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Tattoo Ideas: Blacklight UV Glow-in-the-Dark

Updated on September 28, 2007
UV tattoos use blacklight reactive ink to illuminate the images
UV tattoos use blacklight reactive ink to illuminate the images

If you don't know what a blacklight is, then either you didn't grow up in the seventies or you've never been to a Spencer's Gifts. Spencer's has a blacklight section at the back of all their stores, an area that is decorated with glow-in-the-dark sticky stars and hanging beads. They try to keep this section relatively dark because they have blacklights set up to illuminate the glowing items. Blacklights are essentially purple lightbulbs that emit ultraviolet radiation. When a blacklight is turned on, it will illuminate anything fluorescent that is nearby.

A blacklight tattoo either comprises the entire tattoo or is sometimes used to accentuate a standard black ink design. Many tattoo parlors shied away from doing blacklight tattoos for quite a while due to the inefficiency of the ink and the high number of allergic reactions or resulting skin conditions. Over the past few years however, several new UV inks have been approved for use in the U.S. with little to no complications. The most common product is a blacklight reactive ink called the BIOMETRIX System-1000 (also known as BMX 1000). As the below illustration shows, blacklight tattoos that use UV Titanium white ink are visible under blacklight only. In regular lighting, the tattoo appears as a faint outline at best or sometimes completely invisible. Colored ink is available in 17 different colors, however, for those who either want the tattoo to be visible at all times or appreciate a little color in their designs. When held up to a blacklight, these tats will simply glow brighter.

Because the UV ink is more expensive than regular ink (around $270 for a half-ounce bottle) blacklight tattoos tend to cost a little bit more than usual. If you're considering getting a blacklight tattoo, make sure you do your homework. Go to a tattoo parlor that has experience with UV tattooing and can show you samples of other similar tattoos they have done. If you've elected to get a titanium white tattoo, an experienced tattoo artist will keep a blacklight close by that he can periodically turn on and off throughout the process to ensure the tattoo is coming out correctly. If you are interested in getting a regular black ink tattoo that you would like to highlight with UV ink, the proper way of doing so is to get the standard tattoo first, give it time to heal completely, and then later go back to get the blacklight accents.

Pictures: Blacklight Tattoos

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Pictures: Colored UV Ink

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Pictures: Tattoos with Blacklight Accents

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    • Whitney05 profile image

      Whitney 9 years ago from Georgia

      Blacklight ink looks cool, but I'm not 100% on it's health status. I know a few tattoo artists that refuse to use it because they're not sure how healthy it really is. Others, don't care or see a problem with it. My boyfriend has an unfinished skull design on his shoulder that calls for blacklight ink. Well, according to him and his design, even though he'll never use it, as he doesn't go ot clubs or anything.

    • taylorblue profile image

      taylorblue 9 years ago from Canada

      it does look awesome...but scared too of what it could do....

    • compu-smart profile image

      compu-smart 9 years ago from London UK

      Very cool;)

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      carmen 9 years ago

      where can i get one?

    • Krista 07 profile image

      Krista 07 9 years ago from Europe

      Wow, I didn't even know they could do that.

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      jazz  9 years ago

      THAT'S TIGHT!!!!!!! I want one!!!!!!!!.......

    • profile image

      alysha  9 years ago

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      big soapy 9 years ago

      these blackllight tat's are amazing and although i've only been tattooing for over a year, i feel i want to take the step and try it myself, i have plenty folk asking if i will do it but have been apprehensive til now, i need a supplier and prices from anywhere in the wotld, but although i know the ink is more expensive, and my clients are aware the prices will jump accordingly, where can i get some FAST. It needs to be relatively larger bottles, 2oz or above, and Titanium White to start, once the others see what the tats turn out like, they will also be wanting inks, I just want to be the first in my area., watch this space for my tats and designs folks

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      emmabalmer 9 years ago

      It doesn't get much cooler than that! I wish I knew that before I got my sweet back tattoo on Miami Ink. My pin-up mortician chick could have used some blacklight ink :)

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      bhaire 8 years ago

      Only downside I see to this is the government saying hey...practically invisible ink that only shows up in blacklight, lets start marking the babies with invisible barcodes

    • profile image

      anthony 8 years ago

      are they expensive?

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      Azazel 8 years ago

      Thanks for these blacklight tattoos pics. I add them at my tattoo board !!!

      http://www.fantasmforum.com

      Thanks again !!!

    • profile image

      cHiKy 8 years ago

      They are not toxic like most people think.

