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Black Light Projects

Glow in the Dark Fun with Black Light

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There are a lot of interesting science projects you can try in which you make things glow in the dark using a black light or ultraviolet lamp. Here are some fun glowing projects to try. Most of these projects glow due to fluorescence, though some projects involve phosphorescent materials that glow on their own, but much more brightly when exposed to a black light.

Glow in the Dark Mentos Fountain

If you use diet tonic water, you can get a glowing mentos and diet soda geyser.
Anne Helmenstine
This is a lot like the Mentos and diet soda fountain except you replace the diet soda with a common drink that glows when exposed to black light.

Glowing 'Neon' Sign

You can make a glowing fake neon sign using plastic tubing and a black light.
Anne Helmenstine
Form your name or any word you like with plastic tubing filled with a glowing chemical you prepare yourself. This is a safe and economical alternative to a neon sign.

Glowing Water

Glowing Water
Anne Helmenstine
There are a couple of different ways you can make water glow under a black light. Give it a try and then use the glowing water in a fountain or to use in other black light projects.

Glowing Jell-O

It's easy to make glowing gelatin.
Anne Helmenstine
Some foods glow in the dark. Regular gelatin will not glow when exposed to a black light, but you can substitute another liquid for the water to make a treat that glows while you eat it.

Glow in the Dark Crystal Geode

Glow in the Dark Geode
Anne Helmenstine
This crystal geode that you make from common household materials will glow as soon as you turn off the lights. If you add a black light then the glow will be much more intense.

Glowing Slime

It's easy and fun to make eerie glowing slime.
Anne Helmenstine
Glowing slime is non-toxic and easy to make. The glowing slime is phosphorescent, meaning it will glow for several minutes to several hours after you turn out the lights. However, it will glow very brightly when exposed to ultraviolet light, such as from a black light.

Glowing Alum Crystals

These easy-to-grow alum crystals glow in the dark.
Anne Helmenstine
Alum crystals grow quickly and easily. While some crystals can't be made to glow, these will pick up a luminescent chemical so that they will respond to a black light.

Glowing Crystal Ice Ball

This ball of ice glows because the water was colored with highlighter ink.
Anne Helmenstine
There are several ways to make ice that will glow when illuminated by a black light. If you freeze the ice into a sphere, you'll get a sort of glowing crystal ball.

Glowing Bubbles

Glowing Bubble
Anne Helmenstine
If you can blow bubbles, then you can blow bubbles that glow under a black light. Normal bubble solution will not glow, but that is easy to fix!

Glowing Jack-o-Lantern

Glow in the Dark Pumpkin
Anne Helmenstine
What's creepier than a flickering jack-o-lantern? How about one that emits a ghoulish glow without the fire? Make a pumpkin glow; recharge or brighten the glow with a black light.
Related Video
What Glows Under Black Lights?
How to Make Glowing Water

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