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Mineral Short Wave

This is a lamp for anyone wanting to see fluorescent minerals. It is strong and a real work horse. This would also be good to put in a static display for minerals that fluoresce under short wave UV light. We have had a number of folks who wanted to make a static box with an internal UV light in order to show fluorescent minerals. This one would do it.


This is a 110 volt, AC lamp with 9 watt SW/MW/LW bulbs. The bulbs are driven with 13 watt ballasts to increase the UV output. This particular unit is designed for a right-handed person. Since most of the fluorescent minerals need the SW to fluoresce, it is a matter of convenience such that the body of the lamp is not in the way of viewing the specimen. The bulb on the right is the LW bulb. The switches are above the bulb that they control and the switch for the fan is in the middle right. The fan does not need to be on unless the unit is getting hot. The switches are labeled S, N, L and F.

SW & MW (short-wave, UV C&mid-wave UVB) ultraviolet light/radiation causes sunburn. Do not expose your skin or eyes to the rays from this lamp.

The 9 watt PL-S bulbs, have capacitors built into the base of the bulb to allow them work properly with the magnetic ballasts.

These units come in attractive black ABS enclosures with a black plastic handle. They are lightweight and are very comfortable to hold. The bulbs are in SW, MW and LW and the units have all three wavelengths. The dual and triple bulb units are approximately 6" x 8" x 3" with the handle sticking up an additional 2.5". Each wavelength has its own switch and any combination of the bulbs may be on at the same time. This is a 9 watt model in 110 volt, AC. The 12 volt ballasts are custom manufactured and they were designed to "overdrive" the bulb as if it were a 13 watt bulb.

One very strong selling point for the Philips bulbs that I use, is that they put out more UV over the life of the bulb than the standard quartz bulbs and they also have much less mercury in them. Philips also uses a different kind of glass so that none of the ozone producing UV gets emitted from the bulb. Most of the standard quartz bulbs do produce ozone. Philips figured out that part of the reason that the standard quartz bulbs lose efficiency is that the mercury gets into the structure of the quartz and changes it so that less UV gets through. Because the mercury absorbs into the glass, the standard quartz bulbs have to put in about 5 times as much mercury, so that there will be enough mercury left at the end of the useful life of the bulb. Philips found that putting a coating of yittrium oxide on the inside of the bulb helps to stop the mercury from getting into the glass. This coating allows the bulb to emit much more UV over the life of the bulb. Tests have shown that at 10,000 hours, the quartz bulbs are emitting only about 53% of the UV that they did when the bulbs were new. The Philips bulbs, on the other hand still emit about 80% of the UV that they started out with. The quartz bulbs do start out with a little more at the beginning since the quartz glass allows about 92% of the UV through, while the boro-silicate glass only allows about 88% of the UV through. The cross over point where the Philips bulb starts outperforming the quartz bulbs is about 2,000 hours, so for the rest of the 8,000 hours of typical use, the Philips bulb produces much more UV than the quartz bulbs.

Mineral Short Wave
Mineral Short Wave
Mineral Short Wavet



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