Over the years, UV technology has developed as a reliable source of energy in a variety of industries. In the printing world, UV technology has become a reliable curing method for printed substrates. As demands have increased, traditional UV technology sometimes reaches technical limits, therefore allowing for the development of a new branch of UV known as UV LED technology. Ultimately, these two technologies are similar in that they achieve the same goal but in different ways. The difference between UV and UV LED is in the physics that operates the light. This affects the wavelength of the light that is emitted, in turn affecting how the substrates are cured. UV technology uses plasma physics and optics, while UV LED technology uses semiconductor technologies and optics.
Unfortunately, UV LED technology produces a single, narrow band wavelength, whereas conventional UV technology provides a wider band allowing the UV to be more flexible and to be used in a variety of applications. Where UV LED shines is for heat-sensitive substrates that cannot be exposed to high temperatures during the curing process. UV LED is also very easy to maintain, has a lower carbon footprint and is more energy efficient.Conventional UV printers are often used in the packaging industry where a wide variety of substrates are used. This can include cell phone covers and cardboard. UV LED printers are commonly used on heat sensitive substrates such as glass, plastic and Plexiglas, to name a few. This can include promotional items such as USB drives, pens and even mugs