What is the Best UV Flashlight?

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In a hurry and just want to know my pick for the Best UV Flashlight? UV Beast Mini 365mn UV Light.  Read on to find out why!

Ultraviolet (UV) light does not usually come standard on a flashlight, but for some professionals, a UV flashlight is a necessity. These professionals require only the best UV flashlights for the job. 

UV Flashlights, also known as blacklights, emit ultraviolet beams that are largely invisible to the naked eye.  However, ultraviolet light is capable not only of illuminating dark rooms with a cool purple light but also of bringing hidden cracks, stains, and liquids to light. This article will present some considerations that will help you to select the best UV flashlight.

What is the Best UV Flashlight?  Here’s a quick list:

What are some factors to consider when choosing a UV flashlight?

The elements you desire in a UV flashlight may depend on how you’ll be using the light. For example, everyday users of lights may look for durable, rechargeable flashlights. More occasional users may be more interested in a specific level of performance to fit their needs, and may not require much in the way of durability. Finally, many flashlights with UV settings offer a range of other functions, like white light, colored light, and strobe light. If you need a UV light for only occasional use, a flashlight that can act like a normal flashlight and up-close UV light may be a great choice.

Check out the interesting things you can do with a UV Blacklight here!

Some common uses of black lights include detecting pet urine and stains, spotting scorpions or other insects, authenticating currency, inspecting hotel rooms, detecting cracks in glassware, detecting fluid leaks in automobiles, or having fun at a Rave. With such a varied list of uses (and still other, even more, specific uses, like finding uranium ore!), not everybody will be considering the same factors while deciding on a UV flashlight. However, some of the more common considerations that factor into this decision are discussed below. Keep reading for an overview of the best UV lights on the market.

Dancer in UV paint
Dancer in UV paint

365nm vs 395nm

Ultraviolet lights work by producing specific wavelengths of light, just like any flashlight. However, the difference between UV light and non-UV light is that UV light is mostly non-visible to the human eye – we can only see part of the light, which shows up to our eyes as a hazy purple color. The UV light waves excite the material they strike, causing it to fluoresce and emit light in a visible light spectrum. This gives materials inspected by UV light that obvious glow.

Most UV flashlights contain LED light bulbs that offer either 365 or 395 nanometers (nm) wavelengths. Different wavelengths affect how UV light is absorbed into materials and how materials fluoresce under UV light. Generally, 365 nm UV light is regarded as more powerful than 395 nm light – a 365 UV light will perform better than a 395 nm UV light in illuminating tiny stains, cracks, and flecks of dried liquids. However, 365 nm LEDs are generally more expensive. Due to the shorter wavelength, a 395 nm light will put out more visible light, so if you’d rather have a brighter, wider beam of light and are not necessarily trying to pick up the tiniest stains and spots, the 395 nm blacklight will fit your needs. However, for precise uses like analyzing currency, a 365 nm light is the best UV flashlight as it produces less visible light, allowing a clearer view of the fluorescing material.

Frankly, if you have a need for a UV light, you probably want to focus on lights that produce 365nm.

Power Source

With rechargeable batteries improving in effectiveness and price, it’s a good idea to consider a flashlight with rechargeable batteries. Not only will rechargeable batteries cut down on the expense and annoyance of purchasing new disposable batteries, but it’s also easy to get an extra rechargeable battery so you can always have a backup at hand. Some flashlights even come with extra rechargeables. That being said, sometimes the convenience of disposable batteries is important, such as in emergency kits that may sit around for a while before being needed.

Learn everything you need to know about Batteries with our Ultimate Guide to Batteries!

Durability

Choosing a light that will last and hold up in rough conditions may be important, especially if you use a UV light in your daily work. Will you be using the UV light in wet conditions? Check for an IP code. Items with an IP code of IPX4 can handle splashes of water, while an IPX8 indicates the item may be submerged in 1 meter of water. Durable coatings of plastic or rubber, as well as a strong metal or metallic alloy construction, can help flashlights survive being dropped. Finally, a light with a wrist strap or durable clip can help keep lights secure and conveniently at-hand.

How durable is it? What does IPX6 mean? Read our Ultimate Guide to the ANSI/PLATO FL1 Standard symbols!

Other modes/settings

Sure, you’re reading this because you’re in the market for a UV light, but having a couple of different light options in one flashlight can be a major asset. Having just one extra white light setting can allow you to carry one less flashlight around for emergencies. Many UV lights include additional modes and settings so that you can flip to normal white light, high or low brightness, or even a handy strobe light. If your light is for a utility kit or disaster pack, having a strobe or SOS light can be very important.

Read our Ultimate Guide to Flashlights to learn what to look for when finding the best flashlight for your needs

working with UV
working with UV

Best UV Flashlight Reviews

Here’s my list of the Best UV Flashlights that you should consider.

LightFE 365nm UV Flashlight

Sleek and durable, this hardy UV flashlight was designed for a number of home and industrial uses, from showing stains and leaks to curing epoxy resins. Additional modes offer brighter light and strobe functions. Charging is convenient with a micro-USB port.

