itself. When I had the cover on my small light fixture, it difused the light and filtered out most of the UV properties. Once the cover was off, it was great. My light seems to do great on notes worldwide.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Here's a nice compact UV light & magnetic detector selling for $49.99




Interesting, and it has a magnetic ink detector. I was thinking of making my own RFID scanner but I did not think of Magnetic ink detector. Maybe I will add that to my to-do list. Thank you.

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