A UV lamp isa lamp specifically designed to emit light at the ultraviolet wavelength, whichis generally not able to be seen by humans without special equipment. A UV lampmay do so in a number of different ways. For example, it is possible it willalso produce visible light, but it can also operate using a black light.
The UV lampcan be used for a number of different purposes. In terrariums, UV lamps areused so that plants and animals, especially reptiles, get enough of therequired UV light they may need each day. Traditional artificial lighting maynot offer enough light at the UV wavelength. If not, then plants which requireUV light may begin to suffer.
They alsohave an entertainment value as well. At amusement parks and other places, a UVlamp can be used as a black light to create unusual glowing effects. Theseeffects can also help reflect very vibrant colors, which have glowing phosphorsthat often react with invisible UV light.
A fluorescent UV lamp has an application as atanning tool as well. Many tanning beds usesuch lamps to give artificial tans because UV light is what actually tans theskin in the natural environment. However, the tanning beds can offer UV light ata much higher concentration, thus quickening the time it takes to receive thedesired tan level.
In additionto these entertainment and cosmetic applications, a UV lamp can also be used asa treatment tool for a number of different illnesses. While most UV lighttherapeutic tools are considered alternative forms of medicine, the use of a UVlamp, or lamps, to treat seasonal affective disorder, a mental illness, hasbeen accepted in many mainstream practices. The theory behind the treatment forthe seasonal disorder is that humans also need a certain amount of UV light andthat may not be available in sufficient quantities during the winter monthswhen people tend to spend less time outdoors and the days are shorter.
Those who are around UV lamps often should usesome caution. The rays from a UV lamp can be just as harmful as the sun's raysif overexposure occurs. This could result in sunburn, premature aging of theskin and even skincancer. The danger is especially potent for those who use tanningbeds, according to the American Medical Association, which states that the bedsdo increase the risk for cancer.