A video is worth more than a thousand words:
Night dives with an ultraviolet torch for viewing bio-fluorescence, the property of some marine life to reflect light with a longer wavelength (of visible light) when lighted with (invisible) ultraviolet light.
Because the sight is magical, enchanting - as if the underwater life was actively shining like neon signs in the dark, or like a psychedelic disco, in many different colours. It is discovering a hidden world behind a hidden world.
Many marine organisms (for instance corals, tunicates, barnacles, sponges, anemones, jellyfish, clams, nudibranchs, cephalopods, shrimp, crabs, worms, fish) produce proteins which have the property to react to certain wavelengths of light with a phenomenon which is called "fluorescence".
Fluorescence is the effect that the electrons of certain materials, in this case proteins (but there are other materials which also have this property, certain minerals for instance), absorb the photons of a certain wavelength of light, by which the electrons get "excited", i.e., promoted to a higher energy level. After a few nanoseconds, these electrons fall back to their initial energy level by emitting another photon of light, however with a longer wavelength (i.e., with a lower energy) than the exciting light.
In the case of marine life, the exciting light can have wavelengths in a wide range between (invisible) ultraviolet and (visible) blue, and the wavelengths of the emitted light are usually blue, green, orange and red, depending on the specific protein the organism produces.
Note that fluorescence is different from phosphorescence (after excitation, light is emitted over a longer period of time, as can be seen e.g. in cathode ray tubes, i.e., in pre-digital age television sets) and from luminescence (some marine organisms actively produce their own light using certain enzymes or symbiotic bacteria).
Some fluorescent corals have been discovered because they were bright red despite the fact that at the depth that they were found, red light is completely absent, because red light is the first to be filtered out by water (which is also the reason why water appears blue from above, and why underwater images have such a blue tint, unless corrected).
When divers first dived with torches under water, they discovered that many organisms were actually red. It was a biological mystery why organisms would spend energy to produce a pigment which would appear black below a certain depth anyway. It was speculated that this was used for hiding, but this hypothesis was not very satisfying.
New results from scientific research show that many fish, even deep see fish, can actually see red light. One wonders why, since there is no red light at these depths.
It has been found recently that underwater organisms actually use fluorescence to transform the only light available to them, namely ultraviolet and blue light, into visible light of longer wavelengths, such as red (of all colours!), among others, for a number of purposes:
Besides from protecting themselves from the harmful effects of ultraviolet radiation, as a kind of sunscreen, corals seem to do this in order to feed their symbiotic algae, which live inside their tissues. This allows the corals to dwell at greater depths, where corals without this capability are unable to thrive.
Recent discoveries seem to suggest that fish also use fluorescence, in order not to be easily discernible from the background of fluorescing corals, which otherwise would make them easy prey, and in order to communicate between each other (within the same species), at least at short distances.
I first read about diving with ultraviolet lamps in the SF novel "Die Delphininsel" ("Dolphin Island"), by famous author and diver Arthur C. Clarke, during my childhood (the book is older than me; it has a copyright notice from 1963!):
Arthur C. Clarke acquired his underwater UV lights from Dr. Richard G. Woodbridge, who wrote articles about fluorescence night diving in Skin Diver in 1959 and 1961, and also in Nature in 1959.
History of the Discovery of Marine Fluorescence (CharlesMazel@NightSea)
"The first printed record we have found of an observation of fluorescence of a marine organism dates to 1927. A Mr. C. E. S. Phillips was walking along the shore in Torbay, England, and noticed that the anemones in a tidepool seemed to be an especially bright green. He collected several specimens and used a light with a Wood's glass filter (a filter that absorbs visible light and transmits ultraviolet) to confirm that it fluoresced under ultraviolet light. Phillips suggested that marine biologists add such a light to their repertoire of research equipment, but not much seems to have come of his idea. [...]"
GFP (Green Fluorescing Protein) Timeline (MarcZimmer@ConnecticutCollege)
GFP (Green Fluorescing Protein) History (MarcZimmer@ConnecticutCollege)
Photographing Fluorescent Corals (PDF 663KB) (Jack&SueDrafahl@SkinDiver)
Ultraviolet versus blue excitation light for fluorescence:
As demonstrated by Dr. Charles Mazel, ultraviolet light is about four times less efficient to excite fluorescence in Green Fluorescent Protein (GFP) than blue light of equal energy; see the second chart on his page Why NIGHTSEA uses blue light for underwater fluorescence for illustration.
Another aspect to consider is the fact that ultraviolet light emitting diodes (LEDs) are MUCH more expensive than blue LEDs (by about a factor of four, for the same nominal electrical power, in Watt), and MUCH less efficient, in terms of light output or "radiant flux" (also by roughly a factor of four, measured in Watt or milli-Watt).
This means that an ultraviolet LED is about 16 times less efficient to excite fluorescence in GFP than a blue LED of equal nominal electrical power, for about 4 times the price.
In other words, it would cost you about 64 times more to obtain the same results with UV LEDs as those obtained with blue LEDs.
Note that depending on the characteristics of the fluorescent pigments to be excited, such as pigments which fluoresce in red, still longer wavelengths of light, such as in the green range of the spectrum, may be needed in order to excite their fluorescence most effectively. But then you will only see red fluorescence, and no other fluorescent colours.
Blue light is therefore the best solution in order to see the most fluorescent colours with the highest efficiency.
