Twice after being skiing with my goggles I had burning eyes. I've researched about goggles but I'm not sure whether they in general have UV protection, and in particular if mine have.

Is there an easy way to verify that?

To generate UV light I have tried the trick where you color tape blue and purple and put it on the mobile phone led. To detect UV I have used a highlight marker on paper.

I have tested filtering the "UV-colored" led light through various goggles and sunglasses however I more or less can only discern that reflection off paper and phosphorescence of the highlighter get a bit darker no matter which goggles/sunglasses I try. It seems that the glasses/goggles diminish the bluish light coming out of the smartphone led overall, but not UV in particular.

So are there better life hacks to measure/see UV filtering in effect and/or to create UV light?

  • Hi Tomáš, Welcome to Lifehacks. I checked the "Spectral Emission Density" of the LED and found that it contains NO UV radiation (<400 nm). No amount of filtration can produce what is not there to begin with. It's a physics thing. UV is the "black light" you see in night clubs and bars that makes white clothes (underwear) glow in the dim lighting.
    – Stan
    Commented Feb 17, 2020 at 0:48
  • 1
    Take your glasses to an optician who can detect the amount of attenuation your glasses have at different wavelengths in a densitometer. Lens coatings may be available to filter UV, visible, and IR to some extent.
    – Stan
    Commented Feb 17, 2020 at 0:54
  • 1
    Use UV blocking contact lenses. As for detecting UV, some materials / mirrors show visible light from UV by diffraction, try a few searches.
    – Déjà vu
    Commented Feb 17, 2020 at 7:12
  • A better overall result would probably be obtained by buying quality goggles from a reputable brand and checking the literature for the UVA/B/C filtering category; it would be inadvisable to mess around trying to lifehack a detector that might be able to indicate you how ineffective a pair of goggles are at filtering UV. Instead, spend a sensible amount of money on a decent pair of goggles; you might object to goggles being $50 but no amount of money can buy you new retinas (and you wouldn't ski on two planks of wood strapped to your feet with old leather belts- don't risk your vision)
    – Caius Jard
    Commented Feb 18, 2020 at 21:03

3 Answers 3


In most (if not all) cases the LED light of a mobile phone will not produce the wavelength needed for producing UV lights, see comments on https://www.instructables.com/id/Turn-Your-Phone-Into-A-Black-Light-Hack/ . In other words, to get UV light you need to buy light sources capable of showing that.

Regarding how to detect UV light, it's a slight different matter, and there are various substances reacting to UV light, where the most notable and easily accessible one are bills which incorporates stuff shown when exposed to UV light. See https://www.sciencecompany.com/Applications-for-Using-Ultraviolet-Light-Lamps.aspx for other stuff.

Finally, to answer your question on how to verify your googles, then I don't think you can verify it except for getting manufacturers information, or actual use. And even with actual use, most goggles reduce the UV light and don't totally block it, and it's also dependent on the age of your goggles.

In short, if you get burning eyes, I'd suggest spending the extra money on getting something which has verifiable UV protection. You can't buy new eyes...


You can purchase a thing called a UV Dosimetry tag on-line. These are little paper stickers with a UV-sensitive yellow dye on one side and stickytape on the other so you can stick them on things conveniently. The dye side gradually changes color to green with exposure to UV light- more UV gives you a darker green.

To see if UV is getting through your glasses, put a UV tag inside your goggles with the yellow side in contact with the goggle lens and place it out in direct sunlight. Place another tag yellow side up in the sun next to your goggles as a comparison standard. If UV is getting through the goggle lens material, it will turn the sticker green. Comparing the shade of green on the inside sticker with that of the outside sticker will give you an idea of how much, if any, of the UV coming from the sun is getting blocked by the lens material.


The lens of the human eye naturally filters out UV light. When the lens is removed, as in some cataract surgeries, some people can see light below the 400 nm range that is the typical limit.Slashdot Article During one of the World Wars, the British feared that German ships might communicate with spies on land by using ultra-violet lights. So they trained Grandmas near the coast who had received cataract surgery to sit on their porches and watch the ocean during the evenings.

I don't recommend having your lens removed in order to see UV light. But it may be an option.

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