Top articles continue to shape germicidal UV awareness

Dec. 24, 2021
Our top four articles on UV tackle manufacturer responsibilities, light source options, how and when to deploy UV-C in schools, and portable technology.

As chief editor Maury Wright had pondered earlier this year, the flood of new germicidal ultraviolet (GUV) product and business announcements has decelerated over the past months. Is the slowdown supply and logistics related? Is it due to the rollout of COVID-19 vaccines? Or are there other factors in play, such as more considered product design cycles, extended study into the application and performance of UV-emitting devices in action what do you think? It’s possible the answer could be “all of the above.”

We can hardly report that COVID is vanquished, unfortunately. But there are incredibly determined innovators out there who continue to work the problem of safely and effectively applying antimicrobial light solutions to the built environment.

Having looked back at our year, we’ve collected the top four most-popular articles we published on GUV this year below. From industry commentary on transparency of manufacturers’ UV-C LED data to a primer on UV sources and dosage capabilities, readers have still flocked to content that delivers guidance and perspective to set proper expectations both in the market and on the user end.

1. Disinfection demands a complete UV-C LED picture

While opening his Last Word contribution with a play on lyrics from “The Fresh Prince of Bel Air” (did you catch that? Did you?), Nichia’s Erik Swenson got down to serious business, calling upon LED manufacturers to clearly define ultraviolet-C-band (UV-C) LED specifications and set realistic expectations for their performance in end products and systems.

2. Dose factors heavily into ultraviolet disinfection system design

Though chief editor Maury Wright and I collaborated on a late 2021 blog post about clarifying the terminology used to identify UV radiation metrics, we agree that the content and details in this contributed article from authors at Excelitas is a solid introduction to the types of GUV sources available, their capabilities and drawbacks, and cost comparisons for system design considerations.

3. Educational administrators grapple with unknowns in using UV to fight COVID-19

The first in our series of special reports on GUV applications focused on educational environments the current state of technology, UV-C products intended for integration into building systems, and the uptake of mercury-based UV-C versus LED- or xenon-based products in pilot installations. The main takeaway from Maury here is that containment, reliability, and simple operation of the UV-C systems is paramount in a busy academic environment, and they are still a long way from widespread implementation.

4. Portable UV-C canisters provide take-it-with-you coronavirus zapping

Again, speaking to the containment and safe operation of UV-C-emitting products, our Mark Halper reported on a portable air-disinfection offering from Osram (now ams Osram) back in January 2021. As we have noted in the past, shielding users and occupants of a space from UV-C radiation is critical as there are exposure limits for human/animal safety. The AirZing UV-Compact canister uses a fan to draw in air to be sanitized by a 253.7-nm UV-C mercury-discharge tube, bringing a compact form factor to purify up to a cubic meter radius, says the manufacturer.

CARRIE MEADOWS is associate editor of LEDs Magazine, with 20 years’ experience in business-to-business publishing across technology markets including solid-state technology manufacturing, fiberoptic communications, machine vision, lasers and photonics, and LEDs and lighting.

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