The advantage of ultraviolet light (as opposed to blue light), that no filters are needed, is outweighed by the fact that shining powerful UV radiation into your eyes (or your buddy's) may cause severe harm to your or your buddy's eyesight, especially because this radiation is invisible and therefore the corneal reflex (blink reflex) and the pupillary reflex do not work.
Strong blue light (as any strong light) can also cause damages, by the way, but since you will immediately feel a strong discomfort this is somewhat less likely to occur.
Research into the effects of UV or blue light on marine life is still outstanding. It is known that light at night in general may disrupt the circadian rhythm of sleeping animals, or may even disrupt their reproductive cycles. Parrot fish for instance produce a "sleeping bag" made of mucus. If woken up and caused to flee, they will not be able to produce another one and will spend the rest of the night unprotected from predators. Direct damage from the strong light of the torches is a suspected possibility, but it is believed that the energies involved are much lower than those of the ultraviolet and blue radiation from the sun during the day, especially when considering the usually very short times of exposure of a few seconds, or at most a few minutes.
You can see the difference between UV and blue excitation light in the following videos:
http://www.firedivegear.com/gallery/videos/?1 (6:48, UV 365 nm),
http://www.firedivegear.com/gallery/videos/?2 (2:44, UV 365 nm),
http://www.firedivegear.com/gallery/videos/?6 (9:11, blue 450 nm).
The torch used for the first two videos had about 46 W nominal electrical power, and used 4 Nichia NC4U133A UV LEDs (corresponding to 16 individual LEDs).
The torches used for the third video had 21 Luxeon Rebel, 3 Luminus SST-90 and 18 Cree XT-E LEDs with a total of about 50 to 70 W nominal electrical power.
You can also find photos in our photo gallery made with the same torches as the three videos above; for the UV torch see:
and for the blue light torches see:
My first camera is a Nikon Coolpix P300 with Ikelite underwater housing
My second camera is an Olympus Tough TG-1 with Olympus PT-053 underwater housing
1x Cree XT-E Royal Blue LED 450-455 nm 3-5W (depending on battery state of charge), based on
LED Lenser D14 /
LED Lenser Frogman
(formerly 1x UV LED 395-410 nm 1W)
UV torch for half the net cost price: 155 EUR (net cost was: torch 115 EUR + LEDs 195 EUR) plus
shipping plus Paypal fees 3.5% (if applicable,
no extra fees if sent with reversed charges)
or bank transfer (no extra fees), without batteries (4x C):
2x Nichia NCSU033B 365 nm 6W, radiant flux (theoretically; 700 mA => factor 1.4) avg. 816 mW min. 756 mW max. 868 mW, based on Underwater Kinetics UK Sunlight C4 eLED
21x3W blue LEDs 450 nm ~60W, Hartenberger maxi compact LCD
4x Nichia NC4U133A 365 nm ~46W, radiant flux (theoretically; 0.625 A => factor 1.25) avg. 6.53 W min. 6.20 W max. 6.85 W, based on equipment from TillyTec
Download the original plan of this latter lamp's heatsink: plan4c_koelblok.pdf (PDF 225KB)
I bought the
Nichia UV LEDs through Nichia's
Inquiries page, directly from Nichia Europe BV (Netherlands).
NCSU033B cost 81.82 Euros a piece (plus 31 Euros import tax) in October 2010.
My charge number was AA5059-UaP7M, which means (according to the NCSU033B specs):
AA=produced October 2010, Ua=365nm, P7=270-310mW, M=3.6-4.0V.
NC4U133A cost 90.90 Euros a piece (plus 69 Euros import tax) in November 2011.
My charge number was BBE052-UaP9d31aM, which means (according to the NC4U133A specs):
BB=produced November 2011, Ua=365nm, P9d31a=1240-1370mW, M=14.1-15.7V.
1x Cree XT-E Royal Blue LED 450-455 nm 3W, based on
ScubaPro Fuego LED Light
3x Luminus SSR-90-B-R11-KG301 Blue 455-465nm 200lm @ 3.15A, based on equipment from TillyTec
18x Cree XT-E Royal Blue LED 450-455 nm 5W, based on equipment from TillyTec
is a joint project between me, the author of this page, and LM Engineering in the USA.
It is my aim to maintain an attitude of rigorous neutrality on this page, and therefore,
in the interest of fairness and openness, the reader is advised of the above-mentioned fact.
While I believe that
supplies very high quality equipment, so too do the other vendors listed below,
and no favoritism is intended or inferred.
