UV Lamps and Cabinets

UV lamps come in a variety of configurations; they may be handheld devices, installed in a cabinet or bench top size. Portable models are ideal for field work and can be battery-operated. Lamps can be used with a stand or a magnifier and utilise UVc radiation, typically at the wavelength of 254nm. Although UV cabinets are used for decontamination, care should be taken because the waves are incapable of penetrating barriers or reflecting from most surfaces. UV lamps are used to keep a biosafety cabinet's interior clean when it is not in use. The radiation breaks up chemical bonds and prolonged exposure leads to dysfunctional genetic material and cell death. A UV light box consists of a glass box with a lid and a lamp inside. It can have multiple lamps and a choice of wavelength. A UV cross linker covalently attaches nucleic acid to a surface or membrane after a procedure like Southern blotting. The applications of UV lamps and cabinets depend on the model but they include water testing, quality control inspection, non-destructive testing, sanitation, E.coli testing and sterilisation. When nucleic acid is stained with Ethidium Bromide, it lights up when exposed to UV light and so these devices are found in genetic laboratories.

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