If the light visible to the human eye has a wavelength from 400 to 800 nm, then the wavelength of ultraviolet light is from 100 to 400 nm. This is exactly the type of radiation emitted by ultraviolet lamps. They are used in various fields: in medicine and cosmetology, in the food industry, agriculture, forensics, the entertainment industry, and others. Today we will talk about what an ultraviolet lamp for home use is.
Most often, ultraviolet emitters are used for the following purposes:
- disinfection of premises in medical institutions: ultraviolet radiation kills bacteria, viruses, fungi, and other pathogenic microorganisms (irradiation of premises with ultraviolet is usually called quartzization);
- for tanning in solariums;
- disinfection of drinking water, sterilization of medical instruments;
- carrying out local irradiation (for example, ultraviolet irradiation of the nasopharyngeal cavity) for medical purposes;
- diagnosis of skin diseases;
- determining the authenticity of currency notes;
- in criminology – to detect traces of biological fluids at the crime scene;
- in agriculture – for irradiation of plants and animals;
- catching insects in the light.
In total, there are several dozen varieties of ultraviolet lamps, which differ in properties and characteristics and have different methods of application.
Types of ultraviolet
Everyone who wants to buy an ultraviolet lamp for their home should first of all pay attention to the fact that there are different types of ultraviolet radiation:
- ultraviolet A (long-wave ultraviolet) is radiation with a wavelength of 315-400 nm;
- ultraviolet B (mid-wave ultraviolet) – wavelength 280-315 nm;
- ultraviolet C (short-wave ultraviolet) has a wavelength of 100-280 nm.
Different types of ultraviolet have completely different properties and are used for different purposes. For example, long-wave ultraviolet does not kill pathogenic microorganisms and does not lead to tanning.
In general, the shorter the wavelength, the stronger the effect of the lamp, and the more care must be taken when handling it. The wavelength of the ultraviolet emitted by the emitter must be indicated by the manufacturer on the package.
Types of ultraviolet lamps for home use
Medical UV irradiators typically emit UV with wavelengths between 250 and 400 nm. At home, they can be used for disinfection of premises or for local irradiation for medical purposes.
These procedures can have a positive effect on people with weak immunity – primarily children and the elderly.
Also, these lamps can be used to irradiate the skin by people who receive too little sunlight – living in the Far North, working in mines or rooms without windows, and so on. In addition, many use such lamps at home to get a tan.
Wood’s lamp , which is also called a black lamp, is an ultraviolet source with a wavelength from 315 to 400 nm. It is these emitters that are used in medicine to diagnose skin diseases such as ringworm and other fungal lesions. At home, they can be used by everyone who is undergoing treatment for similar diseases and wants to monitor the course of recovery. Mothers whose children have skin problems often buy such lamps.
Lamp for drying manicure . These devices are used for drying permanent manicure. Previously, they were used only in beauty salons, but now every lover of long-lasting nail art can buy a lamp for drying nails at home.
The arrangement of such a device is elementary – inside the case there are light bulbs, which serve as sources of ultraviolet radiation, and outside there is a control panel.
Choosing an ultraviolet lamp for local exposure
When choosing an ultraviolet irradiator for treating the skin or nasopharyngeal cavity, you should pay special attention to its power. Special children’s irradiators have lower power. It is not recommended to use powerful “adult” devices on children. The manufacturer must indicate in the product description for which age groups the device is suitable.
Ultraviolet lamp for quartzization of premises
There are lamps for disinfecting rooms, which emit ozone during operation, and ozone-free lamps. Ozone has a harmful effect on pathogenic microorganisms, providing an additional disinfecting effect. But in large quantities, this gas is harmful to people, so the room must be ventilated after exposure to an ozone lamp.
In addition, lamps for quartzing rooms can be stationary and portable. The first are fixed on the wall or ceiling, and the second can be moved from room to room to decorate the entire apartment with one lamp.
A lamp for diagnosing skin diseases
For these purposes, you can buy both a special device – a Wood’s medical lamp, and a simple black light bulb, the radiation of which has a wavelength from 315 to 400 nm. It looks like an ordinary energy-saving light bulb, and differs from it only in black color, and it costs 5 or even 10 times more expensive than Wood’s medical lamp. At the same time, it is no worse for diagnosing the condition of the skin.
Subtleties of choosing a lamp for drying manicure
There are lamps for drying nails, designed for simultaneous irradiation of two hands, and those in which hands need to be dried in turn. The first differ in large dimensions and are more expensive, but allow you to save a certain amount of time.
However, the main characteristic to pay attention to is the power of the device, which is measured in watts (denoted as W or W). The greater the power, the higher the rate of polymerization of the coating and the quality of the manicure. On sale you can find lamps for drying nails with a capacity of 9, 18, 36 and 54 W.
If possible, it is better to buy a 36- or 54-watt device – these lamps allow you to dry the manicure as quickly as possible, obtaining the highest quality coating.
Rules for operating an ultraviolet lamp
As mentioned above, the shorter the wavelength of the ultraviolet emitted by the lamp, the greater the danger it can present. Special care should be taken when handling lamps that emit ultraviolet radiation with a wavelength of less than 300 nm.
Ultraviolet radiation poses the greatest danger to the eyes. Safety glasses are usually included with medical lamps intended for home use that emit radiation with a wavelength of less than 315 nm.
Too strong ultraviolet radiation can lead to skin burns, and regular excessive exposure to ultraviolet radiation can cause premature aging.
Since UV lamps contain mercury, care must be taken not to destroy them.
In addition, you should not use ultraviolet lamps for a purpose that was not provided by the manufacturer. For example, it was mentioned above that medical lamps can be used to get a tan at home, but this is still not recommended.
Despite the fact that there are many varieties of ultraviolet lamps on sale, it will not be a problem to choose the right one among them if you have basic knowledge about the functions of these devices and the nature of ultraviolet radiation.
When choosing an ultraviolet emitter, first of all, you need to decide on the goals for which the device will be used. Correctly selected ultraviolet will become an indispensable assistant in everyday life.