FireDiveGear.com sells several
fluorescence torches with blue high-power Cree LEDs:
SuperBlue $320.00 (3 LEDs)
Tekna T6 $115.00
LED Lenser €85.00
BlueStar Light $189.00 (1W)
BW-1 Blue/White Dive Light $520.00 (3W)
Filters for UK Light Cannon 100 HID $156.00 (10W; halogen-equivalent: 25W)
Sola Blue 1200 Video Light $699.00
NightSea official distributor (USA):
Backscatter Underwater Video & Photo
NightSea distributor for Europe: Peter Patz, Mineralienladen Balingen, Tel/Fax +49 7433 2754 70/71, <mineralienladen AT aol DOT com>
Alter Markt 19
Tel: +49 7433 2754 70
Fax: +49 7433 2754 71
Email: mineralienladen AT aol DOT com
BLZ 653 412 04
IBAN: DE80 6534 1204 0120 9089 00
Customs ID.: 7012330
Vat No.: DE19404433
NightSea alternative supplier (Germany):
Paul Fischer's FluoDive.de Webshop
NOT FOR DIVING: BlueLine NDT (Non-Destructive Testing)
Fluo 330 phare special fluorescence 269.00 € (3x3W 60°)
Phare video SOLARIS UV4200 + filtres 1,090.00 € (16x5W 120°)
UV Light Solaris 4200 (16x5W 120° 440nm)
mini compact LCD (7x3.5W=28W, 21x2.5W=50W 450nm)
maxi compact LCD (7x3.5W=28W, 21x3W=60W 450nm)
mini compact LCD (7.2V / 5.4Ah LiMn) 479.00 € + blue LED module 7x3.5W (spot or flood) 249.00 € = 728.00 € (28W)
mini compact LCD (7.2V / 5.4Ah LiMn) 479.00 € + blue LED module 21x2.5W (spot or flood) 369.00 € = 848.00 € (50W)
maxi compact LCD (14.4V / 4.5Ah LiMn) 599.00 € + blue LED module 7x3.5W (spot or flood) 249.00 € = 848.00 € (28W)
maxi compact LCD (14.4V / 4.5Ah LiMn) 599.00 € + blue LED module 21x3W (spot or flood) 369.00 € = 968.00 € (60W)
Most of the commercially available lamps use blue LEDs instead of UV LEDs, with peak wavelengths around 450 nm (as opposed to my first couple constructions which use UV LEDs with a wavelength of 365 nm).
Tests have confirmed the prediction by Prof. Nico Michiels in a private communication that UV does indeed produce much less intense red fluorescence than blue excitation light.
Sehr geehrter Herr Beyer,
eine kurze Antwort zu Ihrer Frage:
450 nm ist nicht die effizienteste Wellenlänge, sondern eine praktikable Wellenlänge mit der sich auch langwellige Fluoreszenz noch recht gut anregen lässt.
Die optimale Anregungen für unsere Pigmente liegen etwa bei 530-550 nm.
Aber um Anregung und Emission unter Freilandbedingungen klar getrennt zu halten, sowie die Option zu haben die verschiedene Emissionen im Bereich 530-700 nm als gelb, orange, hell rot, tief rot usw.
visuell von einander zu unterscheiden, bevorzugen wir eine Anregung, die mit Filtern klar von der Emission getrennt werden kann.
Mit UV (< 400 nm) haben wir die Erfahrung gemacht, die langwellige Fluoreszenz stark zu unterschätzen.
450 nm ist also als Erfahrungskompromiss zu werten.
Veröffentlicht haben wir dazu noch nichts.
Mit freundlichen Grüssen,
Prof. Horst Grunz has built his own torches (also using blue LEDs; from Osram, Luminus and Cree) based on equipment from TillyTec.
TillyTec also offers a torch with UV lamp head for 159.00 €, with a single UV LED with 410 nm and 3W according to this magazine (PDF 13MB) on page 42.
Kowalski offers a fluorescence torch
"mini-X-LED" (scroll down to the bottom) with a UV LED (3 W) for 159.00 €.
Glowdive (located in Bilbao, Spain) offers an ultraviolet underwater torch (of unspecified wavelength) for $369.00 / 260.00 € (including a filter screen on flexible mount), filters and other photographic equipment.
Reef Photo (located in Florida, USA) is a distributor for Glowdive equipment.
UnderWaterVisions (located in the UK) also sells Glowdive equipment.
offers white light (LED) torches
(passive optical filters) which transform these white light torches into fluorescence torches.
offers a range of UV LED flashlights with either 365 nm or 375 nm and a varying number of LEDs: 2 (4.4mW/8.6mW, $39.95), 4 (8.8mW/17.2mW, $49.95), 7 (15.4mW/30.1mW, $95.95), 14 (30.8mW/60.1mW, $149.95), 40 (88mW/172mW, $398.00).
They also have a number of CSI forensics lights.
"HQRP 395 nm ultra violet waterproof diving LED flashlight + UV meter"
on eBay for $30.95 + $10.95 international shipping.
The Swiss company Keldan (named after its founder Daniel Keller) sells several UW video lights for which a UV LED module (40 W, 5 W luminous flux, 400 nm) exists. Price is 1590 € or 1670 € for the torch (depending on the model) and 590 € for the UV LED module, i.e., 2180 € or 2260 € in total.
Diving Solutions Asia sells a single-LED blue fluorescence torch with mask filter for $135.
The Sandwich Shoppe (LED drivers)
Deal Extreme (LED drivers)
LED Driver List (Independent)
LED Driver List (CREE)
UV LED vendors:
Mouser (LEDs, electronic parts)
Farnell (LEDs, electronic parts)
Digikey (LEDs, electronic parts)
Future Electronics (LEDs, electronic parts)
Newark (LEDs, electronic parts)
cutter electronics (LEDs, electronic parts)
illumination supply (LEDs, electronic parts)
RapidLED (LEDs, electronic parts)
S-Bend / Taiwan (LEDs) (Contact: Alan Hu <alan AT s DASH bend DOT com>)
Conrad.nl (LEDs, electronic parts)
ELV.de (electronic parts)
Reichelt.de (electronic parts)
Rosco (Permacolor Glass Dichroic Filters):
"Wood's Glass" #33650/#3650,
"Double Coated UV Pass" #33660/#3660,
"Primary Blue" #31080/#1080,
"Medium Red Blue" #34600/#4600,
"Primary Green" #35055/#5055,
"Sky Blue" #35590/#5590,
"Mediterranean Blue" #31065/#1065.
