Ultra Violet Circus
AKA: UV Lamps


UV lamps are used to make objects glow.


This practical can be conducted as a circus where the different materials are placed around the classroom so students can move around in groups to use the equipment.

Small ultra violet lamps are required for this practical. Small hand held security UV lamps can be purchased fairly cheaply from some electrical shops. They are commonly used in shops to detect counterfeit banknotes and as such will make many objects glow.

See our Equipment > Ultra Violet Lamp page for more details.

A number of objects can be made to glow under UV 'Blacklight' including stamp markings, banknotes, tennis balls, fluorescent markers, security pens, some washing powders etc, tonic water etc Special UV paints and objects can be purchased through specialist suppliers such as

Students can guess whether they think a particular object will glow and investigate why they glow. They can learn about how UV light affects our lives through exposure to the sun and how nature uses UV light to enhance animal markings (some tropical fish and butterflies have markings which fluoresce under UV light).



Only 'blacklight' lamps made for this purpose should be used for this practical. Seek CLEAPSS advice if in any doubt.

The contents of this page are for information only. Please refer to CLEAPSS or ASE safety advice and/or publications before undertaking any preparation, practical experiment or using any equipment featured on this site or any other.