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What is a UV Detector?

By Erin J. Hill
Updated May 16, 2024
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An ultraviolet (UV) ray detector is a device which uses photoelectric cells to detect the presence of UV rays and the amounts in which they can be found. They are generally used to test lighting fixtures and electronics to discover the amounts of UV emitted before being sold to consumers. UV detector devices can also be used by consumers to find out how much UV radiation is in their homes, businesses, and other locations and sometimes where the rays are coming from.

UV rays are emitted primarily by the sun, but also by certain light emitting and electronic devices, such as black lights and tanning beds. When used in correct doses, UV rays can have health benefits like increased vitamin D production and treatment for some skin conditions. In higher amounts, UV radiation can cause serious damage to skin’s DNA and may result in skin cancer. For this reason, a UV detector should be used for any product meant to treat patients with low levels of ultraviolet rays to ensure that they do not receive an overdose.

The use of a UV detector may also come in handy with consumers for finding out how much UV radiation is entering their homes and buildings through windows and certain electronic devices. This is a good idea for anyone attempting to use items that are meant for UV ray production to ensure that they are not getting too much too quickly. In most areas, a UV detector can be purchased locally. Others may have to order online.

Most times the UV detector will need to be connected to a printer or computer in order to view readings. Some detectors may also be useful at detecting the presence of UV radiation above a certain level, while others can give exact readings on the amounts of UV radiation being emitted by particular items. Many industrial companies must also frequently test their facilities for UV rays to ensure the health of their employees.

There are various types of UV detectors. Some use chemicals which respond to UV radiation to detect it in the atmosphere. Each model has a different level of sensitivity and can detect levels below a specific point and above. The level at which many can detect UV rays is at or just below that which would be harmful for humans with prolonged or repeated exposure.

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