Expert webcast speaker sets expectations with regard to UV-C

June 19, 2020
Germicidal application of ultraviolet energy has generated a surge of interest due to the ongoing pandemic. Yesterday’s webcast with LESA’s Bob Karlicek put many details into perspective.

I’d like to talk about expectations today. First, let me set the expectation that I am not going to summarize yesterday’s entire webcast presentation, “Germicidal UV-C radiation: Fact and fiction about killing pathogens,” here on the blog. I could hardly do it justice. Bob Karlicek, director of the Center for Lighting Enabled Systems & Applications (LESA) at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, delivers an extraordinary amount of detail, such as:

  • Background on ultraviolet (UV) radiation
  • Its application as a germicidal measure
  • Wavelength ranges in the UV-C band and their action upon pathogens
  • Types of radiation sources available
  • System-level considerations (human protective measures, impact on environmental materials, ensuring the correct wavelength is being generated for intended application and dose)
  • The potential roadmap of UV sources, including LEDs

So please do get the facts as set out by Karlicek by viewing the on-demand presentation.

The second expectation I’d like to mention is more about destroying misconceptions. Our goal in pursuing this webcast topic as well as a speaker who does not represent a commercial UV-LED manufacturer was to deliver information on UV technology, pathogen-deactivation mechanisms, and design and end-use considerations from a resource with access to evidence-backed studies and the ability to interpret them from an engineer’s and product developer’s vantage point. It’s perhaps a misconception or a mistaken assumption that Karlicek would claim that the LED is the UV source for germicidal applications because he was hosted by LEDs Magazine. In fact, he spends a great deal of time explaining why there are more conventional mercury-based UV sources being used today, and how excimer sources factor into the disinfection role as well. While he did not cite specific UV-C product manufacturers, his statements could provide additional context when you read our Mark Halper’s news report in which Signify CEO Eric Rondolat confirmed that the company’s focus remains on developing mercury-discharge lamps for UV disinfection designs where they appear to fit best, including in the fight against the novel coronavirus.

The third expectation is brief: You have not seen the last on UV topics from us. We have exciting new content under development with regard to market data, technology challenges, patents and intellectual property, and how systems can be responsibly designed and deployed to reduce the risk from pathogens in the built environment. Expect more to come, in the magazine, on the website, and in upcoming events. And if you are interested in speaking at the 2021 Strategies in Light event on a well-supported UV topic, please note that the call for abstracts has been extended to June 24.

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