Thanks to its disinfecting properties, UV-C radiation is a real all-rounder. UV-C lamps can be used to disinfect water, air and surfaces. But while the use of such lamps has so far been limited to a few industries, demand has exploded across all sectors worldwide since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. Learn more about the unique features which have suddenly placed UV-C technology in the global spotlight.
THE EFFECT OF UV-C RADIATION: AN INTRODUCTION
Electromagnetic radiation is characterized by a specific wavelength. Compared to visible light, ultraviolet radiation, UV radiation for short, has a significantly shorter wavelength. Depending on the type of UV radiation, this lies between 10 and 400 nanometres. UV radiation is divided into four ranges according to its wavelength:
- UV-A: UV-A radiation has a wavelength between 315 to 400 nanometres. The light can cause certain substances to fluoresce. Thanks to this, UV-A lamps have a long tradition in the entertainment business, but are also used in forensics – for example in marking banknotes. UV-A lamps can be produced easily and cheaply.
- UV-B: UV-B radiation possesses a wavelength between 280 and 315 nanometres. Lamps that emit light in this range are highly valued by tan lovers in particular. UV-B lamps brown the human skin and are therefore used in tanning studios.
- UV-C: UV-C radiation with a wavelength between 100 and 280 nanometres is classified as UV-C. UV-C radiation has an outstanding property: UV-C radiation is very energy-rich and therefore it is able to kill bacteria and viruses. The strongest effect against pathogens (pathogens) occurs at 265 nanometers. UV-C radiation causes considerable DNA damage to micro-organisms, which ultimately leads to decontaminating the corresponding pathogens. Mercury vapour lamps are currently considered to be the most effective UV-C radiation source.
- EUV: Extreme UV with a wavelength between 10 and 100 nanometres is mainly used in manufacturing – for example in chip production.
ADVANTAGES OF USING UV-C RADIATION FOR DISINFECTION
UV-C radiation: environmentally friendly and efficient
Compared to other disinfection methods, UV-C radiation has a number of advantages:
- UV-C radiation does not require chemicals and toxic compounds.
- Pathogens are unable to form resistance to UV-C radiation.
- The radiation could render pathogens harmless in a matter of seconds.
- The treatment’s short duration does not change the properties of a product.
- UV-C radiation leaves no residue or discolouration on surfaces.
- Ozone is not produced in the corresponding range above 240 nanometres.
For these reasons, UV-C radiation has been used for decades in some sectors such as medicine or food packaging disinfection (for example yoghurt pots) as a clean disinfectant solution.
DISINFECTING WITH UV-C
UV-C TECHNOLOGY: OUR ACE IN THE FIGHT AGAINST COVID-19
Up to recently, the implementation of UV-C lamps were still very limited. In addition to medical applications, UV-C radiation was mainly used in the food industry as well as for cleaning pools, aquariums and wastewater. However, as COVID-19 becomes more widespread, the need for UV-C lamps has boomed. Even in areas where UV-C applications have at best been in a very small niche, there is now an increased demand.
One of the two global lighting manufacturers with offices in >50 countries and R&D centers in Boston, Shenzhen, and Garching/Munich
Industry-leading in low pressure discharge technology for decades, ?holding several dozen core patents (more than 50 patents) in this field globally
Maker of T8 UV-C lamps with a proven track record - the LEDVANCE factory in Smolensk/ Russia has been mass producing UV-C lamps since 2012
Dedicated research center on “light for human health & wellbeing”, recently awarded from VDE for our proprietary BIOLUX® technology
Actively driving new requirements for disinfection on safety and effectiveness in standards and guidelines (e.g. member of UV-C disinfection working groups in leading industry associations)
USE UV-C LAMPS CORRECTLY AND OBSERVE SAFETY INSTRUCTIONS
UV-C disinfection devices should not be used directly on the body as they can damage the skin and eyes. For this reason, some safety instructions must be observed during use:
- UV-C lamps should only be directed at the surface to be disinfected. It is essential to avoid radiation to the skin or eyes.
- Users must be protected from exposure to UV-C. The use of UV-C radiaton in enclosed rooms is therefore only recommended when there are no people in the room.
- The UV-C lamp should be switched off immediately after disinfection.
In addition, information on the packaging and in the accompanying instruction book must be followed precisely.