How many black lights do I need for a party?

How do you determine how many black lights are needed for a party, is a question that often gets asked and can be difficult to answer. This is because there are many factors that will affect the result, such as, how big is the party space, how many people will be attending, which black lights are you planning to use, and where will the blacklights be positioned.

Going back a few decades there were only two real choices when it came to black lights. You could buy a black light bulb or a black light tube. These days there are far more (and much better) options, including UV canons, black light bars, LED black light torches and LED black light strips.

Lets quickly talk through each of the factors listed above before finally giving recommendations for how many lights you need. 

How big is the black light party space?

The larger the party area the more lights you will need to ensure that black light rays reach all parts of the room. If you plan to have a party in a small bedroom you may find that one light is plenty, if your party is in a gym though you will need a lot more lights to reach all the corners of the gymnasium.

How many people will be attending your black light party and where will you position the lights? 

The more people that are attending your party, the more chance there is that people will block the rays of UV light coming out of your black light and create shadows. Lets say you decide to go with a single black light bar, black light canon or black light tube. If you place the item on the floor pointing up at the party or attach it to the wall pointing outwards, the light may light up the entire room. Once you add a lot of people to the room however the people will get in the way of the light rays shining from the one direction and create shadows on the other side of the room. You may therefore need more than one light shining from each direction. Hanging lights from the ceiling is a good idea but it will not light up people's faces and clothes the same way that a light shining directly at people from the walls would.

Which black lights to use for your party?

As mentioned there is a world of choice now when it comes to black light products and some of them will shine a lot brighter than other. I will give you a quick break down below. Please keep in mind that, while watt measurements are familiar to consumers and have been featured on the front of light bulb packages for decades, watts are a measurement of energy use, not brightness. Since the introduction of LEDs which are far more energy efficient, Lumens have become the most popular and accurate scale for determining the brightness of a light.

Black light Incandescent bulbs 

These were one of the original types of black light. As with all technologies the early ones tend to become outdated and replaced by much better and efficient versions. These light bulbs are probably the worst choice when it comes to a black light party and you will need many, many bulbs to light up a decent sized party space. 

In the black tent below 30 black light fluorescent bulbs were used to light up an area 10m x 6m. The area looked equally as good with one Glowave™ black light glow party kit.

Black light fluorescent tubes

Fluorescent tubes were the go to black light choice of the 80s and 90s. They work a lot better than incandescent bulbs. That being said they are still an old style and there are now much better black lights on the market. You will need less of these than you will black light bulbs, but you will still need quite a few. The problem with black light tubes is that they are quite bulky, they are difficult to install and they break the second anyone bumps into them. Unless you are hanging them from the ceiling you are likely to have a few broken during a party. 

Black light canons

Black light canons come in a range of sizes and strengths. They are generally used to cast an intense ray of black light onto an area from a long distance away. They are often used intermittently at concerts to light up sections of the crowd. The big ones can be very powerful black lights and are best suited to stage effects. These lights are usually too intense for a typical party. Depending on the power of the canon you buy, if you hang one of these on the wall at your party it may feel like it is blasting a bit too intensely into the faces of your guests standing in one area. 

Black light strips

We believe the best choice for black lights today are the black light strips that come in the Glowave™ black light glow party kit. Each kit contains four 6.5ft long black lights. This allows you to put one on each wall of a room to surround the party in ultraviolet light. The black light strips are super light weight and come with an adhesive backing so you can stick them straight onto the walls or ceiling. The long length strips contain 60LEDs per meter and produce a lot more UV light than bulbs and tubes but without being overbearing. The lights can also be used individually for smaller spaces that you may want to light up such as a small bedroom or bar area.

If you don't go with the Glowave™ kit, these strips are often sold individually as single rolls of lights in 5m lengths. Buying them in this way is only recommended if you are planning to hook the lights up to a boat or vehicle as they will require a large battery to run and some experience with electronics and wiring. The standard LED light strips do not come with power adapters like the ones included in the Glowave™ kit that allow you to plug them straight into a standard power socket to turn them on.   

Black light LED bars

These would be the next best choice for black light parties however you will still need to buy a few of them to light up all areas of a room. These lights are a little bit bulky which means they are more difficult to fix to a wall or ceiling.  

So how many black lights do I need for a party?

The truth is that unless you go with the incandescent bulbs (which are generally terrible), any number of black lights will work at a party. If you have a small budget don't be frightened away thinking you need a huge number of black lights. Some black lights will be better than none at all. If however you have a bit more money to spend you are best to try and position a black light on each wall of the room or party space to surround your party in ultraviolet light. The Glowave™ black light kits are definitely the easiest choice. You will only need one Glowave™ kit for a normal sized living area/lounge room inside your house. One kit for a single lock up garage. One kit for most outdoor patio areas etc. For a double lock up garage, large outdoor entertaining areas or two rooms of your house you probably want to consider two Glowave™ black light kits (8 lights in total).

How many black lights do I need for a gym, basketball court, school hall etc?

We recently did a test to find out exactly how many of the Glowave™ black light glow party kits you would need to light up a full size basketball court/tennis court. This will also give you a good indication for most school halls or dance halls. We discovered that four Glowave™ kits on a basketball court did the job perfectly ensuring that there were no dark spots on the court. We positioned the 6.5ft long lights along the walls with spacings of about 10ft between each light and every area of the court received an excellent amount of the UV light. You would still get reasonable results using only three Glowave™ kits but the areas in the centre of the court will not be quite as bright due to the reduced quantity of lights.

How many black lights do I need for my bedroom?

Chances are if you are planning to put black lights in your bedroom it isn't going to be for a party. A bedroom is a fairly small space and if you are doing it for romantic purposes you probably don't need it too be super bright. I would suggest 2 black light tubes, or one LED strip would most likely be enough to like up your room for a bit of fun  ;)