Manufacturer: Omicron
Model: SYE-11 (With BLB Envelope)
Application: Speciality.
Wattage: 11W (Measured value: 10W)
Diameter (max): 38mm
Length: 135mm
Tube Length: 280mm (approx)
Bulb/Tube material: Wood's Glass
Colour Temperature: N/A
Peak output wavelength: 356nM
Total light output: <1Lm
Rated lifetime: 10'000 Hours
Cap: B22
Operating voltage: 240V AC 50Hz
Operating current: 80mA (pf = 0.48)
Warmup/restrike time: 1 minute/None.
Cost (original): 6.99 (Q3 2003) From Maplin Electronics.
Value (now): --
Place of manufacture: Unknown
Date of manufacture: Unknown - Possibly Week 10 of 2003.  Code 0310 on back of lamp.

This one gets a special mention for being the first lamp I ever actually *bought* for the sole purpose of adding to my webpage.

Technically it's nothing particularly that it's a dead standard electronically ballasted 11W compact fluorescent lamp.  What makes it special however is that instead of clear glass and your normal triphosphor coated tube - this one's got a Wood's Glass tube, and a lead activated barium-silicate phosphor coating.  What's Wood's Glass?  I hear you ask.  It's clever stuff, but has been around for a long time.  It's essentially glass, but with a higher than normal concentration of nickel and iron oxide.  This makes it opaque to visible light (apart from a little in the deep red and deep violet ranges) and to UV below about 300nM.  This is ideal as we're looking for a peak output wavelength for causing fluorescence and such of around 350nM.  The use of Wood's Glass in itself wouldn't make this lamp do anything interesting however, as the actual discharge in a low pressure mercury lamp (Read: Fluorescent tube) has two spikes in the output at 185 and 254nM - these are far too short wavelengths to be of any use (other than for germicidal/EPROM erasing applications, where no phosphor and a UV-B/C transmissive quartz tube are used), and aside from anything else, this radiation is actually rather dangerous to living cells.  Normal glass however will block these wavelengths.  So, to make these mercury resonance lines a little more useful, a phosphor is applied to the inside of the envelope (this is lead activated barium-silicate if I remember rightly), and this absorbs the shortwave UV, and re-radiates it in the mid UV-A at a peak of 350-360nM.  This sort of wavelength is relatively safe (but please don't go and stare into the tube all day), and will cause very strong fluorescence in a variety of materials.  This is exactly the same technology which is used in linear fluorescent tubes with the BLB colour code.

Fluorescence is one of those phenomena which has always fascinated getting this lamp was a great thing for me.  Meaning that I had a relatively powerful UV source to play with, but without having to lug around a clumsy linear fluorescent fixture, or take out shares in a well known battery company to run the portable black light I had.  This thing made me realise just how powerful the portable one wasn't!  It really does cause an impressive amount of fluorescence in everything you'd expect it to - and some things you wouldn't!

The lamp itself appears to be quite ordinary, but well put together.  The black plastic used on the case is a nice touch, and looks smart.  The ballast does make a soft buzz when in use, but nothing noticeable, and runs almost completely cool to the touch when operated in a base down position.

Click Thumbnails for full size images.




Added to Virtual Display Shelf at: 02:39 on Sunday September 29th 2005.

Acknowledgements: None.

References: None.


23rd November 2008: Fixed some dodgy page formatting and removed links to old server.

10th January 2021: Sadly this lamp was broken during the last year when it fell from a poor fitting lamp holder.

26th January 2021: Minor changes to page formatting to improve readability on mobile devices.

28th April 2023: Revised Statcounter code to allow for HTTPS operation.

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