Stagespot (Rosco Permacolor Glass Dichroic Filters)
B&H Photo (Rosco Permacolor Glass Dichroic Filters)
Lightco Nederland BV (Rosco Permacolor Glass Dichroic Filters) (Contact: Frank de Vos <frank DOT devos AT lightco DOT nl>)
Controllux B.V. (Rosco Permacolor Glass Dichroic Filters) (Contact: Lex Oudshoorn <lex AT controllux DOT nl>)
Don McLeish aka McGizmo <dmcleish AT pacbell DOT net> (flashlight builder)
Eddy van Vliet <info AT scubasupport DOT nl> (photographer, underwater flashlight builder)
Taschenlampen-Papst: UV-Taschenlampen (Neu: Taschenlampe mit Nichia NCSU033B P8)
Michael Lux: Selbstbauprojekte für LED Lampen
Cable diameter vs. cross-sectional area, max. current, AWG table
M.D. Edmond Kay's Diving Medicine Home Page
Steffen Beyer's Dive Plan Calculator
ScubaPro Fuego LED Divelight (US)
ScubaPro Fuego LED Divelight (DE)
CREE Q5 LED Underwater Waterproof Diving Flashlight
120Lm CREE LED Dive Light
120Lm CREE LED Diving Flashlight
Hot CREE Q5 LED Underwater Waterproof Diving Flashlight Torch Super Bright
Zweibrüder LED Lenser D14 neon Taucherlampe Tauchlampe Taschenlampe
HQRP Ultraviolet Waterproof to 300 Feet Dive LED Light / Blacklight 390 nM 3W UV + HQRP UV Tester
HQRP 395 nM Ultra Violet Waterproof Diving LED flashlight Dive Light + UV Meter
5W Power LED UV 395-405nm
5W Power LED UV 395-405nm
Cree XT-E Royal Blue M04
Cree XT-E Royal Blue Q04
Luminus SSR-90-B-R11-KG301 Blue 455-465nm 200lm @ 3.15A
C10979_Lily-SST90-W Luminus SST-90 Reflector 56°
Ampere! - 5000mA oder 9000mA - 7V~25V
High efficient 5A/9A Buck Converter LED Driver for SST-50, SST-90
Luxeon Rebel Royal Blue Tri-Star LEDs
Carclo 44° Frosted Tri-LED Optic With Integrated Holder
cutter electronics Cree XT-E LEDs
illumination supply Cree XT-E Blue 10mm Star MCPCB N04
RapidLED Royal Blue & Blue LEDs
RapidLED XP-E / XT-E Lenses
Cree XLamp XR-E Royal Blue 460-465nm LED XREROY-L1-0000-00901
Future Electronics Royal Blue LEDs
New 3 Range Digital 50000 Lux Meter Photometer Luxmeter
3 Range Digital LCD 50000 Lux Meter Photometer Luxmeter Tester Photo Light Meter
In August/September 2011 I went to Hurghada/Egypt (Red Sea) and successfully tested
my second ultraviolet diving lamp:
Or see also on
In January 2012 I went to the Dominican Republic (Caribbean Sea) and successfully tested
my latest (third) self-made UV diving lamp:
Or see also on
marine research project
(fluorescence highlights coral damage, here in red)
Red Sea Environmental Centre (RSEC)
Dahab, South Sinai, Egypt
Coral Project Dahab I
with focus on coral diseases, damage, bleaching and diversity;
using fluorescence to assess coral reef health
(see also current list of projects).
- OSRAM 4x4 blue LEDs with TillyTec housing (Prof. Horst Grunz)
- CREE 4x blue LEDs with TillyTec housing (Prof. Horst Grunz)
- NICHIA 4x4 UV LEDs with TillyTec housing 46W (Steffen Beyer)
- NICHIA 2x UV LEDs with Underwater Kinetics housing 6W (Steffen Beyer)
- Hartenberger 21x blue LEDs ("spot" version; maxi compact LCD) 60W
- NightSea BW-1 Blue/White Dive Light 3W
- NightSea BlueStar Light 1W
- Sony Camcorder HDR-HC9E with Sealux UW housing
- Nikon Coolpix P300 with Ikelite UW housing
- Canon PowerShot G7 with Ikelite UW housing
- Canon Ixus 75 with WP-DC14 UW housing
- Olympus SP-510 UZ with Ikelite UW housing
- Dichroic excitation filter (NightSea) on all blue lamps
- Yellow barrier filter (NightSea) on all cameras (when using blue lamps)
- NightSea BlueBlock Filter Visor (yellow mask filters)
Daytime pictures of me, courtesy of N. Milton and M. Laube, and by me
Project album by N. Milton; needs Facebook account to view
Project album by Prof. H. Grunz; needs Facebook account to view
YouTube videos by Prof. H. Grunz
On 4th of May 2012 I made a fluorescence night dive at
Dreischor / Gemaal (see also
in Zeeland / The Netherlands with two buddies, and made this video
Or see also on
In September 2012 I returned to Dahab / South Sinai / Egypt
mainly for testing
fluorescence diving equipment.
