UV Starlight, model SL-3UV, retail $10 (http://www.iqhk.com)
Manufactured by IQ Hong Kong (http://www.iqhk.com)
Last updated 04-05-02

The UV Starlight is a new entry in the very quickly expanding market for the new deep violet / near-UV LEDs that started showing up in November of 2001. This is a handsome, sleek & modern looking version of the "UV Money Checker" that's all the rage now. The case is held together by six screws, and is the size and shape of those "flat" laser pointers that Sharper Image was promoting a few years back.

Inside you'll find a high powered near-UV LED and a pair of CR2016 lithium coin cells, and the light is activated by pressing the silver button near the front.


The UV Starlight is ready to use right out of the package. Pressing on the silver button turns it on; letting go turns it off. The basic idea is to shoot it at money and other official documents to check for the presence or absence of UV reactant security measures like strips, watermarks, and special holographic patterns.

To change the batteries, take a #00 phillips screwdriver and remove the 6 screws from the top surface of the light. Lift the upper half of the case away. And I think I just blew it. Crap!! Parts are everywhere, and I have no idea how they go back together.
{imitating Bart Simpson} Hell damn fart!!! Crap boobs crap!!!

Well, OK I eventually figured out how to get all the pieces back together. I'll have to think on this for awhile to determine a safer way to change the batteries and not have parts shooting all over the place. :o

Well yeah, it's cheap plastic. But it sure looks cool. :)
It's thin and small, and will fit unobtrusively in a shirt or pants pocket if you remove the flat-sided split ring. You can also hang it from your keychain, or dangle it around your neck on a lanyard. It has a swivel attachment, so it won't get tangled up when you grab it and find you need to turn it around to push the button. I like swivels on things like this.

The LED is recessed in a special hosel (think of the LED sitting inside the screw-in part of a golf club head), and is therefore a bit less likely to become damaged, especially if the unit falls on the floor face-first.

The unit is *not* waterproof, but should be alright if you get caught in a rain shower and have to make a run for it. Do not drop this in a river, sink, pool, or bathtub or you will end up having to take it apart (see above!) and dry all those little pieces out.

I found the LED wavelength to be approaching 405nm, and as such it is not quite as useful for conducting fluorescence testing or checking UV-secured documents as a unit with a shorter wavelength LED might be. It has a distinctly bluer color than the various sub-400nm LEDs and LED money detector lights I've tested to date. As a result, this unit appears brighter to the eye, and will project a striking deep royal purple beam onto a wall or other light colored, nonreactive surface. Bleached paper will still glow a bright whitish blue, and objects that normally glow in a "blacklight" will still glow under this light.

Beam photo. Photometric analysis is
not possible due to short wavelength.

Unit just came today (02-25) and is now in testing.

UPDATE: 00-00-00

Neat looking
Compact, flat shape
LED is recessed & protected
Comes with a 360 swivel attachment

Parts fly everywhere during battery change
Tools needed for battery change
LED wavelength is a bit too long for intended usage
Not water-resistant

        MANUFACTURER: IQ Hong Kong
        PRODUCT TYPE: UV 'Money Checker'
        LAMP TYPE: 5mm LED, ~405nm deep violet
        No. OF LAMPS: 1
        BEAM TYPE: Medium spot with hot center/softer edge
        SWITCH TYPE: Snap action momentary dome
        BEZEL: LED recessed in housing
        BATTERY: 2x CR2016 lithium
        CURRENT CONSUMPTION: Unknown/unable to measure
        ACCESSORIES: Batteries, split ring w/swivel
        WARRANTY: None specified


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