Uses for Ultraviolet Torches

Updated March 23, 2017

Scientists use ultraviolet (UV) light technology to explore hidden aspects of space and the natural world. UV torches, or flashlights, help extend the range of visible light human eyes can see. UV light has shorter wavelengths than light we detect, and torches allow us to find otherwise invisible elements. More commonly, UV torches are used daily to monitor pollutants and enforce security.

Home Inspection

UV torches may be used to inspect homes. Pointing UV light at material, such as glue or caulking, exposes whether or not any repairs were done or if different material was used. UV light also highlights grease and oil to help find any unclean areas or leaks, which is essential during home inspections. On fabric covering couches or chairs, for example, UV torches will expose stains invisible to the naked eye. Torches also illuminate traces of biological matter, such as blood. The advantage to using a UV torch, versus hiring an inspector or using complicated chemical tests, is that they are relatively inexpensive and easy to operate.

Control of Pests

UV torches expose urine from mice, rats, or any other number of pests infiltrating homes. The torch allows homeowners or landlords to examine basements, crawlspaces or attics for traces of unwanted visitors without having to find the creatures themselves. Following urine, with the help of the UV torches, gives homeowners a chance of finding where the pests are living. After pest removal, torches are a convenient way to make sure pests haven't managed to return. UV torches are also used to find scorpions. Because they are so small and low to the ground, scorpions are difficult to see with the unaided eye.

Inspecting Documents

UV torches are routinely used to verify identification and currency. Makers of currency or official identification use these hidden symbols to prevent counterfeiting and to enforce national security. UV torches pass over passports, driver's licenses, money and credit cards to look for invisible elements or marks. Hand stamps at amusement parks or night clubs are also illuminated by UV light. Furthermore, UV torches are employed to find art forgery as the UV light can pick up different kinds of paint on a supposed historical piece that may have been invented only recently.

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About the Author

Augustus Clipper began writing professionally online in 2009. His areas of expertise include home gardening, landscape architecture and interior design. He received his Bachelor of Arts from the University of California and his Master of Arts in English literature from New York University.