I make my own PCBs. Currently I use an off-the-shelf UV lightbox, but I was thinking of making my own, double sided unit.
First question is should I use UV fluorescent tubes, or UV leds?
The second question is what are the critical criteria (i.e. power, wavelength, colour temperature etc) that I should be checking for?
Most commercial UV light bulbs seem to be advertised as 'fly killer' or 'black light', so they're either designed for attracting mosquitoes, or making nightclubs look good. What sort do I need for making PCBs?
UV leds seem to be available ranging in price from less than £1 to nearly £100, what sort are best for developing boards?
Some background info - My current UV lightbox is very large (A4 sized) and has no timer. All of my PCBs are designed using the free version of Eagle CAD, so in practice I need a UV light box not much bigger than an arduino mega. I want to build my own so that a) I can add an electronic timer, and b) I can make it no larger than I need, and c) I can make it double sided to eliminate the problems in aligning the 2nd side.
I've noticed that all the professional UV light-boxes are based around fluorescent tubes and only homemade lighboxes seem to use LEDs, not sure if this indcates that LEDS aren't as good, or just that professional manufacturers have long lead times!
Any advice appreciated.