Can Philips Hue Do Black Light? ( A Complete Guide)

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Philips Hue is a popular smart lighting system that offers a wide range of lighting options through app and voice control. Many wonder if Philips Hue can produce black light effects with color-changing and dimmable bulbs.

Here is an overview of whether and how Philips Hue can create black light.

What is Black Light?

blacklight and wavelenghts on spectrum

Blacklight refers to ultraviolet (UV) light that is mostly invisible to the human eye. Blacklight causes certain materials to fluoresce, glowing in bright neon colors.

A key trait of black light is that it has a very limited visible spectrum. Only a small amount of purple light is visible, making most black light bulbs appear to be off even when illuminated. They emit largely ultraviolet wavelengths.

What is the Difference between Black Light vs. Purple Light?

While they may seem similar, there is an important difference between true black light and just plain purple light.

Black light bulbs are specially designed to filter out most visible light, emitting primarily UV rays. Regular purple bulbs simply produce visible purple or violet light. They don’t create the same UV effects as true black light bulbs. So, purple hue alone does not equal black light.

What is The Color Spectrum of Hue Bulbs ?

Standard Philips Hue bulbs, including the popular White and Color Ambiance models, are not designed to emit ultraviolet black light. Instead, they produce visible light across the color spectrum.

The bulb specifications indicate the color range falls between 2000K-6500K for white shades and wavelengths of roughly 650nm to 405nm for colored hues. This covers the visible color range, not ultraviolet.

So, while Hue bulbs can certainly produce purple lighting, this differs from the mostly invisible UV light associated with black light effects. The bulbs lack the specific UV wavelength output required.

How Simulate a Blacklight Effect with Philips Hue

While Philips Hue bulbs can’t create true black light, you can try to simulate a blacklight effect using the bulbs.

Set Hue bulbs to a deep purple hue. In a dark room, the purple will dominate, appearing black when not illuminating surfaces directly. The purple light may cause some fluorescent effects, though not as strongly as true black light.

For best results, use this simulated black light effect sparingly in a very dimmed setting. Avoid bright white light from other bulbs that can drown out the purple hue. Manage expectations, as the effect will be muted compared to real blacklight.

How Increase the Authentic black light effects from Philips Hue

If you want more authentic black light effects from Philips Hue, consider adding a separate black light fixture wired to a Hue smart plug. This lets you control an actual UV black light bulb with the Hue app and features.

Use smart actions to activate the plug when wanting the black light effect. Make sure to locate the black light carefully to illuminate the desired fluorescent areas and objects.

Combining a true black light with color-changing Hue bulbs can produce some interesting effects while maintaining full smart control.

What are The Safety Considerations To Take with Black Light ?

It’s important to note some key safety considerations when using black light or trying to simulate it with Hue bulbs:

  • Avoid direct eye exposure, as UV light can be damaging.
  • Blacklight can degrade or damage certain materials and finishes over time.
  • Traditional black light bulbs require careful installation and electrical precautions.
  • Children should only use black lights with adult supervision.

While black light effects can be fun, follow all manufacturer safety guidelines.

As Hue bulbs don’t emit UV rays, they don’t carry the same risks when creating simulated black lighting.

What are The Limits Of Philips Hue for Achieving a True Black Lighting?

Standard Philips Hue bulbs cannot truly produce black light effects since they lack UV wavelength output. At best, the bulbs can mimic a muted black light effect through deep purple lighting. To achieve true black light effects, you would need to install separate specialty black light fixtures and bulbs designed specifically for UV output. Philips Hue does not currently offer bulbs that emit black light wavelengths.

So, while Hue lighting provides many smart color features, generating authentic black light effects remains outside the system’s capabilities. But some clever workarounds can resemble black light ambiance for mood and accent lighting applications.

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About James Beetie

James - a self-confessed nerd - has owned smart home equipment for close to a decade, and he loves communicating the best ways of setting them up... and resolving the various bugs and issues that you'll no doubt come across!