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UV Lamps - Which? Or None?

 
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United States
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Posted 07/21/2021   10:23 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this topic Add baker to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
I've seen some of the UV Lamp messages here, but now I'm not sure what to do. I'd like to be able to detect tagging at times. And whatever other uses the lamp may have, in paper, etc.

I'm a little concerned over using a UV light in general. I wonder why there does not appear to be a lamp that works in such a way so that you can't look directly into the lamp. I know that used properly, the UV lamps are probably safe, but goggles add to the investment -- if I even need them...

Anyway, the small portables seem to be criticized for being very weak. The bigger ones are pretty costly. I wouldn't like to pay $60 for a cheaper lamp if it did not deliver. The more expensive ones represent more of an investment, and I would expect them to be better (?) If I got one, I think I'd want a dual short and long wave. At this point I collect US, but I think that dual lamps offer other functions, some sort of paper identification, etc. Or, I could ignore the issue I suppose. In the end, it may prove a useless exercise, i.e., value-wise, but I think I've seen at least one stamp where the way to ID the stamp was whether it was tagged. What then?

Does anyone have remarks on lamps, or general opinions concerning tagging?


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3152 Posts
Posted 07/22/2021   07:45 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add angore to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
The shortwave models can affect your eyes if you look directly into them. No worries with longwave.

If your goal is to simply tell tagging from non-tagging a basic model is fine but note that under longwave you can see tagging but it will also see fluorescence of paper so you need to know how it is tagged (all over, bars, etc).

A battery powered shortwave usually needs to be used in a darkened room. One key quality aspect of a shortwave model is the quality of the notch filter (the front colored lens) that removes light outside the desired wavelength.
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Al
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United States
64 Posts
Posted 07/22/2021   10:08 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add baker to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Thank you Angore. So, what I'm taking from this is:
1. A basic model like the Lighthouse L81 dual lamp would probably be fine.
2. Don't look into the light, look at the stamp.
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Posted 07/22/2021   10:14 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Petert4522 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Baker, you should read some of the previous posts on this subject. There is quite a lot to this. Use the "search" function on this and every page


Peter
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Posted 07/23/2021   11:27 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add JLLebbert to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I started collecting U.S. "tagging omitted" errors about 11 years ago. Initially I planned to purchase an inexpensive UV lamp, but after doing a bit of research I decided to purchase a stronger lamp (about $175 as I recall). Over the years I have returned a considerable number (more than 2 dozen) of "tagging omitted" stamps that were, in truth, tagged. Sometimes they were heavily tagged, raising the question as to how the seller missed this, but most were very lightly tagged. Consequently, I have never regretted my investment in a more powerful UV lamp.
Note that my decision was driven by a desire to collect errors, some of which can occasionally be a wee bit expensive. I'm not sure what UV lamp I would have opted for had I only been interested in normal stamp identification.
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United States
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Posted 07/23/2021   5:26 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add baker to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
JLLebbert,

Your post really captures some of what I'm talking about. Do I collect tagging errors? No. Do I want the option of detecting tagging? Well, yes. If you're all about the tags, then I can definitely see the need for a better unit.

The little cheaper ones may be penny-wise and pound foolish, even for very casual use. There are times when the cheaper <something> is fine. With UV lamps, I'm getting the feeling that the results will be much better with a better lamp. In this case, I'm sensing that I will regret buying a small portable.

From what I've read, the small ($25 $30) lamps are criticized for being weak, and insufficient for the task. Nor would I buy an $800 lamp; I don't have that to burn on a lamp, especially if I'm not specializing right now. For me, the $100-$200 range would probably be the sweet spot. That's not cheap, but if it can deliver the results, that would be worth it...one day...
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Posted 08/20/2021   3:45 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add jkelley01938 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I have two "UV TOOLS" lamps. One for long wave and one for short. They are identical but now I don't have to switch out the bulps. I absolutely love these lamps.

Jack Kelley
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United States
173 Posts
Posted 08/21/2021   08:26 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add mstocky2 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
The small 4W units work fine if you know their limitations. They are not bright in room light but if you shade them with your hands at say a stamp show they will identify US tagging types. If you are looking for tagging omitted that is a different story and you want a darkened area and use a 10x lope. At home in a dark room, I have had not an issue checking for tagging omitted using the 4W units. 10x lope is key. I also have the 11W battery unit from Ultraviolet-Tools. It is much brighter and while bulky I care it to stamp shows if looking for tagging omitted or general identification if room is bright.

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