Beware of Fake UV-C Bulbs

Beware of Fake UV-C Bulbs

With the rising popularity of UV-C and Ozone for providing additional sanitization in hot tubs, it likely won't come as a surprise that many knockoff bulbs crowd the market. While genuine UV-C bulbs like Jacuzzi ClearRay typically cost about $150, some products claim to be ClearRay bulbs for as little as $35.

Sounds too good to be true, right?

That's because it is.

This article will cover how to spot fake bulbs and the importance of buying from a reputable brand.

How to Spot a Fake UV-C Bulb

So, how can I tell the difference?

The truth is, without special equipment, you can't tell by looking at them. UV-C technology works on wavelengths invisible to the human eye. Most of the time, fake bulbs are just LEDs - they simply produce light and don't sanitize.


Price is almost always a dead giveaway. Some bulbs are advertised on Amazon for as low as $35, compared to the typical price of around $150 for a genuine bulb. There are only a handful of manufacturers that produce true sanitizing UV-C bulbs, and this low pricing is less than their cost to produce.

Data Sheet

Actual UV-C radiation occurs at wavelengths of 254nm (nanometers). If a seller can't provide a datasheet, it's a huge red flag, but if they do, you'll want to look for any indication of this measurement. Although this information could be wrongfully stated, many fake bulbs either have no datasheet or lack this information.

UVC Light Meter

The only sure way to test if a bulb is actually emitting UV-C is by checking with a UVC light meter. A UVC light meter measures the intensity of an ultraviolet light. As previously mentioned UV-C radiation occurs at wavelengths of 254nm (nanometers).

The Importance of Genuine Bulbs

Besides the high likelihood of a cheap bulb not working at all as we've discussed above, there's also the risk of it being an unstable and unsanitary product. UV-C bulbs are supposed to sanitize and help purify water, and ironically, these cheap bulbs often do the opposite by introducing contaminants.

Key Takeaways

Although it may seem like a good deal, cheap "UV-C" bulbs are usually unsanitary and contain LEDs that don't emit UV-C waves at all. We recommend sticking with a trusted UV-C bulb that you can guarantee is safe and works.

-24% sale
ClearRay Replacement Bulb - Hot Tub Store
ClearRay Replacement Bulb
$155.95 $203.79
The ClearRAY system uses UV-C technology to neutralize waterborne pathogens, rendering them useless. ClearRAY will also help reduce the amount of sanitizer you use in your hot tub, providing you with clean, fresh clear water. For the cleanest, softest water possible. No more drying out, no more red-eye.  The ClearRay bulb needs to be replaced once a year. Detailed instructions on replacing your ClearRay bulb can be found here.   Replacement recommended every 12 months. 
AquaNova Replacement Bulb
AquaNova Replacement Bulb
Replacement UV bulb only* for AquaNova UV/Ozone system found in Celebrity Hot Tubs. The AquaNova UV/Ozone system requires a replacement bulb every 10,000 hours or when the bulb has burnt out.The system light will flash yellow after 10,000 hours or red if it's non-operational (e.g. bulb has burned out).

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