Let’s start with the obvious – a UV flashlight is not a typical flashlight that will light up your surroundings. Unless you are using a dual-function UV-LED flashlight, ultraviolet radiation from these devices is invisible to the human eye.
That makes them special-purpose flashlights for observing a variety of things that are normally invisible in ambient light. As a bonus, you can make some fun (and quite often gross) discoveries with them.
So, what are the best UV flashlights on the market?
Read on to find our top picks.
Summary of Contents
- 1 1. Vansky 51 LED UV
- 2 2. Fenix TK25UV
- 3 3. UvBeast V3
- 4 4. Convoy C8 UV
- 5 5. Esco Lite 51 ED UV
- 6 6. Darkbeam UV 365NM
- 7 7. LIGHTFE Black Light
- 8 What Are the Most Common Uses for an Ultraviolet Flashlight?
- 9 Frequently Asked Questions About Tactical UV Flashlights
- 10 Final Thoughts
- The LEDs offer good brightness in darkness
- Mid-size design is easy to use
- IPX4 rating for water resistance
- Affordable price tag
- The beam distance is limited
- High battery consumption rate
When it comes to flashlights, Vansky may not be a well-known brand. But it has attracted considerable attention as one of the top-selling Ultraviolet flashlights on Amazon.
Since it emits 390 to 395-nanometer wavelengths of light, the flashlight is great for detecting dog or cat urine stains and hazardous pests. It has 51 UV light LEDs that have a long lifespan of 15 years.
The light is powered by 3 AA batteries and the average runtime is between 4-5 hours. The flashlight body is made from aluminum and feels durable. And the cherry on top is the super-affordable price tag that makes it great for budget buyers.
While this is not a powerful UV LED flashlight that will meet professional standards, it is a reliable option for indoor use.
Coming from Fenix, this is a tactical LED and UV flashlight that throws out a max output of 1000 lumens. The normal beam distance is a respectable 225 meters. It has four modes along with a strobe mode. And you can switch between white light and 365 nm UV light by using the innovative rotary flashlight head.
Shift to the UV mode and you get a 3000 mW output that is powerful enough for detecting invisible spots and stains. To power the flashlight, you can use a single 18650 rechargeable battery or two CR123A lithium batteries.
As usual, you get the trademark Fenix build quality with an oxidation-resistance aluminum body and an anodized finish. With an IP68 rating, it can easily handle rough outdoor use without breaking a sweat.
I would not place the TK25UV in the same category as other tactical flashlights like the Fenix PD35. But it offers everything that professionals and law-enforcement teams will look for in a dual-function tactical UV flashlight.
Powered by three 1.2A UV LEDs that deliver a 365nm UV wavelength, the UvBeast V3 is a top-grade ultraviolet light. The wavelength ensures that the light beam has maximum UV-A energy and the least amount of visible light energy. The excellent beam distance of around 60 feet allows you to use the spot beam even in commercial settings.
It packs dual 18650 Li-ion batteries that deliver an average running time is around three hours. While it’s not the best in class, you will not have to pay up for AA batteries every time it runs out of juice. Not to forget, it comes with a separate extension barrel that allows you to add a third cell.
For the price, the UV Flashlight Black Light from UvBeast offers a solid bang for your buck. If you need to use UV light frequently, it deserves a closer look.
The Convoy C8 UV delivers a 365nm wavelength that is great for indoor use and for biological or metallurgical research. The high-quality LG ultraviolet 365nm LED delivers a powerful spot beam and it can easily light up objects at a distance of 50-60 feet.
Another feature is the UV filter glass that cuts out visible light to deliver the best UV light. It is powered by two lithium-ion batteries and the run time is around three hours. The construction is robust but you will find it heats up quickly with continuous use.
When compared to the UvBeast V3, the hotspot of the C8 is brighter. However, the beam of the C8 is narrower. Besides, the C8 is more compact and easier to carry around as a handheld flashlight.
