Halloween Blacklight

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https://www.rosco.com/spectrum/index.php/2011/10/halloween-blacklight/

Halloween is a time for ghosts, get-togethers and of course CANDY. If you want a unique treat for your Halloween party this year – might I suggest some blacklight candy:

This candy will sharpen you up and make you ready for a bit of the old ultra-violent:

Ummmm… I mean… ultra-VIOLET.

The easiest solution to creating dynamic, vivid blacklight effects is to purchase our Miro CubeTM UV365 LED Fixture. Drawing just 50 watts, it outperforms conventional, long-throw fixtures that use 5 times the power, weigh 10 times more and need an expensive lamp change every 1000 hours! Plus, because it’s LED, the Miro Cube UV is dimmable!

Not everyone wants to own a dedicated blacklight fixture, so they search for ways to modify fixtures they’ve already got.  That’s why one of the most frequently asked questions we receive at Rosco, especially around Halloween time, is what Rosco gel to use on theatrical fixtures to turn them into UV blacklights. Unfortunately, my brothers and sisters, the tungsten lamp in those theatrical lights does not have the Ultraviolet energy needed to excite the fluorescent and phosphorescent pigments you want to make glow.

Sure, I can suggest R383 Congo Blue combined with R375 Cerulean Blue, which will effectively remove the visible light and let the UV pass; but filters only remove wavelengths of light – they can’t put energy into the beam that doesn’t already exist. That’s why those cheap purple ‘blacklight bulbs’ sold at novelty shops never work – there’s no UV in there!.

What you need is a source rich in UV to begin with – like fluorescent bulbs, metal-halide, CID and other arc sources or an LED flashlight like Becky used in her candy video above. Using gels on sources with high amounts of UV is problematic though because the extra ultra-violet will make the dyestuffs in the gels fade ultra-fast. However, installing Rosco’s new Permacolor #3660 UV Pass Filter in front of a UV-rich source will do the trick perfectly. The formulation of the filter necessitates us to coat both sides of the glass, so this filter is more expensive that the other colors in the Permacolor range – but its dichroic formulation will hold up for many hours inside your newly created blacklight.

One ultra-interesting light source that is rich in UV-output is Rosco’s X24 Effects Projector.  In the above video, I placed a piece of the Permacolor #3660 UV Pass dichroic filter into the X24, which has a UV-rich metal-halide source, and projected a ghostly blacklight effect onto some UV sensitive spider web material I bought at my local Halloween Superstore.

Blacklights are only effective when they shine onto materials that will fluoresce, or excite under UV light. Rosco manufactures a wide range of paints that will glow brightly when you hit them with blacklight.

Whether you’re adding a blacklight effect to your stage production or just making your pumpkins fluoresce at home – Happy Halloween from all of us at Rosco!

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Joel Svendsen

About Joel Svendsen

Content Marketing Manager: Joel's Rosco career began in Rosco's Hollywood office in 1999 – first in sales covering the Western US and the Los Angeles Film & Television market, and then as Product Manager for Rosco's Film & Television Products. In that time, his knowledge of Rosco's products and how they're used in each of our marketplaces makes him well suited for bringing the stories in Spectrum to life.

One thought on “Halloween Blacklight

  1. Hi,

    I am doing animated spatial art installations by use of UV paint and light as you can see on my website. I have a question in regard to changing color of the UV light. I would like to get rid of that typical purple of the most UV lights and was wondering if any of the UV pass color gels would work for that. I tried many gels, but with no effect (calcolor, roscolux, color effects and cinegel sampler). Could you recommend me a gel that could work?
    In the link I send you I have used dark blue compact fluorescent lamp which has a cool blue effect, but all other lights I am working with and that are DMX are extremely purple. Making them not purple would be fantastic!

    Thanks!!

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