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uv light

roadhog on Mon September 18, 2006 3:17 PM User is offline

I have been looking for a uv light and was wondering if the black light bulb will work for detecting the uv dye that is used in ac systems? An employee as a local store said they were uv lights and would detect the material. True or false?
These bulbs said they can used to detect material for parties and other things but did not list ac systems.

mk378 on Mon September 18, 2006 3:43 PM User is offline

I tried one of the 60 watt incandescents, pretty much it doesn't work. Maybe the fluorescent ones are better, decided not to potentially waste more money on that. UV dye can occasionally be seen just parking the car in the daylight, but if your leak is where the sun won't shine you'd need a UV light.

Chick on Mon September 18, 2006 6:51 PM User is offlineView users profile

Not sure about black light...Never tried it...hear some say they work, others they don't....But just as important as UV rays are the glasses in daytime leak detection. Check out UV kits and be sure to use the glasses when trying to find a leak in the daylight...Hope this helps.

Email: Chick


Freedoms just another word for nothing left to lose

rbinc on Mon September 18, 2006 8:38 PM User is offline

Black light 60 watt incandescent bulbs COULD work if installed in a highly reflective housing that focuses UV light on the work. Unfortunately, most of these polished aluminum or stainless housings for a 60 watt work bulb are way to large (8 inches) to examine anything but what's obvious above the engine bay.

UV A/C lights use special high intensity bulbs in a housing that accomodates limited clearance.

Good Luck.

RETROHWAM on Tue September 19, 2006 10:02 AM User is offline

Used my son's 4-foot flourescent black light (at night) and the engine lit up like a hippie party!
A little hard using it on to look from underneath, but from above was pretty easy.
(Also attracted a bunch of bugs!)

Also - puchased a UV-led flashlight on the internet - it's got over 20 leds - thought that would work well, but haven't been happy with it.

Seems the best bet is just to get the UV kit offered here!

Edited: Tue September 19, 2006 at 10:04 AM by RETROHWAM

Kestas on Wed May 13, 2009 4:23 PM User is offline

I've poked around the internet and find that there are different wavelengths of UV lights available. Does anyone know the optimal wavelength UV light for the dye we use?

bohica2xo on Wed May 13, 2009 5:13 PM User is offline

I have been using a compact flourescent "blacklight" in my drop light for a couple of years now, and have been happy with the results.

I have a straight UV tube normally used for exposing screen printing media that is much more powerful - and possibly dangerous without eye protection. Turning it on in the shop will show all sorts of stuff...

If you live in the desert, you can always go looking for scorpions with your light after you fix the leaks.


"Among the many misdeeds of the British rule in India, history will look upon the act of depriving a whole nation of arms, as the blackest."
~ Mahatma Gandhi, Gandhi, An Autobiography, M. K. Gandhi, page 446.

ykf7b0 on Sun June 28, 2015 10:24 AM User is offline

A blacklight bulb in my droplight was useless for uv dye leak detection.

emsvitil on Mon June 29, 2015 9:07 PM User is offlineView users profile

I replaced the bulb in my small flourescent light (6-10" long) and it works.

Didn't need the glasses, but could only see the glow at night with no other lights on....


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