More spectacular footage:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-13361623 (BBC News Scotland)
http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p00gsjlt (BBC Two - Britain's Secret Seas)
http://www.liquidmotionfilm.com/FluorescentShark.htm (fluorescence in the deep sea)
http://oceanexplorer.noaa.gov/explorations/05deepscope/logs/aug22/media/movies/fluorescent_shark_video.html (fluorescence in the deep sea)
Doku: Im Farbrausch der Tiefe - Farbe als Sprache (1von3) (Water Colours part 2: A Colourful Language 1/3)
Doku: Im Farbrausch der Tiefe - Farbe als Sprache (2von3) (Water Colours part 2: A Colourful Language 2/3)
Doku: Im Farbrausch der Tiefe - Farbe als Sprache (3von3) (Water Colours part 2: A Colourful Language 3/3)
A Colourful Language
A Touch of Fluorescence
|TV series Water Colours (3x50 min or 6x25 min) produced by Anita & Guy Chaumette / Liquid Motion Film for National Geographic
(The set of 3 DVDs costs 45 Euros plus shipping (from the UK) and can be ordered directly from firstname.lastname@example.org)
Télécharger le numéro #1 (PDF 31MB): "La nuit, les plongées sont psychédéliques" by Caroline Lepage
pages 55-58 of 62 (page numbers according to Adobe Reader), or pages 108-115 (page numbers at the bottom of each page)
Two other recommended interesting articles (unrelated to bio-fluorescence) from the same magazine:
Télécharger le numéro #1 (PDF 31MB): "Maîtrisez la béance tubaire et dites adieu au Valsalva" by Phil Simha
pages 47-49 of 62 (page numbers according to Adobe Reader), or pages 92-97 (page numbers at the bottom of each page)
Télécharger le numéro #5 (PDF 66MB): "Cette eau qui nous déshydrate" by Fabrice Couraud
pages 42-44 of 52 (page numbers according to Adobe Reader), or pages 82-87 (page numbers at the bottom of each page)
In issue #57
(PDF 9.5MB) of Underwater Photography Magazine,
there is an article "Ultraviolet photography" by Matej Simonic on pages 56-59.
(The latest issue of Underwater Photography Magazine is always free, back issues cost money - but see also http://ejlabs.net/tmp/UwP57.pdf)
See also more photos by the article's author and his videos
Ultravijoli #1 (1:07)
Ultravijoli #2 (1:01)
Postojna Cave (10:00).
In issue #62
(PDF 9.2MB) of Underwater Photography Magazine,
there is another article "Things that glow" by Alex Tyrrell on pages 43-47.
Another article about fluorescence diving named "Fluorescentie - Er Gloeiend Bij Zijn..." can be found on pages 66-70 in issue "Mei 2012" of the Dutch magazine "duiken".
03/2011 (PDF 13MB) and
04/2011 (PDF 13MB) of the German online magazine
Dive Inside contain a continued article "Hightech-Fluoreszenz - Zauberwelt Korallenriff" by Prof. Horst Grunz.
This article is particularly interesting because it shows pictures of the innards of his DIY torches, which complement the images in his following document:
The most comprehensive document about underwater fluorescence with detailed illustrated explanations and many beautiful photos
(including white light/UV light comparisons), by Prof. Horst Grunz, is the following:
Fluorescence (PDF 198MB) (English, Hi-Res)
Fluorescence (PDF 7.6MB) (English, Lo-Res)
Fluoreszenz (PDF 198MB) (German, Hi-Res)
Fluoreszenz (PDF 7.6MB) (German, Lo-Res)
See also this media directory for some of these (and other) media.
Dyron.fr (see bottom: "UV...")
Adrian Baddeley/Charles Mazel/Jack Sullins/Jason Heller/Justin Marshall/Michael Aw/Stuart Westmorland
AlexanderMustard: Egypt, Red Sea. November 2010 [gallery] (buddy of Peter Rowlands)
AlexanderMustard: Fluorescence Photography. Cayman Islands. Feb 2011 [gallery]
AlexanderMustard: Fluorescence Photography, Devon, July 2011 [gallery]
PeterPatz@MineralienladenBalingen: Fluorescent Fossils
NikkiMcAllen ("First Fluorodive Guide in Thailand")
ScubaProAsia: Fluorodiving Photos and Movies
Fluorescence Photography (Neon)
BrandiEIrwin@UWPhotographyGuide: Capturing the glowing ocean: UV light and fluorescence
In pictures: Bio-fluorescent life in the Red Sea
SciencePhotoLibrary: Underwater Fluorescence
Blue Light Night Dive: Flourescent corals in Egypt (Surface Interval)
Corals' Fluorescent "Sunscreen" May Help Resist Bleaching
(AMNH video interview with Dr. Anya Salih)
Red Sea Marine Life Becomes Neon Disco On Fluo-Dive (PICTURES) (HuffingtonPost.co.uk)
Night Divers Search for Organisms that Glow: Bioluminescense
Night diving by coral light
Why dull, brown corals light up like Christmas when you shine blue light on them (DailyMail.co.uk)
The red, green, blue and yellow sea: Fluorescent lights turn the bottom of the Red Sea into a sponge disco (DailyMail.co.uk)
A Last Dive for Glowing Animals (NYTimes)
The Naked Coral Hypothesis (NYTimes)
In Pristine Reefs, a Vast Library of Species (NYTimes)
Glowing Wildly on a Moonless Night (NYTimes)
Night Diving in Search of an Eerie Glow (NYTimes)
The Holy Grail of Fluorescent Proteins (NYTimes)
Biofluorescence Under Blue Lights (NYTimes)
Night dives like you've never experienced before (Roatan, Honduras)
Red at depth: Colors disappear underwater, but not always
Love and War: The Essence of Luminosity (NatGeoNewsWatch)
Blue Light Night Dive: Fluorescent corals in Egypt
The Fascinating Phenomenon of Coral Fluorescence
Learn about Fluorescent Corals and How to Take Video of Them
GestaltSwitchExpeditions: "Fluorescence" in marine organisms
