Left: Regular lamp - Right: RUVA lamp
Most lamps are standard grade that emit light in all directions. With these, you have to use reflector shields to bounce the light back into the direction you want. Most Solacure lamps are RUVA design, or Reflector UVA lamps, and they have their own built in reflector. Above is a diagram that shows a comparison of RUVA lamp versus regular lamp. Below is a diagram that shows the relative intensity of light coming out of the lamp, when looking at the lamp end on:
Lamp is shown light blue, internal reflector is shown bright blue. It will actually be white.
There are several reasons we build our lamps with their own reflectors, the most important being that UV is very difficult to reflect. The best "common" material for reflecting UV is polished aluminum. This includes the stuff you buy on a roll for wrapping up left overs. It does a fair job as well, managing to reflect about 50% of the UV that hits it. The rest is ionized as heat. This is basically the same material that is used inside tanning beds, because it is cheap, fairly effective and easy to work with. However, the coating that is in our RUVA lamps is better. It does cost a little more to produce lamps with a built in reflector, but it more than pays for itself in dramatically higher output.
The coating we use is designed specifically for ultraviolet, and is over 80% efficient, far surpassing polished aluminum. The average output of our lamps is 35%-50% higher using this reflective coating, compared to manual reflectors. This results in a lot of power that was lost, and now put to work.
Even better, this makes designing your UV curing rig simpler, as you don't have to concern yourself with designing a reflector system in most applications. There are a few apps that do benefit 10% or so, such as guitar cabinets, or other designs where you are completely surrounding the item with lights in all angles, so you are "recycling" the light that didn't hit the object. Even in these special cases, using RUVA lamps means at least 40% more power to the finished item.
Because RUVA lamps are so much more intense, you have to understand this when designing your rigs. This is why you can't have the lamps a foot apart, as you would have relatively cold spots in between them. For more information on proper lamp placement, see our special page on this. Back to Support