Amber Acrylic Filter

  • My lab bought a large LED transilluminator a little while ago and it's been awesome. The only annoying thing about it is trying to cut out bands while using the amber filter. It's just too in the way.

    I decided to order another sheet to make goggles with since the item number for the actual sheet used in the kit is provided on the website (85635K462 from McMaster-Carr). I was really excited when it came in, but while the sheet they sent looks normal under ambient light, it's incredibly fluorescent (and completely useless) above the blue LEDs of the transilluminator.

    Am I missing something? Is the wrong product number listed on the IO Rodeo website?

  • Hi fingertips ! Yes, we recently ran into the same problem with the amber from McMaster-Carr. It seems that the manufacturer of the acrylic (Reynolds Polymer R-Cast acrylic I think) changed something with their material rendering it unusable for this application, as you mentioned. At the time we tried to get some information from the manufacturer, but we never heard back from them. In the meantime we started looking for alternatives and found a very similar amber which works so we have switched vendors now. I am sorry that we never got around to replacing the information on the website. I will look into doing that this week.
    The amber we use now is from a local supplier. We usually order the material in bulk and pick-up from their shop. If you want we can send you some material to try. Please send me an email ( with the size of material you are looking for and we will get some to you.

    I was wondering also about whether you have tried cutting out bands with the amber placed at an angle ? The amber can be mounted in two ways, with one suitable for cutting out bands (see image below). Have you tried this ? I would be interested to in your feedback. Thanks !

    alt text

  • Thanks for the quick response, Jo. I actually got a bit antsy and ordered some transparent amber acrylic from Amazon where one of the reviewers said he used it to filter the light from a 445nm laser. Always glad for other cheap science enthusiasts! I'll be sure to contact you if this acrylic doesn't work out either. I actually don't need much. I had some old military surplus goggles laying around that I decided to convert (like these so I only need to cut out two circles about 2.5" in diameter each.

    The site listed as the supplier for the blue filter,, also has transparent amber acrylic. Have you tried that? It could be an alternate to list on your site if people want to buy extra, either for making glasses or an imaging box. I bought some cheap "blue filter" glasses on Amazon that people wear at night to fall asleep easier, but they're also incredibly fluorescent. It would be nice to find a cheap pair of glasses like those that works for this purpose so people could buy those instead of making them or giving Invitrogen $55.

    We currently use the amber filter at an angle while cutting, but it's still in the way. I think it's a great solution to include with the kit, since one piece can be used both ways, which keeps the cost down, but everybody in the lab agrees that it would be better to get it out of the way completely. I do enough gel extraction that I'm willing to put in the time and effort to have something I can wear.

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