Understanding Different UV Wavelengths


UVC: 100 nm – 280  nm Germicidal

UVC has germicidal properties and is the most “invisible” of the UVC wavelengths. It acts as a “disinfectant” by breaking down DNA and RNA at the molecular level. CAUTION –  eye and skin protection are necessary when working with UVC.

PRIMARY USES FOR UVC Ultraviolet Light

  • Sanitize air, water and surfaces
  • Inactivate bacteria and viruses
  • Sterilize medical tools
  • Harden adhesives and coatings
  • Disinfect water and sewage
  • UVC at 185 nm is optimum for producing ozone.

UVB: 208 nm – 315  nm

UVB is in the middle of the ultraviolet spectrum. This wavelength of UV is associated with causing skin burns.

PRIMARY USES FOR UVB Ultraviolet Light

  • Suntanning tubes
  • Reptile aquariums
  • Treatment of skin disorders
  • Polymer and ink curing


UVA: 315 nm – 405  nm Blacklight Blue

UVA is also known as ‘blacklight blue’ as it causes some pigments to fluoresce and glow. It is used in security monitoring and extensively in the special effects and novelty industries.

PRIMARY USES FOR UVA Ultraviolet Light

  • Fluorescence of organic matter
  • Forensics
  • Document authenticity
  • Special effects
  • Hobbies
  • Product tracing
  • “Invisible ink” illumination


Explore the various types of UV in JKL’s Ultraviolet Design kit.

Listed in Germicidal UVC, Tips & Tools