    • profile image

      cHiKy 8 years ago

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      danger rob 8 years ago

      www.skincandy.netmakes the uv ink for Miami ink. they also have a list of their secondary suppliers on their main page.

      i personally use www.crazychameleon.comon myself and clients. they have msds, tips, and faq's on site and with each order. their site says 2 week backorder on white, but mine came in 12 days cross country

    • profile image

      Samus Verbose 8 years ago

      i can't wait to have one... i will try to have a glow-in-the-dark tattoo soon! Hope it will be invisible on regular light (no scar, no markings) people would be clueless until i enter a room with blacklight... i just really cant wait to have one!

    • profile image

      coreysgurl 8 years ago

      it does look amazing but i mean doesn't it hurt

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      Andi 8 years ago

      I got a blacklight tattoo and parts of it don't show up. I'm going to have to go back and have it touched up! Ouch! Otherwise, I think the idea is really awesome!

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      -D- 8 years ago

      i am a tattoo artist and i have worked with this ink many times it is rather easy to deal with and it looks great when it is all done

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      tim 8 years ago

      i have a black light tattoo on my face (an ace of spades) and its by far one of the coolest tattoos i have ever had. the best bit is you would never know it was there under normal light. im now planing on getting more!

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      ??? 8 years ago

      its gay, because its not totally invisible in regular light

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      badtimmyd 8 years ago

      these tattoos are shit, black light tats are so stupid, like that one that says "regret nothing" if you regert nothing get it tat"d in solid black, and with better looking letters, all these tats were done by shit artists, its a shit trend, that looks like shit, the inks look like shit and its just down right dumb, if your going to get a tattoo get a real one, not some glow in the dark gay shit

      to some it up the ink just looks like shit, look up tim kern, then tell me if you want a real tattoo or some glow in the black light pussy horrible art work fag shit

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      oscar 8 years ago

      how much is an average price ??does any one know???

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      ross 7 years ago

      I`ve used glow in the dark ink on two females and it fucked up their tattoo. Why? email me & tell me why hendrickross@yahoo.com

    • profile image

      Jen 7 years ago

      dam mr. badtimmyd you don't gotta be rude about this tatoos. i think they're really unique i might be getting one too. so i really don't think its shit. bet if the person walked into a place with a little blacklighting. then the tat regret nothing shows up on someone's arm out of nowhere people all around are going to be like DAM where you get that at. so quit hating!!

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      jon j. 7 years ago

      by the way guys, it doesn't cost 270$ for a half ounce bottle of that ink. i bought a set of 8 different colors includidnt the new totally invisable ink with half ounce bottles for 135$. don't let the shops jack up the prices to dam high for that shit. learn how to tattoo and buy ur own like i did. and by the way, tattooing brings in a lot of money just doing them on ur free time on the weekends or whatever.i bring in almost a grand a weekend. might wanna think about that!!!!

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      jon j. 7 years ago

      and by the way guys, if u want to take a look for urself at the ink my supplier is joker tattoo. there web adress is www.jokertattoo.net. look at the black light set. and what's even more cool about it is the fact they have a ware house in the city i live in. visalia california. check it out.

    • profile image

      dRo 7 years ago

      dO DEy OnLy WOrK wHEN iTz DArk Or uNDEr BlAckLigHtz????? CUzz iTZ WOuLd B GAyy iF iT WORkED OnLYY UNDEr BLAcKLiGHtz!!!!!!!

    • profile image

      dRo Is GaY 7 years ago

      I'd kick you in the face for typing that way.

    • profile image

      buddah 7 years ago

      does colored uv ink show up in daylight?? or is it the white that cant be seen in daylight??

    • profile image

      Shizzy 7 years ago

      These are so frigen awesome. I'm totally going to get one; and by the way... Why the hell would you tpe that way? ... gay.

    • profile image

      Drow 7 years ago

      So if I want to get a tattoo on my face, I get it in black ink and get fired, and in a couple months I'm living in a trailer counting bottles for a living with a girl who has no teeth and a tongue-ring named molly. Or I do the "fucking gay faggot" thing and get the tat that's glow in the dark on my face and enjoy my 80k/year job.

      suck on that asshole.

    • profile image

      guest 7 years ago

      what's with all the hating here... if u don't like it.. don't do it.. don't be rude cuz there's probably something u do that others think is stupid.. everyone can do whatever they want..

      and for the people commenting that anything is "gay" .. need to get a life because u sound ignorant and stupid

    • profile image

      Me 7 years ago

      I'm ignorant and stupid!

