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Black Light Basics




To determine if objects will glow in black light, take an inexpensive handheld black light with you when shopping at crafts and hardware stores. Papers and fabrics glow in varying degrees, so search for those that shine the brightest.

These instructions will create a stable base for freestanding black lights so that you won't have to mount them. Two 4-foot-tall panoramic black lights are sufficient to illuminate a 12-foot square room (position them in opposite corners).

1. Coat a small bucket and a 1-inch-by-4-foot wooden dowel with black paint. Let dry.

2.Stand dowel upright in center of bucket, and fill bucket with gravel.

3. Set black light vertically on top of gravel, with switch and cord at top. Secure black light and cord to dowel with zip ties.

Martha Stewart Living, October 2008



Reviews (2)

  • mslo_marcie 31 Oct, 2008

    You don't actually add quinine - the tonic water contains it and that is what makes it glow. We tried it with a few different kinds and they all worked. When you add food coloring it will still glow but not as brightly. Good Luck!

  • idratherbeskiing 27 Oct, 2008

    In the October 2008 issue of Living says that you can add quinine to liquids to make them floresce under a blacklight. My question is, for anyone who has done this before, how much tonic water do I need? is it only certain brands that will glow? do I mix it with water or use it straight up? Can I add food coloring to the water for a slightly different effect? Any suggestions for my "evil laboratory" would be great! Thanks!