Specs

  • Battery: 3000mAh 18650 rechargeable battery (USB chargeable)
  • Modes: four modes: high, low, strobe, SOS
  • UV wavelength: 395 nm
  • Brightness: 150 lumens
  • Dimensions: 4.92 x 1.77 in
  • Weight: 7.05 ounces with batteries

Pros

  • Easy on/off and mode changes with switch/button
  • Power indicator next to on/off button: lets you know when recharge needed
  • Simple recharge with mini-USB
  • Aluminum alloy construction for durability

Cons

  • Some reviewers note the provided battery dies or doesn’t charge – may need to replace
  • Switch button requires you to flip through all modes (instead of having a different button for each mode)

A5WU USB Rechargeable Mini Keychain Flashlight

This little light fits in the palm of your hand and is ideal as a keychain light. The entire body of the light produces UV light with just a few clicks, while the white main light is powerfully bright, topping out at 550 lumens. Resilient and waterproof, this light isn’t your average keychain flashlight!

Specs

  • Battery: rechargeable lithium-polymer battery (recharges with micro-USB)
  • Durability: IP65, waterproof
  • Modes: three light modes (low, medium, high), plus strobe mode and UV mode side light
  • Brightness: 550 lumens maximum
  • Dimensions: 2 x 0.5 inches
  • Weight: 0.4 ounces with batteries

Pros

  • UV light and white light on the side can be activated for close inspection of objects
  • Extremely portable, keychain-size
  • Super-bright white light in the traditional flashlight
  • Durable and waterproof
  • Turns on with a press-and-hold button to prevent accidental turn-on
  • Two-year warranty
  • A sturdy clip can be attached

Cons

  • Charging port protector tough to get open
  • The clip can bend under excess pressure
  • Can get hot with long use at high brightness
  • Definitely not a top choice for the UV light alone, but good utility light

UV Beast Mini 365mn UV Light

Featuring a high-powered 365 nm UV light, the UV Beast produces incredible fluorescence in the objects it illuminates. No need to carry around an extra light source in the dark, either, as this flashlight also features a bright white beam for ordinary flashlight use. If you haven’t used a 365 nm UV light before, the intensity of the UV Beast will be shocking!

Specs

  • Battery: 18650 rechargeable battery
  • Durability: IP65, waterproof but not submersible, impact-resistant
  • Modes: UV light and white light
  • UV wavelength: 365 nm
  • Brightness: 150 lumens maximum for the white light
  • Throw: 24 feet
  • Dimensions: 5.43 x 0.94 in
  • Weight: 3.2 ounces with batteries

Pros

  • Powerful 365 nm UV light shows more detail than 395 nm light
  • Recessed tail switch to prevent accidental turn-on
  • Pocket-sized for portability
  • Durable aluminum construction
  • Provides clearer UV light than many other UV flashlights
  • Two flashlights in one with an additional 150 lumens white light
  • Battery life lasts an average of over 6 hours

Cons

  • As the battery dies, UV light becomes less effective
  • Rechargeable 18650 battery is typically not included

Bundle: Nitecore CU6 High Power 3000mW...

The Nitecore CU6 has all the features a flashlight buff could hope for, including a strong 365 nm UV light that causes mind-blowing fluorescence. To provide even better performance, the light also has secondary red, green, and blue LEDs to enhance detail. The Nitecore also functions as a normal flashlight with a white LED light that can beam over 200 yards.

Specs

  • Battery: 2x CR123A standard batteries (included) or 1x 18650 rechargeable batteries
  • Durability: IPX8, 2m waterproof rating, 1.8 m impact resistance
  • Modes: UV, white LED light, secondary red, blue, and green LED lights, strobe, SOS, beacon, and red/blue flashing
  • UV wavelength: 365 nm
  • Brightness: 440 lumens maximum
  • Throw: 208 yds maximum
  • Dimensions: 5.63 x 1.57 in
  • Weight: 4.87 ounces with batteries

Pros

  • More than just UV light options: traditional bright white light mode and secondary color LEDs included
  • Tactical modes including strobe, SOS, beacon, and flashing red and blue light
  • Tail cap switch and dual button side controls
  • Instant UV mode with the press of a button
  • Durable and waterproof
  • Includes clip, case, and strap
  • Powerful 365 nm UV light shows more detail than 395 nm light

Cons

  • White light could be brighter
  • Beam not adjustable

Top Choice in UV Flashlights

When you’re looking for a UV light, the UV light itself matters more than the other accessories on the flashlight. For this reason, you’ll want a 365 nm UV light on your flashlight, enabling better visibility of even the smallest leaks, stains, and cracks. UV Beast Mini 365mn UV Light 365mn UV Light has the best performance as a UV light while offering an additional 150 lumen white light setting for ordinary flashlight use. This blacklight is encased in durable aluminum construction and is pocket-sized. With the ease of a rechargeable battery and a six-hour battery life, you’ll never have to be without both a powerful UV light and a reliable white light beam.

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