MOCpages : Share your LEGO® creations
LEGO models my own creation MOCpages toys shop Blacklight tops
Welcome to the world's greatest LEGO fan community!
Explore cool creations, share your own, and have lots of fun together.  ~  It's all free!
Blacklight tops
Spinning a LEGO top with fluorescent or phosphorescent parts under a blacklight can produce some interesting effects.
About this creation
Please feel free to enjoy the images and skip the verbiage.

My ongoing obsession with LEGOŽ spinning tops continues with tops designed specifically for their appearance while spinning under a blacklight, like so...











The odd whirling spin-down style seen prior to 3:03 in the 4th video reflects a certain combination of (i) large tip radius of curvature, (ii) large center of mass height, (iii) large transverse moment of inertia about the tip, and (iv) relatively small axial moment of inertia.

Tops in the 1st video, 2nd video, and 4th video...



Technic vortex top in the 3rd video...



If you enjoyed these LEGOŽ light shows, you might also like my Blacklight ravographs.

Warning! Always wear eye protection when working or playing with high-speed LEGOŽ rotating machinery and keep valuables and bystanders (including pets) a safe distance away -- especially when testing new designs.

≪ Back to top




Optional: Fluorescence and phosphorescence in the LEGOŽ realm

For our purposes, a fluorescent part is one that emits visible light only while illuminated by an ultraviolet (UV) light source, while a phosphorescent part continues to emit after the UV source is removed. Phosphorescent parts also emit after absorbing visible light, but the effect is weak at best.

Direct sunlight, skylight, and blacklights are the most commonly available UV sources, here in order of increasing UV/visible output ratio. The UV in the videos came from a pair of cheap party blacklights with 18-inch fluorescent tubes.

Fluorescent parts glowing under the UV-rich skylight of a spectacular fall day in Colorado...



Any fluorescence or phosphorescence in a LEGO part resides in the pigment used to color the plastic and not in the plastic itself. It's therefore proper to speak of fluorescent and phosphorescent LEGOŽ colors. Fluorescent colors are often described as "day-glo" in general usage, and phosphorescent colors as "glow-in-the-dark".

In the widely used BrickLink color naming scheme, "neon" takes the place of "day-glo", but not reliably. The "neon" tag marks only the 3 most strongly fluorescent LEGOŽ colors -- "trans-neon orange", "trans-neon green", and "trans-neon yellow". The last (which still emits a lot of green) is slightly brighter than the other two. As in the last photo, most of the fluorescent parts in the videos are trans-neon orange and trans-neon yellow.

Strong fluorescence ends with fourth-place "trans-medium blue". ("Trans-light blue" and "trans-dark blue", on the other hand, don't fluoresce at all.) Trans-red, (opaque) orange, and a handful of other colors can also be weakly fluorescent in some cases but not all. None of these lower-tier fluorescent colors bears the "neon" tag.

The 3 phosphorescent LEGOŽ colors are "glow-in-the-dark white", "glow-in-the-dark trans", and "glow-in-the-dark opaque". All have at least a faint greenish tinge, and some can outshine lower-tier fluorescent parts. Phosphorescent parts are generally expensive and hard to find.



The glow-in-the-dark white "stars" outlining the leading edges of the spiral arms in this Andromeda top come out only when the lights go down at 2:00. They'd have shown a lot brighter if I'd pumped them up with a blacklight beforehand.

