How does a UV Lamp work?

How does a UV Lamp work?

What Is A UV Lamp And How Does It Work?

A UV lamp is a lamp specifically designed to emit light at the Ultraviolet Wavelength. The lamp is created using a quartz body and contains a small amount of mercury, either in a free state within the tube or imbedded within the lamp’s surface.  There are many different types of UV lamps which produce different wavelengths of UV including UV-A, UV-B and UV-C.

The Basics Of A UV Lamp

UV Lamp

How does a UV lamp start?

UV lamps contain a small amount of mercury, when a high voltage is applied to the electrodes, the starting gas inside the lamp is ionised and the temperature increases, this excites the mercury and creates a high temperature plasma arc which emits UV light.

Ideal Operating Temperatures

UV Lamps 2


  • Temperature 650 °C: metals/halides condense
  • Temperature 850 °C: tube stability compromised
  • Optimum Temperature:
    • 700 °C for mercury lamps
    • 800 °C for metal-halide lamps

If a lamp becomes swollen due to overheating, this will reduce the running voltage of the lamp. Swollen lamps will also not be effective at curing.


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