Why Isn’t Pet Urine Glowing Under My UV Black Light?

GearLight’s UV black lights are known for their vast range of uses, including their ability to detect old pet urine not otherwise visible to the naked eye. When shone, our black lights work by emitting wavelengths that cause phosphorus and proteins in pet urine to glow, thereby revealing the source of odors and hidden stains.

If you are new to using UV black lights for this purpose, you may be having some trouble successfully locating the stains you are searching for. Let’s go over a few simple steps to quickly resolve the issue.

Shine your light in darkness.

Our XR68, S50, and S100 UV black light models work best in dark lighting conditions. If you are using any of these models, turn off all the lights in the room or space you are in. If the stained area is outside, wait until it is dark outside.
 
Our XR98 is more powerful and can work in ambient light. If you need to find stains in brighter conditions, we recommend using this model.

 

Make sure the surface is completely dry.

UV black lights are only effective in detecting dry pet urine. If the urine is fresh or not entirely dry, the glow it emits will be faint or nonexistent. Even if the stain has had time to try, humidity in the air (e.g., in the bathroom, kitchen, or outdoor areas) or moisture on the stained surface may impair the efficacy of the black light. To produce the strongest glow, allow the pet urine to completely dry before attempting to locate it with your UV light.

It is important to keep in mind, however, that with highly absorbent materials there is a chance that the urine has absorbed deep into the material beyond the top layers. If this is the case, there may be too little urine remaining on the surface to produce a strong glow.

Consider the surface and surface area.

Surfaces like carpet or upholstery will typically work better with UV light in comparison with tile, hardwood floor, and other hard surfaces. This is because pet urine is more likely to dry in larger amounts in porous absorbent surfaces, allowing for a stronger glow. With hard surfaces, the urine will usually dry as a thinner layer and can be easily cleaned or worn away. In other words, the more urine, the brighter the glow.

It is important to keep in mind, however, that with highly absorbent materials there is a chance that the urine has absorbed deep into the material beyond the top layers. If this is the case, there may be too little urine remaining on the surface to produce a strong glow.

         

Take a look at the color of your surface.

Dark surfaces may interfere with your black lights ability to reveal a bright glow. The darker the material, the lighter the glow. This is because darker colors absorb more light. For example, you will have more luck finding stains on a tan couch as opposed to a brown one.

Patterns pose another issue. With a patterned surface, the glow may blend in with the pattern and appear less distinctly. Your UV light will work best with a solid colored surface.

Look for a pale yellow glow.

If you are seeing different color glows on your surface, you may be confused as to which is pet urine. Urine fluoresces as a pale yellow color. If your surface is lighting up as this color, you have successfully located the pet urine stain. Other substances, such as carpet cleaner or a spilled drink, will typically produce a bright white glow.

Try searching elsewhere.

It is possible that you are searching the wrong areas. You may be detecting an odor in one room, when in actuality the soiled area is in a different room. Shine your black light in less obvious areas, and you may find that your pet has urinated in a more concealed or unusual space. Some areas to search include behind curtains, on piles of clothing, under or behind furniture, near entry doors, and in any closets that may have been left open.

It may be time to replace your batteries.

GearLight’s UV black lights use a high amount of battery power. If you are still experiencing a weak glow after trying the aforementioned steps, you may need to insert a fresh set of batteries. To enhance the lifespan of your black light, we recommend removing the batteries from the light when it is not in use.

Test your UV light.

If you are still having trouble locating the pet urine, do this quick test to make sure your UV black light is properly working. Grab a piece of white paper and shine your black light on it. You should see a strong purple colored light appear on the paper. If you believe the intensity of your light is weak, please contact us. We will replace your item if it is determined to be faulty.

We hope you have learned a bit about the science behind your GearLight UV black light and how to properly use it. You will see that utilizing this light will help expedite the cleaning process tremendously, saving you time, energy, and money. If you have any additional questions, we are here to help you get the maximum benefit from your black light.