≪ Back to top




Comments

 I made it 
  November 17, 2016
Quoting Nerds forprez Oh boy, one of your most beautiful posts yet. Great stuff Jeremy.
Very nice to hear, NFP!
 I made it 
  November 17, 2016
Quoting Henrik Jensen Beautiful and fascinating at the same time, love your fluorescent spinning tops!
Thank you very much, Henrik!
 I like it 
  November 17, 2016
Beautiful and fascinating at the same time, love your fluorescent spinning tops!
 I made it 
  November 17, 2016
Quoting Nick Barrett Mesmerising, you are king of tops!
Thank you, Nick!
 I like it 
  November 17, 2016
Mesmerising, you are king of tops!
 I made it 
  November 16, 2016
Quoting Oliver Becker Your artistic skills building with LEGO are outstanding, my friend! Looking at your wonderful entertaining creations here conjures a big smile on my face and on many other faces too, I believe... ;) Love it! (sorrowly latency of comment...)
Very kind, Oliver!
 I like it 
  November 16, 2016
Your artistic skills building with LEGO are outstanding, my friend! Looking at your wonderful entertaining creations here conjures a big smile on my face and on many other faces too, I believe... ;) Love it! (sorrowly latency of comment...)
 I made it 
  November 15, 2016
Quoting D H Super cool! Love the amazing effects you are able to conjure-
Thanks, DH! LEGO construction makes it easy to try out ideas and fine-tune effects. Can you imagine doing that with a painted wooden top turned on a lathe?
 I made it 
  November 15, 2016
Quoting Nils O. Wow, they look so cool! I really love the idea of fluorescent spinning tops. Great job! :-))
Thanks, Nils! Have you and your son made any tops together?
 I like it 
  November 15, 2016
Super cool! Love the amazing effects you are able to conjure-
 I like it 
  November 15, 2016
Wow, they look so cool! I really love the idea of fluorescent spinning tops. Great job! :-))
 I like it 
  November 14, 2016
Oh boy, one of your most beautiful posts yet. Great stuff Jeremy.
 I made it 
  November 14, 2016
Quoting Oran Cruzen You are just the tops in tops Jeremy!
Too kind, Oran!
 I made it 
  November 14, 2016
Quoting jds 7777 Wow! Looks awesome! Those pieces REALLY light up under a blacklight! Nice to see another post from you. It's been quite a while! :)
Thanks, my friend! I always appreciate your comments. I've become a lot more selective in the MOCs I post here. The MOCpages format is still the best I've found for sharing my builds, but my boats and tops seem to be missing the mark, and nobody's Technic builds get much attention. Since long, complicated pages are clearly part of the problem, I'm going to try cutting way back on discussion, starting with this page.
 I like it 
  November 14, 2016
You are just the tops in tops Jeremy!
 I made it 
  November 14, 2016
Quoting W Navarre Excellent work and concept!
Many thanks!
 I like it 
  November 14, 2016
Wow! Looks awesome! Those pieces REALLY light up under a blacklight! Nice to see another post from you. It's been quite a while! :)
  November 14, 2016
Excellent work and concept!
 I made it 
  November 14, 2016
Quoting Clayton Marchetti You've taken your amazing tops to a whole new level. Brilliant!
Too kind, Clayton!
 I like it 
  November 14, 2016
You've taken your amazing tops to a whole new level. Brilliant!
 I made it 
  November 14, 2016
Quoting Sven ;o) Awesome effects you created with these spinning tops. :) Really nice work Jeremy.
Thank you, Sven!
 I made it 
  November 14, 2016
Quoting David Roberts I can't watch the videos at the moment but the glowing photos are quite spectacular.
Thanks, David! Please let me know what you think of the videos when you get the chance.
 I made it 
  November 14, 2016
Quoting Seaman SPb An impressive sight! Excellent work, Jeremy, as always! :)
Thank you very much, Seaman!
 I like it 
  November 14, 2016
Awesome effects you created with these spinning tops. :) Really nice work Jeremy.
 I like it 
  November 14, 2016
I can't watch the videos at the moment but the glowing photos are quite spectacular.
 I like it 
  November 14, 2016
An impressive sight! Excellent work, Jeremy, as always! :)
 
By Jeremy McCreary
Add to my favorite builders

17
people like this. See who.

805 visitors
26 comments
Added November 14, 2016
 


LEGO models my own creation MOCpages toys shop Blacklight tops


You Your home page | LEGO creations | Favorite builders
Activity Activity | Comments | Creations
Explore Explore | Recent | Groups
MOCpages is an unofficial, fan-created website. LEGO® and the brick configuration are property of The LEGO Group, which does not sponsor, own, or endorse this site.
©2002-2017 Sean Kenney Design Inc | Privacy policy | Terms of use