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      jamaica  6 years ago

      is this healthy

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      luke 6 years ago

      ok so im 15 and i want to get one of these sometime soon, but my parents will let me but wont sign for it... i have 2 older sisters- one is 19 and one is 22.. would i b able to have one of them sign for it??? if yes, which one would i have to get sign?

    • profile image

      riyan 6 years ago

      Thanks for the great article.here i found another article with with lots of cool UV tatt pictures.

      http://tatt2gallery.blogspot.com/2010/09/uv-and-gl...

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      Brandon 6 years ago

      I think this is a really neat idea....but I have a question about it....I was thinking about getting a tattoo and writing my kids into it as they come in the UV ink.....if I write it on a black background, would it show up as white in the daylight? Or would I still have to write the nam and thengo over it with the UV?

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      Leoness 6 years ago

      I've been considering getting a tat for a while, but in a visible place. i know sometimes potential employers, parents, and other peeps kinda frown on that, and i don't need something permanent to always be seen. getting a blacklight tat would be awesome and relatively unusual, and to see that theres different colors is great. thanks for the posting! its informative

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      Heather 6 years ago

      Black light tats are still visible in normal light, they are light but the darker your skin tone is the more you will see. I have researched these tats a lot to make sure they are not dangerous, and there is no evidence after a 10 year study that they are any more dangerous than any tattoo ink.

      I intend to do a black light rib cage on my stomach and back.

    • profile image

      Leen 6 years ago

      Hey Heaher, I have a quick question. So if I get the black light done and go tanning the ink would appear more in regular lighting? I've been looking up info on this because I know for sure I'm gonna be tanning a lot and I don't want my tat to go yellow on my skin.

    • profile image

      Marina Pupa 5 years ago

      Where I can do it? In Europe?

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      Jules 5 years ago

      I just got a black light tattoo earlier today and i came home and the white does not glow one bit.... my artist says its bc i gotta let the blood come out of it, i guess he means the bruising. did anyone else get a white tat and it take a little while to show up???

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      blank 5 years ago

      jules your an idiot give it time. of course you ask strangers who could potentially have no credentials. but on the truthful side he used the wrong ink. it'll glow while they do it. that's how they make sure they're doing it right ? Idiot

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      hey 5 years ago

      I want to get one but am just hesitant about how it will look in normal light.That love one is way way to visible for me to get it.

      badtimmyd - i hope you burn in hell just because you took the time out of your day to try to sound like a hardass when in reality you are pushed around like a little bitch and your dick in half an inch long.

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      Swag 5 years ago

      Don't get it anymore on your face because I did and You can see the out line of it

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      tatuaje timisoara 5 years ago

      where can i find white invisible UV ink of best quality ?? can somebody give me a site ??? you can find me on facebook " tatuaje timisoara ". I heave one ink reactive to UV light but it not staing long time in the skin....only until the crost is peeling, than the tattoo is vanish. Help me plz

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      lawrence 5 years ago

      back light tattoo is great and so cool

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      victoria 5 years ago

      i've got a blacklight tattoo on my forearm and it's invisible to the eye unless under a black light. i was one on my neck though and looking to get different colors, would those be visible to the eye or just under black light? anyone know or have some input? i know i could always ask the tattoo guy but i hate looking like an idiot. THANKS YOUR GUYS

    • profile image

      Cherish 5 years ago

      Different black light inks are nit invisible you can still see them

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      dodger 5 years ago

      how much does a set of uv inks cost, I am an artist looking to start doing uv tatts

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      Ashley 5 years ago

      You can by a set with all the basic colors for $155.00 dollars but you can find better deal.

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      FYI 5 years ago

      Victoria, the uv color ink is going to be visible in normal light. The uv titanium white is the only one that can be used on light skin tones to create "virtually invisible tattoos."

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      prince of india 5 years ago

      i want 1 eithere

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      xtreem 5 years ago

      I,m in Jamaica and I want one! it look mad! namean.

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      Alee 3 years ago

      - I can't stop thinking about these pureicts. I think I've looked at them at least twice a day. Your love for people, for nature, and for interesting shapes really shines The trees, the water, the fog, the light from the car I am in awe and so inspired. Really rocking that vision, Nirav!

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      Bruce 3 years ago

      - The photos with the car lihgts is a perfect example of why Ryan and I are SO excited for you to shoot us! You capture light like nobody's biz-naz, man. That first one might be a new favorite!

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