in which, alternatives

So the post earlier stated, the lights from blacklight.com/american dj are crap. Regardless of how crappy they are, I still have only a week from april 15th show and about 3 weeks from the finals…. which means massive rethinking time(!)

1. buy from UV scientific company i.e. Way To Cool or UVlamps.com – both with metered lighting, extremely realiable but also extremely expensive

2. buy UV Leds and do the wiring myself. I’m very tempted by this option because it could potentially work out to be much much cheaper

I’m looking at these in particular:
ProLight ultraviolet 1 Watt (140 degree viewing angle; 400-410nm)
5mm UV led (30 degree viewing angle; 380nm)
LB4 lightbar in ultraviolet (90 degree viewing angle; 405nm)

I also emailed the person who took this photo on flickr – with amazing results and his response was really helpful and great! Truncated email:

“……Chlorophyll is really amazing stuff. You can get red fluorescence from a UV lamp like a Way Too Cool brand mineral lamp, or by even using a cheap UV LED.

Blue light will make it fluoresce red too. A blue LED or just well filtered sunlight will make it red.”

Which makes me think that I should just stick to buying LEDs and wiring it up myself. The good part would be that it gives me a lot more control over the lighting setup, although I might have to think of housing a bit more since the agar tends to be a bit on a the wet side.

Some schematics – I’m favouring the stronger 1 Watt Led for practical reasons; even though they cost more, I’ll need less of them because of the viewing angle and although the nm~ is a bit too high to achieve pure red (I think the higher you go, you’ll get closer and closer to orangey flourescence) and I’ll need to be extremely careful when working with such high nm~ values……. but I reckon I could do with a tan anyway, and I’ll be careful not to look at it directly in the eye.

9V battery setup

5V battery setup

I think I’ll buy 5 of each type as a trial, then see which one works best. I do have a lot of agar to light up, so I was thinking 5/piece of jelly would work the best….. or at least that’s what I hope!

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