Fluodiving.com: Le blog de la fluorescence sous marine / The underwater fluorescence web site
Fluorodiving: Science and Beauty of Coral Fluorescence
Fluoro Dive - What is a Fluorescence Night Dive
2020VISION: Glow in the dark
Under the lights: The gorgeous world of glow diving
Hochschule Esslingen - Fluoreszenz von Korallen
(scientific background, standard and custom-made gear for fluorescence diving)
(German underwater fluorescence portal and webshop by Paul Fischer)
A Hidden World of Intense Color: New Developments in Underwater Fluorescence Imaging and Science (Talk Announcement: The Boston Sea Rovers Show March 9th+10th 2013)
The Lux* Maldives Underwater Festival (01-Mar-2012)
Sign up for the Underwater Festival (04-Mar-2012)
LUX* Island Resorts announces the first edition of the lux* maldives underwater festival (04-Apr-2012)
Ultraviolet Night Diving "Thinking of doing this in Bonaire. Anyone have a chance to try this? Could you share your experience? Sounds amazing with the flourescence being quite different from bioluminescence. Jeremy"
"Fat Star" Octa 8x SST-90 Colossus Led Flashlight @ 18.000 lumens -more beamshots- "Hello, instead of doing something serious with my money like going to Ibiza, I put some parts together, in the beginning there was this lathe and a piece of aluminium: [...] "Fat Star" Octa 8x SST-90 in 4" Colossus Turbo Head: [...]"
Sammelthread zum Thema UV-Lampen "So,
da es ja immer wieder Kaufberatungsthreads für UV-Lampen gibt (vor allem fürs Geocachen) werde ich hier mal alle Links sammeln, welche ich bis jetzt zum Thema gefunden habe. Wenn ihr noch was interessantes gefunden habt postet das bitte hier oder sagt mir Bescheid. Es wäre sinnvoll, wenn sich die Diskussionen hier der Übersichtlichkeit halber auf ein Minimum beschränken würden. Es soll ein reiner Informationsthread sein. Bitte schreibt auch eine kurze Beschreibung zu den jeweiligen Links."
Fluo-diving on the cheap? "After Britain's Secret Seas showed fluorescent stuff (technical term) in St Abbs, I have been wondering how I can see the same. Last night I was poking about a bit on the internet and found people selling blue torches/filters and orange filter visors for considerable money, so I thought I should ask if anyone knows how I can do this on the cheap? Many thanks in advance, Nick K."
DIY LED and UV dive lights, Converting lights to bright or ultraviolet LEDs "I am about to order some parts to try my hand at DIY LED lights, but before I do, I thought I'd post to learn from others. I want to build cheap high-powered LED dive lights for both the normal light spectrum as well as specifically to excite fluorescence underwater. "Cheap" here means recycling some obsolete dive lights I own, with incandescent / halogen bulbs but useable shells. It occurs to me that the original Princeton Tec 400 is a good candidate for this conversion because it is made for a medium size reflector (about 52mm), has a mechanical switch that can be modified to work, and has the capacity for two 18650 lithium-ion batteries, which gives the possibilities for 3.7 or 7.4v (parallel or series)."
Magic fluorescence in night dives with HiTecLEDs "Hi all divers, I just returned from Diving in ElQuseir, Egypt. There I tested a HiTec Fluorescence lamp in Night-Dives. I have constructed the lamp with parts of Sandwhich Shoppe McR-20 reflectors and stepdown converters (Shark Buck 3A). The emitters are 4 blue OSRAM SMT modules (4 LEDs per module each). A description can be found on the PR-Page of OSRAM under Success Stories OSTAR LED in HiTec fluorescence lamps highlight the beauty of red sea corals. On my home page http://www.uni-due.de/zoophysiologie/ you will find an explanation what the technique is good for and also a 12 minutes movie (stream). For Fun-dives the technique it is a new underwater world. It is the magical transformation of drab-colored to brightly glowing color-saturated specimens that makes fluorescence so magical. The diver gets the impression that he (she) dives in underwater flower garden. This is indeed the case since my lamp illuminates larger areas in contrast to commercial available lamps with one LED only (16 in our lamp, 16fold brighter). Also on YouTube you will find the movie about this technique. From 6 hours night dive I have selected the highlights in this 10 minute version. http://www.youtube.com/user/horstartur"
Nichia 365nm Light offerings "Hi guys, Through the years I have received numerous requests for a flashlight hosting one of the Nichia High Power UV LED's. I've done a few customs but pretty much just built some for myself and a few others. I finally bit the bullet and had a run of custom MCPCB's made for the latest generation UV LED, 033A." (bookmark)
Source for nichia NCSU033B uv led? "Hi, I don't know if this is the right cat, but i am searching for a nichia NCSU033B uv led. Does anybody know a source for a single NCSU033B ? Thanks, markus"
UV dive lights "In a random conversation with a dive buddy, I started wondering if anything underwater would fluoresce. Then we started talking about how to build an ultraviolet dive light. Turns out to be pretty easy."
Dive Blacklight (UV Light)? "Has anybody seen an underwater blacklight (ultraviolet light) for sale? I know many corals and things are fluorescent so I was wondering if a uv light would make them glow with strange colors -especially on a night dive. Any ideas?"
