link to Home Page

UV Intensive

My research on the web for carbon arc lights yields several warnings about high UV, output of carbon monoxide, etc. In addition to being hazardous to your health, illegal in some states in fact, carbon arcs use an ungodly amount of power.

Offered by Ron.

Phosphors convert UV into full spectrum light!

Offered by Pat.

Warning to any and all who use battery cores or any form of carbon arc lighting. The arc light produced is rich in UV Light that will blind you over time without protection. It is the same type of light produced by an arc welder! I was a projectionist and have worked with the carbon arc motion picture projectors and I am a certified welder and a field engineer with extensive experience with carbon rods of all sizes. If you are using carbon arc lighting without UV shielding stop at once. You are blinding yourself. The type of damage done is subtle, progressive and irreversible. If you doubt me please check with your country, state or province's worker safety office or ask any experienced arc welder or anyone who has worked on the old (1930-1960) era movie projectors.

Offered by Ray.

It is my current understanding that certain types of glass and plastic will not pass much if any UV. I guess as a worst case one could probably put a couple of burned out florescent lights in front of the arc. The phosphorus coating on the tubes would convert UV to visible light.

Offered by Mike.

You're right that there are certain types of glass and plastics that will effectively shield you from UV. The first thing to remember is that there are more than one type of UV. The 2 types were mostly concerned with are long wave and short wave. The short wave is the most damaging. Most good sunglasses will protect from small amounts of long and short wave but not from the amounts and frequencies produced by carbon arcs. The only truly safe way to view any carbon arc is through an appropriate filter. The most commonly available filters are arc welder eye shields, lenses and filters, available from any welding supply store, most tool stores and Sears. The best general purpose filter is a #10 (often called a #10 shade), a #5 filter can be used for indirect viewing (no direct view of the arc) but a darker filter would be better. Also remember that carbon rods are hydroscopic (they can absorb water from the air) if the rod has a void and the void becomes filled with anything when the hot arc hits it you can have a mini explosion (the bright pops and sputters you see around a welder) this is why the pros always wear the leather gear and full face shielding helmets. If you absolutely must use carbon arcs for lighting, reflect the light off of a rear silvered mirror onto a pale or white background. This will help scatter and diffuse the harmful UV and Infrared to levels briefly tolerable to human eyes. Limit the use of the light to less than five minutes.

Offered by Ray.