UV Micro Light, retail $TBA
Last update: 05-03-11

UV Micro Light

The UV Micro Light is a very small, keychain-sized LED flashlight.

A little larger than a US quarter, this tiny light is really, really bright (considering its wavelength, of course!) when the batteries are fresh. It does dim down a bit over the first few minutes, but then the decline slows down a bit. All lights using small coin cell batteries will do this.


The UV Micro Light is operated by squeezing it between your thumb and forefinger. It also has a small switch you can pull back to keep the light continuously lit; this is great if you need both hands free for the task at hand. The switch is very small and can be difficult to move, which may make it a minor problem to use for those with large fingers or short/no fingernails.

The switch is easy to find in the dark, since you immediately feel it when you pick up the flashlight. Even if you can't feel it right away (wearing gloves?), giving the light a squeeze will not only turn the light on, but cause the switch to glow (somewhat dimly, but visibly) and allow you to see it and maneuver it into the steady-burn position. Squeezing the light too hard can make the switch difficult to slide - if you find this to be the case, quit squeezing, and the switch should slide back quite easily with a fingernail.

The light has a decent power output when the batteries are new. The beam is nice and wide, and you'd have no trouble illuminatinmg UVA-reactive materials with it.

The plastic case (which contains the batteries) is held together with four "00" Phillips screws, which require that you keep a jewler's screwdriver or an eyeglass repair kit around the house.
Once you unscrew the case, the insides are exposed and ready for the minor surgery which you are about to perform.

Be careful when you open the case, because the tiny plastic switch can come out and fall prey to the hungry, hungry vacuum cleaner if you're not looking. I've heard several reports of these switches ending up in the vacuum cleaner bag after they were dropped on carpet, so until you get used to it, take it apart at a table or over a paper plate. Disassembling/reassembling it is not difficult by any means, but it does require you to pay attention to things, including battery polarity, getting the LED's lead in the little groove in the switch, getting the top of the switch through the opening in the flashlight body, and all those tiny screws. You should also note, the type of LED in this flashlight doesn't like being hooked up backward directly to the 6 volt power source, and it can occasionally let you know its displeasure by failing to work ever again or by becoming very dim even with new batteries.

Once you have the case halves apart, remove the two dead batteries and replace them with a new pair; being sure to put them in the same way.
The flat (+) side faces down, and lays over the bottom (long) LED lead. The slightly shorter LED lead should lie just barely above the surface of the (-) face of the top battery. Lay the plastic switch over the LED lead, seeing that the lead fits into the groove on the bottom of the switch. Lay the top piece of the light back on, being sure the switch protrudes from the small rectangular hole in this part. That done, hold the light in one hand, flip it over (still holding it) and put in the screws.

Once you have one or more screws in, you no longer need to hold the halves together - the screws will do that for you from this point on.

It sounds like a really nasty procedure, but it honestly isn't. All of the parts (except the batteries) only fit together one way, so you can't really screw it up.
It's a lot easier to DO it than it is to EXPLAIN it.

The UV Micro Light is made of a rather tough-feeling plastic, and seems to be extremely durable. The most vulnerable components appear to be the tiny plastic switch and the exposed portion of the LED bulb itself. Dropping the UV Micro Light has no effect on it. It has also been run over (on carpeting) with an electric wheelchair and has been stomped on with no ill effects.

Note: although fresh water is generally harmless to this light if you dry it out whenever you get a chance, I would probably keep this one away from the boat if you live near the ocean and plan on getting salt water everywhere. No O-rings or other environmental seals were found when the unit wss opened for a battery change.

The flashlight's major drawbacks? You don't want to accidentally leave one on; since the battery life at full brightness is limited (still longer than incandescent) and the batteries can be very expensive if you do not have access to the internet. They can also be difficult to change out in the wilderness. Put in a fresh set before going on an extended outdoor adventure; you can still re-use the older set after you get back.

beam from this light
Beam photograph on the test target at ~12".

Spectrographic analysis
Spectrographic analysis of the LED in this light.

Spectrographic analysis
Spectrographic analysis of fluorescence of a uranated* glass marble when irradiated with this light.

USB2000 spectrometer graciously donated by P.L.

*"Uranated" - infused with an oxide anion of uranium, *NOT* tinkled (urinated) on.
Commonly referred to as "Vaseline glass" because it has
a distinct pale yellow-green color when not being irradiated.

Note spelling: "urAnated", not "urEnated","urInated",
"urOnated", "urUnated", or sometimes "urYnated".

Test unit of this light, plus two uranated glass marbles and two fluorescent mineral specimens were discovered on the morning of 05-02-11 (or "02 May 2011" or even "May 02, Twenty Double Sticks" if you prefer) while looking for another product that required spectroscopy. I believe it was sent to me by M. Boyd (of InReTech) sometime fairly early this decade -- possibly 2002 or 2003.

UPDATE 00-00-00:


All those tiny little screws!
Batteries can be expensive.
Brightness drops off significantly with continuous usage.

    PRODUCT TYPE: Mini keychain UV light
    No. OF LAMPS: 1
    BEAM TYPE: Circular; medium spot
    SWITCH TYPE: Slide on/off and momentary squeeze-on
    CASE MATERIAL: Plastic
    BEZEL: None
    BATTERY: 2x CR2016 lithium coin cells
    CURRENT CONSUMPTION: Unknown/unable to measure
    WATER- AND URANATION-RESISTANT: Minor splatter- and weather-resistance
    ACCESSORIES: Batteries, medium split ring
    WEIGHT: Not equipped to weigh
    COUNTRY OF MANUFACTURE: Unknown; but probably China
    WARRANTY: Unknown


    Star Rating

UV Micro Light *

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