UV Night Dive?? "I've seen a few posts about UV night dives but have yet to see any details. Are they offered through dive shops? Is it something that you do on your own. It looks like a VERY cool dive. Any info you guys have is greatly appreciated."
DIY UV dive light "Hey, folks. I've been working on building my own dive light specifically designed as an exciter for the green fluorescent protein present in many underwater critters. [...] I've attached a picture of the light and the one salvageable picture I took using it, of a fluorescing anemone (the green of the anemone is its fluorescence, the purple is from the light). It was hard to get good pictures as 1) it only is visible when there's no white light around, whether it's coming from the sun or another diver's light, and 2) I didn't have the UV light mounted on the camera housing like I should have. The end result was a set of pictures that were either too dark or really blurry from being shaken around by the Cozumel currents."
Biofluorescent fun with your HID light "Night Diving just took on a whole new look with just a $30.00 dichroic Wood's Glass (Black Light) dichroic filter and your favorite HID light"
Biofluorescent video and GC East End trip report "June 5 - 12th - The four of us got off the plane and immediately did one of my best all time dives at Eden rock - lots of bottom time, schools of jacks circling us, swim throughs, Fairy Basslets all around (love those colors!) etc etc - ALL for price of a tank rental. Stayed at The Reef resort and dove with Ocean Frontiers - wayyy professional, wayy courteous, set up and cleaned gear for you, way accomodating to our changing schedule - top notch."
Biofluorescent (glowing coral) videos from night dive #2 "Finally uploaded the videos to YouTube of the glowing corals from my 24 Watt HID with the dichroic black light filters. Search SB on "Biofluorescence" to get more info on the light. What you actually see underwater is way cooler than the videos show, as the dark violet light is very dark until you hit something that fluoresces and then its like someone turned on a light switch inside the corals. I even found a bristleworm that glowed orange."
UltraViolet light... "Does anyone have any experience with an underwater UV light? Especially in making one from UV LED's. I've made some regular LED lights with white light and red LED's but some folks have talked about using UV to make the colors pop with corals, etc. But would UV damage coral??"
Night dives with an ultraviolet lamp ("blacklight") - taking advantage of bio-fluorescence "I read about using an ultraviolet lamp during night dives in the following book: [...] Such an ultraviolet ("black light") lamp is supposed to give a spectacular view underwater by way of bio-fluorescence. In the meantime I found a suitable (standard white) LED diving lamp and a suitable UV LED and was able to modify the lamp accordingly (see also the pictures annexed hereto). Maybe this will inspire you to do the same."
WTB/Feeler: Nichia 365nm LEDs "I am having a hard time sourcing any of the Nichia 365nm LEDs, be it the "smaller" 325mw or the newer 950mw version. -->Nichia Those are really strong, emit almost no visible light at all, and are far more powerful and efficient than other manufacturers models. Does anyone want to sell one of these? Any shop known which sells the LEDs only? If all these fail: Groupbuy? They have their price though, 100$ is the minimum to expect for the smaller version."
Feeler: Nichia high power 365nm LEDs "HERE I was trying to buy some of the new NICHIA high power 365nm LEDs. I am of course talking about the 250mw, 325mw and 950mw output versions. Yes, thats the actual optical output, not the electrical input as with those other "1 watt LEDs". What did I find out so far? there are three versions of those monster-LEDs: NCSU033A is around for years already, 250mw output. NCSU033B is new, like an update, and 325mw. NC4U133 has four dies inside, still in the same small size, with 950mw output!"
Wissenschaft aktuell: Übersehen - Viele Korallenfische erzeugen rotes Licht
Bild der Wissenschaft: Meister des Verschwindens
Spiegel Online: Riffbewohner leuchten im Dunkeln
Prodivers: Bezaubernd, skurril & phänomenal...