This flashlight from Esco Lite comes with 51 LEDs and is bright enough for household use. We consider it a good pick when you need to spot pet urine stains or hunt for scorpions.
The aluminum body feels beefy and it comes with an IPX4 waterproof rating. The knurling on the body offers a good grip and the operation is simple. It is powered by three AA batteries and runs cooler than most other cheap battery-powered UV lights. The battery life is around four hours.
Since the wavelength is between 395-405nm, you get more visible light than LED lights that generate a purely 365nm UV wavelength. The beam throw is limited too. But considering the super-affordable price tag, we do not consider it a major con.
With its striking looks, this UV flashlight from Darkbeam stands out from the competition. Beyond that, it has plenty of features that make it one of the best UV flashlights for budget buyers.
The best part of this flashlight is that even though it is inexpensive, it generates a 365 nm UV beam. And thanks to the zoomable design, you can shift between a spot and a wide beam.
The body is made from aluminum alloy and it is powered by a single AA battery. We also appreciate the lightweight and compact design. With a length of 4 inches, the little champ is ideal for pocket carry.
Considering its approachable price tag, the Darkbeam UV flashlight offers excellent value. Unless you prefer using rechargeable 18650 batteries or need a high-power UV light, this is a great option to get the job done.
The final product in this list is the Lightfe black light that emits true 365 nm ultraviolet black light. It uses an LG 365NM UV LED that delivers an output power of 3000mW. The lifespan of these LED bulbs is around 10,000 hours and as per the specs, the beam intensity is 115mW/cm.
Made from an aerospace-grade aluminum alloy, the light comes with a Mil-spec III anodized finish and an IPX8 rating. Since it is powered by a single alkaline battery the flashlight is lightweight. On the downside, the running time is less than 2 hours.
Other than that, the flashlight is also compact and uses a filter lens to eliminate excess visual light. The operation is simple through a single tail-cap switch that turns it on and off.
Overall, it is a more affordable choice than other professional-grade small UV lights when your use is limited to the indoors.
What Are the Most Common Uses for an Ultraviolet Flashlight?
Other than having fun at a black light glow party, UV flashlights have plenty of practical applications. Here are a few-
- UV flashlights are used in detecting counterfeit cash and also for validating IDs and other documents. All bills of $5 and up have a special security thread that gives out an eerie blue glow under UV light.
- UV light is useful for forensic investigations as bodily fluids such as urine, saliva, urine, and semen fluoresce under it. Ultraviolet 365 (UV 365) light can also detect blood plasma and serum stains.
- UV light is also useful for urine detection from stains left behind by pets in a household.
- UV flashlights can detect bedbug eggs and droppings within mattresses and carpets. Since scorpions glow under UV light, you can use these flashlights to hunt them too.
- The flashlights can be used to detect cracks in antiques and glass materials. They are also used to study minerals and gemstones.
- By using a fluorescent leak detector dye, these flashlights can also detect leakages from HVAC lines and car engines.
Frequently Asked Questions About Tactical UV Flashlights
Is a UV flashlight the same as a blacklight?
The ultraviolet wavelength ranges between 100-400 nm and is categorized into UVA, UVB, and UVC bands. The UVA range, between 315-400 nm is termed black light. Since there is no light visible under the naked eye in this range, it does not provide any illumination in a dark environment.
Are UV flashlights legal?
Using UV flashlights is perfectly legal. However, UV lights that claim to be pesticide devices or make any medical claims, are regulated by the EPA.
Is UV light just purple light?
No. The wavelengths of the hues of purple are above 450nm. UV light has higher energy and a lower wavelength than purple light.
Picking the best UV flashlight depends on the type of performance you are seeking and your budget. If you require the best fluorescence effects, stick to flashlights that have LED technology that generates UV rays with wavelengths around 360 nm.
For professionals who frequently head outdoors, we recommend the Fenix TK25UV. Even if you are not using UV radiation for professional use, UV flashlights are an effective tool for keeping home interiors clean. Just make sure to follow the right safety guidelines while using these lights.