Are LED UV lamps and Mercury UV lamps interchangeable?

Views: 30     Author: Site Editor     Publish Time: 2022-08-23      Origin: Site

UV curing is a moderate-heating, quick, solvent-free photochemical process involving inks, paints, sealants, and photo-reactive materials. These materials are transformed into solids using intense electronic ultraviolet radiation. UV curing systems may use either mercury or LED lamps. But mercury provides a broad spectrum. But they all ensure the materials remain firmly bonded to their substrates.

Mercury UV Lamps

Mercury UV lamps have mercury quartz inside of them. With a lifetime of around 1,500 hrs., they produce UV and infrared radiation in the spectral areas of 240–270 nanometers and 350–380 nanometers.

They overheat and require more energy. Thus, they may need more time to cool. It accelerates the polymerization but destroys delicate substrates, making it a drawback for printing thin materials. Despite producing ozone-depleting gases, Hg UV lamps beat LEDs on speed.

LED UV Lamps

The LED lamps have a light-emitting diode in place of mercury. But that means lower irradiation and voltage than when mercury is used. The same also means less heating, and you won't need any cooling. Their visible light ranges in wavelength are within 400 to 700 nanometers, and infrared light is within 700–2000 nanometers.

Furthermore, the benefits of conventional UV curing are offered by LED UV lamps. They offer solutions to heat-set curing and instant booting. Moreover, LED UV lamp compactness allows its integration into limited space projects.

Despite being slow in curing, LED lights are cheap and long-lasting. LEDs create inks that cure in a very narrow range of temperatures. They also must be carefully created to avoid competition with photo initiators for light, which can cause them to absorb light in the LED emission zone and polymerize in the cans and press. 


Are LED UV lamps and Mercury UV lamps interchangeable?

YES. For curing printing, Mercury UV lamps and LED UV lamps can be utilized in the same setup. Inventive strategies have been developed to combine the benefits of the two curing techniques.

Pinning is a type of preparatory cure that may be produced when LEDs are combined with mercury UV lamp curing. Separate inks are partially cured, which reduces dot gain and improves smoothness and color levels. The remedy is finished with mercury UV lights.

Why are LED UV lamps and Mercury UV lamps interchangeable?

Usually, UV light purported for the chemical that needs curing is determined by design stages, which consider factors like irradiance pattern, spectral dispersion, average power, maximum power ratio, heat, and duration.

The extent of curing is an effect of irradiation that depends optically on curable film densities. Also, the optimum wavelength may be influenced by the spectroscopic absorption nature of a film. Generally, this wavelength responsiveness hinges on the reaction spectra and the photo initiators. And the temperatures produced will affect the curing process.

Similar Exposure Principles

A broad range of spectral dispersion of mercury lights is an advantage coupled with the capacity to change the output's spectroscopic area to varied UV wavelength areas. As a result, a photo initiator with a different action spectrum can be chosen (and blended), allowing them to react towards limited or extensive wavelengths. As such, deeper healing is achieved from the extensive wavelengths while the limited ones are only surface effective.

UV-LEDs use relatively similar basic exposure principles as mercury lighting for UV cures. However, there are several noticeable distinctions. The spectra dispersion is quite constrained, to start. LED panels' constituent chips, or "dies," are almost monochromatic yet chosen due to three factors: wavelengths, energy output, or voltages.

As a result, a panel with a unique center wavelength of about 365 nm of 405 nm is assembled. This wavelength of 395 nm normally has the maximum irradiation per watt, whereas lesser wavelengths have much lower values. Even though it’s almost monochromatic, the wavelength may spread from 10–20 nm to reach high irradiation levels.

Combined Irradiance

The irradiation patterns at the surfaces are crucial for the real implementation of UV-LED lights, just as with mercury lights. Due to the assembly of multi-chip panels in the light generator, the UV-LED range of "illumination” is often flat and consistent.

In contrast to hg lights, whose irradiance tends to "concentrate" at a point a few inches from the lamp, a UV-LED element's irradiance gradually diminishes from the emitting glass towards the curing surface.

As a result, relatively close and flatter systems make up most of UV-LED. But if you are dealing with systems out of close range, consistency of intense heat can be achieved by interchanging the LED with a Hg UV lamp.


UV curing choices for lamps depend on the materials to be cured. It helps if you know the irradiation needs of all your materials. Conversely, having a high-end system that uses LED UV lamps and Mercury lamps means you can flexibly interchange the lighting to suit the material curing needs, which helps printing companies save both money and time as well as improve the productivity.

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