UV Light - What is UV light?
UV (Ultraviolet) light is a form of electromagnetic radiation. It has a wavelength shorter than that of visible light, which makes it invisible to the naked eye, although it can be detected via its effects on various substances. It is named ultraviolet (beyond violet) because it is located just beyond violet on the electromagnetic spectrum. Ultraviolet radiation has the ability to alter chemical bonds in molecules, which can cause chemical reactions, and it also causes many substances to fluoresce or glow. Common effects of exposure to UV light include the degradation of polymers, pigments, and dyes. UV radiation degrades the chain structure of polymers, which can cause a loss of strength, and can result in discolouration and cracking. It is also absorbed by many pigments and dyes, which can cause them to change colour. UV light is found naturally in sunlight and is also emitted by man-made sources including; tanning booths, black lights, curing lamps, mercury lamps, halogen lights, discharge lamps, fluorescent and incandescent lights, electric arcs used in welders and plasma torches, and UV lasers.Go Back to Glossary