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Every season I struggle with my two standard shop light length fixtures for my UV fluorescent bulbs. Contacts often aren't right. Fixtures are big and bulky. A pain every time.

Recently I purchased the Blacklight LED spotlight being sold by Home Depot, since it was three 1 watt LEDs--and so it bright like the Gemmy Fire and Ice Spotlights. But when I tested for fluorescence against some spraypainted banners I typically use under UV light, the unit didn't seem to make them glow at all. Seemed more like bright white light with possibly a hint of purple. That's going back for a refund between now and this weekend.

Hell, my el-cheapo, dim ~$1 to $3 battery operated hand-held blacklights, sourced from the "dollar" section of a Target a few seasons ago, caused more fluorescence than the bright 3W LED HD unit! So did one of the small battery operated UV / Blacklight strobes that you see "everywhere" around Halloween season--may have purchased from Big Lots. But you see them in KMarts, etc.

So what are my options here? Would rather go all LED. But also don't want to pay megabucks; seems that some UV units go for $100 and up. Can I find something less than $100, possibly divided up into several separate units, that would give off a decent glow to anything UV-reactive?
 

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Myself, I find that fluorescent tubes provide the most affordable UV light in the correct spectrum to really illuminate black light responsive materials, without adding a lot of ambient light. I use cheap 4' fixtures from home depot, I also get the 4' black light tubes there also. I also grab 18" black lights from spirit at the 50% off clearance
 

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There was a thread about this recently, and it looks like the old standby is still the way to go. LEDS may get there someday and be affordably priced, but this isn't the day.
 

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There was a thread about this recently, and it looks like the old standby is still the way to go. LEDS may get there someday and be affordably priced, but this isn't the day.
Thanks HD and SD. Sorry to hear re: LEDs. The Lowes / Home Depot shop light fixtures (forget which store I bought them from) are really lousy. Always a loose connection--too big and bulky and I really want to get rid of them. Will look for the other thread mentioned.

I had a thread out quite some time ago about using UV LED flashlights as blacklight prop spotlights--versus needing to flood a scene. Will have to find that thread too. Like I said, I *really* want to retire the shop light fixtures.
 
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