RedSea-EC: Fluoreszenz im Riff - Glühende Korallen
Dive Inside: Wissensurlaub am Roten Meer - Meeresbiologisches Seminar "Fluoreszenz"
Ägypten: Naturschutz im Neoprenanzug (Fluoreszenz-Tauchgang)
Divernet.com: The Light Beyond
BlueZooAquatics: Charles Mazel on Coral Fluorescence
BlueZooAquatics: Coral Fluorescence in the Marine Aquarium
UliBeyer: Fluorescent Lures for Fishing
Red fluorescence in reef fish: A novel signalling mechanism? (PDF 6.6MB)
The inherent visible light signature of an intense underwater ultraviolet light source due to combined Raman and fluorescence effects (PDF 226KB)
Spectral measurements of fluorescence emission in Caribbean cnidarians (PDF 643KB)
Reference List (CharlesMazel@NightSea)
Effects of cold stress and heat stress on coral fluorescence in reef-building corals
Green fluorescent protein regulation in the coral Acropora yongei during photoacclimation (full)
Cold induces acute stress but heat is ultimately more deleterious for the reef-building coral Acropora yongei (full)
Aglow in the Dark: The Revolutionary Science of Biofluorescence
Central Caribbean Marine Institute: Function of Fluorescent Proteins in Corals (8 days research mission for up to 8 divers on Little Cayman in 2013 [TBA] with Dr. David Gruber)
Sinai Divers Backpackers:
(7 days, 10 units, 10 dives including 5 fluo-dives, 17.-24.01.2013,
with biologist Prof. emer. Horst Grunz
and photojournalist Louise Murray)
Bonaire (Dutch Antilles): VIP Diving / Blue Divers
Bonaire (Dutch Antilles): Buddy Dive Resort
Bonaire (Dutch Antilles): Great Adventures Bonaire / Harbour Village Beach Club Bonaire
Bonaire (Dutch Antilles): Divi Flamingo Beach Resort (unconfirmed)
Bonaire (Dutch Antilles): Flow Bonaire
Bonaire (Dutch Antilles): Dive Friends Bonaire
Grand Cayman (Cayman Islands): Ocean Frontiers
Grenada (Caribbean): Aquanauts Grenada
Barbados (Caribbean): Sundown Scuba
Maldives (Indian Ocean): Prodivers
Maldives (Indian Ocean): Euro-Divers Maldives
Maldives (Indian Ocean): Diving Centers Werner Lau (Filitheyo, North Nilande Atoll)
Spain (Mediterranean Sea): Euro-Divers Cala Joncols (Roses/Costa Brava)
Thailand (Koh Tao): UV Dive Koh Tao
(Review; scroll down to the entry of Wednesday 1st June 2011, at the bottom)
Thailand (Koh Tao): Glow Scuba
Philippines (Dumaguete/Puerto Galera): Atlantis Dive Resorts and Liveaboards
Philippines (Puerto Galera): Blue Ribbon Dive Resort
Philippines (Moalboal/Cebu): Magic Island Dive Resort
Indonesia (Sulawesi): Wakatobi Dive Resort
Egypt (Red Sea): RedSea-EC in cooperation with
Sinai Divers Backpackers,
Sinai Divers Hilton,
Extra Divers Dahab,
Egypt (Red Sea): Dive Inside / Taucher-News :
SUBEX - The Art Of Diving
(the operator Prof. Horst Grunz cooperated with to produce his videos)
Egypt (Red Sea): Sea Dancer Dive Center (Dahab)
Egypt (Red Sea): Reef 2000 (Dahab)
Dolphin Diving Center (yellow pages)
Dr. Charles Harris Mazel <mazel AT psicorp DOT com>, <nightsea AT nightsea DOT com> (pioneer, scientist, manufacturer)
Prof. emer. Horst Artur Grunz <horst DOT grunz AT uni-due DOT de> (scientist)
Prof. Nico K. Michiels <nico DOT michiels AT uni-tuebingen DOT de> (scientist)
Dr. David Gruber <David DOT Gruber AT baruch DOT cuny DOT edu> (scientist)
Dr. Vincent Allen Pieribone <vap5 AT email DOT med DOT yale DOT edu> (scientist)
Dr. Melissa S. Roth <melissasroth AT gmail DOT com> (scientist)
Dr. Dimitri D. Deheyn <ddeheyn AT ucsd DOT edu> (scientist)
John Blazy aka DrDichro aka Blazinator <Dichrolam AT att DOT net>, <Dichrolam AT gmail DOT com> (diver, photographer, inventor, manufacturer)
Guy & Anita Chaumette <production AT liquidmotionfilm DOT com> (photographers and filmmakers, managers of Wakatobi Dive Resort)
Gary "Gaz" Morris <info AT fluorescenceaware DOT com> (authored a PADI- and "Project AWARE"-approved "Fluorescence AWARE Diver" course)
Louise Murray <louise AT louisemurray DOT com> (photojournalist)
Hartenberger <info AT hartenberger DOT de> (manufacturer)
Paul-Henri Adoardi <info AT plongimage DOT com> (photographer)
Hubert Lacour <hubert AT dyron DOT fr> (photographer, manufacturer)
Caroline Lepage <merseaplanete AT hotmail DOT com> (scientific journalist)
Lynn Miner <miner DOT lynn AT gmail DOT com> (physicist, ham radio sign N2HS, PADI MSDT, fluorescence dive guide, filter specialist)
Suggestions, additions and corrections are welcome!
People, organisations and products are listed on this page in arbitrary order, which does not imply any judgement of importance or quality, or any other hidden meaning.
I do not pursue any financial profit with this web page (which is one of the reasons why it is free of ads and cookies), it is intended to be purely informational and helpful to experts and enthusiasts of fluorescence diving.
One of the aims of this web page is that I would like to seed the formation of a community of fluorescence diving experts and enthusiasts,
for the exchange of ideas, experiences, hints, photos, videos, discoveries, and other useful or interesting information.
As Dr. Charles H. Mazel has put it: "The odds of you going in the water and finding something, seeing some animal fluorescing, that no-one else in the entire history of the universe has ever seen is probably over ninety percent! Anywhere in the world. Simply because so few people have done this." (Quoted from Liquid Motion Film/National Geographic Water Colours series)
Therefore I believe that even scientists doing research in underwater fluorescence would benefit from the combined experiences and discoveries of such a community. The scientists can only be so many, and more eyes see more.
Long-term idea: A half-scientific, half-practical international conference on underwater fluorescence with scientific as well as practical and artistic contributions from researchers and practitioners, also with photo exhibitions and video shows.
For instance I would be very interested to know how John Blazy came to invent his new material, Dichrolam, which is essentially a dichroic filter (e.g. used to turn a HID dive light into an ultraviolet lamp for fluorescence diving) laminated with a UV-cured polymer, if I understood correctly.
I can not possibly check the integrity and genuineness of all the sites and businesses linked to on this page.
Therefore use these links and businesses with caution and at your own risk!