Getting black lights and some neon clothes combine into one of the easiest ways to bring your party to the next level! But how many black lights do I need for a party? Where to put them to get the most effect? And what will actually glow?
If such questions kill your mood, you definitely need some help. We’re experts in throwing and attending all kinds of parties, and decoration is our passion. Get your plans in order because we’ve got answers to all the technical questions. Whether it’s a party for kids or just your way of spending self-isolation spring, let’s get things glowing!
Types of Black Lights and How Many You Need for a Room
First of all, let’s see what kinds of black lights there are. They are different in power and glowing effect, and you’ll need a different number of lamps depending on the type. Some of these versions are used rarely nowadays, but we decided to present to you everything there is.
Incandescent UV Bulbs
The oldest black light version, these are UV bulbs that take a lot of energy and emit a lot of heat. You can use them when there’s no other option available. Incandescent bulbs are getting out of fashion and replaced with new tech like LED lighting.
For a large 10m x 6m room, you’ll need as many as 30 bulbs. While they aren’t expensive, be prepared to spend quite a sum on electricity bills.
The best choice of the 80s and 90s, fluorescent tubes were a party bomb back then. This is a great choice for a theme party when you don’t want anything too modern. They don’t deliver a completely black light, so everything around will be a bit violet.
While the tubes are much more power-saving than incandescent bulbs, you still need around 15 of them to light a large room. They are also quite bulky and may be difficult to install if you don’t have much experience. Besides, any small impact might damage them, and considering fluorescent tubes have some mercury in them, it won’t be great for your health.
There are different types of black light canons that vary depending on the room you want to illuminate. Stronger lights are used for lives and huge club parties, while smaller ones can be used for small gigs and home parties. One thing you should know is that canons are a kind of supporting lighting, meaning you need another source to get an effect.
They are used to illuminate a certain area and won’t encompass the whole room.
There’s no exact number when it comes to canon lighting. Getting too many for a nice glowing effect may cost a lot and hurt your eyes. Installing too few won’t bring the desired effect. However, if your goal is to make an accent rather than get a classic black light, go for these.
LED Bulbs and Bars
This type is similar to the previous one, used to illuminate a certain area and emphasize it. LED lights are very cost- and energy-efficient, but they are also very powerful. Also, if you don’t have the necessary fixtures, there will be a lot of installing to do.
These lights can create a great glowing effect if you choose the right bulbs or bars. Even 5 of them will be fine for a room, but keep their brightness in mind. LED tech can be blinding if you choose highly luminous lighting and put it in a small room.
Black Light Kit
The latest innovation in black light is a special kit with lights for parties. They amplify the glow from every potentially glowing object and offer more area coverage. One such kit will be totally enough for a garage, patio, or lounge space. A larger room up to 15m x 15m will require two such kits, while a large hall like a school gymnasium or tennis court should be illuminated by four.
Every type is important and suitable for a certain fixture, area, and desired result.
You can combine those as well, for example, getting a few canons and using LED bulbs or a special kit.
Measure your room, think of the result you want to get from black lights, and calculate how much you’re willing to invest.
Pro Tips: Lights Position and Things to Get for a Black Light Party
Now, let’s talk about positioning your black light properly. They have to encompass the whole room and no people or objects should get in the way.
Take a ladder or ask someone for help and install your bulbs/tubes/canons closer to the ceiling. This will ensure full room illumination and there will be no annoying shadows in the way. Also, make sure you have enough lighting for all sides for the best effect. If possible, but lights with 180- to 360-degree beam angle.
Amplifying Black Light Glow Effect
It takes two things to make the black light party effect: the lights and stuff that glows. We’ve sorted what bulbs and tubes you can get and how many you need for a room.
But what things can make this party even more special?
Here are some ideas:
- Glowing bubbles and a blaster. There are kits on Amazon for that, or you can just make glowing bubbles. The blaster or bubble machine will make it easier to blow more, but keep in mind that any kind of party machinery is quite expensive.
- Glow sticks. The most popular thing for decades – bracelets and necklaces from glow sticks. You can make shapes on the walls with them, decorate fans, tables, give them to guests, etc. Another benefit – they aren’t that expensive if buying in bulk.
- The easiest way to make something glow under UV lights is painting it with a highlighter. You can also extract fluorescein from it for easier application.
- UV face paint. If you opt for a more interactive party and your guests aren’t against having their faces or hands get paint on them, buy UV face paint. It will glow with greater intensity, making the event more colorful.
- Glowing serving pieces. You can find anything online, event serving pieces that glow. If you want a budget-saving option, just get white places, cups, and napkins. White is the easiest color to get glowing at any house.
- Glowing food. You’ve read it right, glowing food. Marshmallows and vanilla ice cream glow. Here are also some ingredients: butter, veggie oil, sugar, flour, milk. It sounds like doing some baking would be a great idea for glowing snacks. Also, most gummy figures glow under UV lighting, and they are great party snacks!
- Glowing drinks. Two magical words – tonic water. It glows so bright that every lemonade will look amazing under UV. Add it to cocktails, serve pure and mixed with water for those who don’t like the bitter taste. You can also make ice from it and add it to any drinks. Tonic water jelly will also glow, and the taste is pretty interesting.
- Rolls back up quickly without getting tangled
- Very low voltage; keeps power consumption down
- Stays flush with corners and walls
A black light party is one of the easiest ways to impress your guests. Anything that glows in the dark has an instant “Wow!” effect on people. But getting enough lights, placing them correctly, and having things that will glow are all very important. We’ve been to a fair share of black light rooms and parties, and all our experience is in this article.