First let me start by saying I DO NOT like to use these bulbs! They get extremely HOT and can either start a fire, cause serious burns or if you are using them outdoors and a drop of water or if it starts to sprinkle/rain these bulbs will explode!
These bulbs do not have a very good output of an black light effect.
They are regular light bulbs that fit into a standard light socket.
Twisted Fluorescent Tube Light with regular screw base
These are great! Especially if you don't want to buy a fixture for a straight fluorescent bulb or spend the money for a fixture that comes with a bulb. These are a "true" black light that has a regular screw base and they don't get as hot as the regular light bulbs that are painted or tinted. You can use these in a ceiling light to illuminate a whole room, in a lamp, in a short light base (which will allow you to put right in front or behind a prop), clip lights, a hanging tredle light, porch light to name a few places.
If you are going for a "true" black light effect this (along with the twisted fluorescent bulbs we just discussed and uv led items we go over as you read on) is your best choice. The fluorescent bulbs are available in many different sizes and types of fixtures, lets review some options.
*NOTE* You can buy the bulbs with out the fixtures for replacement
4 foot bulbs - The 4 foot fixtures usually have chains to hang the unit and comes with a standard plug in (bulbs are not included). You can find both at your local hardware store, menards, home depot, lowes, etc.
2 foot and smaller bulbs - Usually these fixtures include the black light bulb when you buy them and also have a regular plug in. Some of the fixtures are hand held or are for use in an automobile, these are battery powered off the cigerette lighter plug in. *If you have a creature or any haunted items in your car, these work great to illuninate items without having to run extension cords into your car! You can find these at some of your local auto stores or on the internet.*
Most of the fixtures that are 2 feet or 1 foot long have nail holes on the back side to attach to the wall or ceiling. Great to light up a small to medium area. For example, at the bottom of a window, illuninate a picture, or on the top of an FCG frame.
A couple of other ideas for you is to get fluorescent treble lights and replace the white tube with a black light one, usually this units well protect the tube and you can hang easily and you can also find at some of your party stores "strobing" black lights. I believe the black light is 18 to 24 inches long. I have a couple of these untits and I really like the effect. These untits create a strobe light effect but, unlike a regular strobe light this one does nbot turn completely turn off during the "strobing" it is close though, it is dark enough to get the "strobing" effect. These are great to use in a tunnel, dark room, or anywhere you use glow or fluorescent items or props especially if your items/props are moving around! Try creating a fluorescent dot room with an actor dressed in the same costume to match the walls.
Just like a regular spot light, you can also purchase them as a black light. To be honest I have not used these as I am not sure how efective the black light "effect" is. I do know it is not a true black light as the color is either painted on the front of the bulb or it will have a colored plastic cover on it (unless you find and industrial black light spot light). And, like the regular light bulbs painted to be black light also get very HOT!
The only "true" black light spot light you can get, that I know of, is one made with uv leds or an industial use one.
L E D's
These many be tiny but, they put out one heck of a "true" black light effect.
You can buy the led's separate to use in or make into your own props, for eyes, or mini spot lights. Your can also purchase from mini to large spot lights made with one to many leds put together for a large output of black light and various dj lighting machines and bulbs for lots of different uses. As new and more items are being made with led's not only are the very bright but, they use very little energy. If you are using them to make props or minispot lights, which are great to light up a small area without spilling light into a whole scene or area, you can wire them up to battery packs or use a 12 volt adapter, using the correct resistor with them of course.
How to get that magical "glow"
As you know to get that black light "glow" you must use fluorescent or glow-in-the-dark items. Besides using props already made for use with a black light, you may want to incoporate some of this wonderful "effect" into your haunt, halloween display or props you are making.
Here is a list of the various forms of fluorescent items.
That's right you can now get UV BUBBLES! Great if you are having a party or if you live somewhere where it is some what warm on Halloween night you can use them in your Haunt or Halloween Display! They are available in either gold or blue. Also, this year I have seen "fog bubble" machines which the bubbles come out with fog inside them and when they pop you get little puffs of fog/smoke, way cool! Now try that with the uv bubbles! You can also get "fog" filled bubbles by placing a fog machine right behind a regular bubble machine so when it is taking in air to make the bubbles it is taking in fog!
You can purchase the uv bubbles at www.teknobubbles.com!
available in a variety of colors. You can get spray paint, water color, poster paints, finger paints and laytex. Most of these you can find at either your local hardware or craft store. Speciaility fluorescent paints like ones that are invisible in regular light and can only be seen under a black light or highly concentrated fluorescent paint are a sometimes more expensive but, well worth the extra money. These can be found at www.clearneon.com, www.unitednuclear.com, www.wildfirefx.com, and various compainies on the internet.
available in basic colors. I have mainly seen the elmers brand in fluorescent. Since most of these have a small tip this works great for lettering.
available in a variety of colors, glow in the dark, and uv (glows a light clear blue). You can purchase these through various companies on the internet. You can use the hot glue for glowing webs using a web shooter, blood splatters, and lettering.
you can get either Phosphorescent (Glow in the Dark) or UV reactive powders. You can search the internet and find different companies that carry a variety of colors and prices. You can add these powders to gel candles, wax, nailpolish, soap, paint, plastic for molding, and many different mediums to make many different items.
available in a variety of color and glow in the dark. I love to use these for lettering on just about everything! The tubes have a very small tip!
just like the powder you can get either Phosphorescent (Glow in the Dark) or UV reactive (invisible unless under a black light). Mainly used for security stamps on money or events to get in or out. You can use it on material, in water, or on paper.
you can get uv water dye for your pool or water fountains. I believe www.wildfirefx.com carries these water dyes and you can probably find other companies on the internet too.
You can also buy RIT dye brand "whitener brightner" , you can get it in powder or liquid form. The whitner brightner glows a bright light blue on anthing you put it on. But keep in mind it will not wash off. If you get in on your skin weither your just working with the stuff or purposely writing letters/words on yourself, it will still be there days later! (make sure you spell correctly and in the right direction!) This stuff you can use in your washer or put into a bucket to soak fabric like cheese cloth for ghosts and ghouls, or you can mix with water into a jar or use the liquid form and while under a black light paint onto walls, props, skeletons, paper, or whatever. It will be invisible until activated by the black light. I use the heck out of this stuff! Love it!
You can get glow in the dark and uv reactive, both great to use in a black light scene in your haunt. Just hide and spray and watch them scream! Fun at a party too!
Mainly avaiable in duct tape, you can get the basic fluorescent colors.
Available in your basic fluorescent colors. This stuff is like a 1 inch wide plastic ribbon it is actually not sticky. Weither you are using this under a black light or not you can use with wood stakes for making a barrier, fence or pathway through your haunt. (Mainly what I have used this stuff for).
Tonic Water - glows light blue
Baby Powder - glows white
Woolite - glows green
Rit Whitner Brightner - glows light blue
Tide - glows light blue
Milk - glows a pale orange
I am sure there are more but, these are the ones I know of.
See also a list of things (solid and liquid items you may have at home already or can get a grocery store) that glow under a black light and to learn what color they will glow click HERE to goto the "Things that glow under a black light" page!