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Thread: 400w UV Canon question

  1. #1

    400w UV Canon question

    Are the UV canons as effective as im hoping they would be the best way to give the blacklight effect as opposed to these naff LED that are too high in wavelength ^ give off purple light ?

    Please help x


  2. #2
    If you care about the absolute best UV light effect you can get, what you want is an "old school" pro UV floodlight such as the Wildfire w/ their 400W "IronArc" lamp, or some other fixtures such as Nocturne or old Altman UV fixtures which use a special UV-rich mercury vapor lamp. These fixtures cost over $1000 each new but because they are large, heavy, and power hungry compared to LEDs.. also because they require expensive lamp replacement every <1000 hours of use, they are getting sold off used for much lower prices. The cheaper Chauvet etc "cannons" also use a mercury vapor lamp.. they work on the same principle as the more expensive ones.. but use a special combination lamp+filter that is not as good as the pro models. I have 3 wildfires and love them.. but yea the events I use them at are decorated with UV art.. UV is a major part of the lighting and it is worth it to me to have that quality of light (lots of output at 356nm, very little at visible frequencies). It's all about whether it's worth it to you to give up the convenience and low cost of the LEDs and put in that extra effort to get that better effect.
    Last edited by light-o-matic; 05-20-2018 at 01:38 PM.

  3. #3
    The other thing I would say is that, as far as LEDs go.. now that 365nm LED fixtures are coming down in price, it would SEEM like these would be obviously better than 395nm-405nm fixtures. But it turns out that the 365nm leds also put out a lot of visible output at pretty blinding frequencies. Some worse than others. If the LED fixtures used the same kind of glass UV bandpass filter that the mercury vapor / ironarc lamp fixtures use.. which filters out the visible light, they would be great.. but those glass filters are expensive.. so they don't. So, if you aim the 365nm fixture well above the crowd toward decorations, they work well.. but if you are trying to light uv clothing on people, or decor that is lower down.. then a good 380-395nm LED fixture might actually be less blinding.

  4. #4
    Thanks for the reply guys, i like the sound of those wildfire units but cant seem to find any on the used market anywhere, I think the Mercury Vapor type 400w units might be the way to go as every LED fixture i have seen are just blinding as scream out dazzle if directed head on but i want to shoot the audience to make the clothing pop, florescent tubes are good but the throw is terrible.

  5. #5
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    I'm currently replacing all of our ancient 48" blacklight tubes with LED based fixtures. After evaluating about a dozen LED blacklight fixtures the ones I liked the best were the 395nm OPPSK brand which are 18x3watt. I also found the source factory on Alibabba and can get them for half (40$) what Amazon sells them for shipped. PM me if anybody wants to know the source. I have about 70 to put up replacing about 80 2x48 classic tubes fixtures, and a lot of square footage to cover.

    I tried a couple 365nm based lights, and didn't care for them. While they put out less visible light and are closer in wavelength to my old tubes they also produce far less actinic effect per watt than 400nm. We estimated it would require at least double the 365nm wattage if not more to get the same effect as 400nm. Not worth it. The 395nms produce more visible violet than 395nm along with much more actinic what. That means my patrons who are drinking aren't falling over chairs and tables because it's so dark with 365nm. I have UV reactive glasses, tables, and carpet that all glow insane/nutz under the OPPSK units.

    I also built some fixtures with 50watt and 10watt LEDs. As you found out the power concentration was too dense and is really irritating when viewed even from the side. 3watt LEDs are as bright as can be comfortably tolerated IMO. If running the cobs you might want to try and bounce them off silver umbrellas to spread them out. Works good for colored PARs as well.

    I didn't like any UV PAR form factors. Too directional, and unlike the 18x3 bars they require fans. I tried a a couple 150watt UV pars and they lasted about a week. No problems with the OPPSKs.

    Never impressed by 400watt metal halide fixtures running UVA filters. Run too hot and burn out too fast unless actively cooled. Never thought they were that bright either, but don't have any to compare.

  6. #6
    Yea the OPPSK is an excellent fixture for the money, I just got four of the 6 LED bars, paying around 22/per I am quite satisfied but $40 for an 18 bar is obviously a better value! For me the 6 bar is perfect because I am using them to fill in areas that can't be easily covered with the three wildfire units I have, I'd prefer to have a greater number of smaller units to have that flexibility. Sounds like you've got a huge space there. I still do love the light from the metal halide fixtures, the real pro units like the wildfire are night and day different from the DJ brand units. But as you say they run hot, use lots of power and lamps are expensive .. If I was using them every night to cover a large space it would not be a luxury I could afford...

  7. #7
    Hey thanks for all the info on these 400w uv lamps im tempted to go led. blasterman can you post a link with what uv bars you got ?


  8. #8
    New Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2019
    I've used a single 400W UV Cannon to totally cover a 30ftx30ft dance floor. You need to mount it up high to get the coverage. I'd bet you could get 50x50ft coverage easy.

    Mine are 15yrs + old on the original bulb. Just don't move them until they completely cool down/
    Last edited by DMXGuy; 01-27-2019 at 04:39 PM.

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