I've always liked experimenting with things, and seeing things in new ways or from different perspectives, so I got interested in UV Lights, however I don't like tube technology, it offers easier use and us much cheaper but an LED version is a neat project, if rechargeable and doesn't generate heat, as well as being much more portable, so read on if you'd like to see how I made it and if you want to make one yourself.

P.S. Sorry that some of the images are sideways, I didn't have time to rotate them.

Step 1: Parts and Supplies

So for this project first thing you need to do is source UV LEDs, but more importantly, the wavelength you need. I used this site to find which ones I needed, which are 380 nm and 365 nm, and ordered them off ebay.

I chose 365 nm and 380nm leds because they are really the only available UV LEDs, they are reasonably priced, and give the UV light a wide range of use.

For parts, this is what you need. The total cost of this project was just under $70, but you get all the extra UV leds as well.

Prices are in CAD

x100 380 nm LEDs - 30.49 (free shipping)
x20   365 nm LEDs - 21.12 (without shipping)
3mm clear green LED - 1.50 (bought locally)
LED Worklight - I chose one that was already cheap and turned out to be on sale for 9 bucks, with a 4 LED flashlight and 28 LED work light that sprung out.

Other Supplies:

Soldering Iron
Wire Cutters
Flathead Screwdriver


As you can see 380nm LEDs are much cheaper than 365nm, and that's good because most uses are in the 380nm range, so I used them to modify a few flashlights, and have spares for whatever I'd like.

The flathead screwdriver is for opening this light as it does not have any screws, yours will probably differ.

So, according to the site I linked to earlier, my finished UV light will be able to be used for all these things:

Anqitue glass (uranium glass, vasceline glass)
Forged document detection
A/C coolant leak detection (using dye)
Carpet inspection
Bathroom inspection
Animal urine
Human urine
Arson Investigation Flashlights Lanterns
Hotel room inspection
Mineral Hunting (diamonds, etc.)
Salmonella and Shigella bacteria detection
Contaminate inspection (clean environment)
Drivers licence UV markings
Dye penetrant inspection (NDI/NDT)
Magnetic surface analysis
Counterfeit currency detection
UV Curing (requiring 365nm)

Note that blood requires 465nm wavelengths, so it won't work with this, however if you use luminol, which reacts to the iron in the blood, it might work.

About This Instructable




Bio: i enjoy inventing, taking apart electronics, and rebuilding them. i also have a hobby of creating batch files, i greatly enjoy programming batch. i also ... More »
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