LEDs Magazine News & Insights UV Edition 30 Oct 2020 – Editor’s Column

Oct. 29, 2020

Welcome to a special ultraviolet (UV) edition of the LEDs Magazine News & Insights newsletter for Oct. 30, 2020. Germicidal UV is quite simply the hottest topic in our solid-state lighting (SSL) world given the continuing pandemic. We decided to publish this special Friday newsletter to aggregate some of our UV-centric content and to also tell you a bit about our forward-looking plans for the UV subject.

UV LED technology in general continues to trail the maturation of visible-light LEDs substantially. UV-A (315–400-nm) and UV-B (280–315-nm) LEDs are widely used in applications such as curing. UV-C band (100–280-nm) LEDs that can deactivate a virus such as SARS-CoV-2 remain more costly, and produce lower levels of radiometric energy. Further UV-C LEDs have relatively short lifetimes.

But the LED manufacturers are rushing to overcome the challenges that UV-C presents. Back in July, we had a contributed article written by long-time LED expert Mike Krames. That article described the architectural differences of UV-C LEDs relative to blue LEDs along with potential concepts that will ultimately deliver more powerful UV-C LEDs.

We also published a recent column that suggests some application scenarios in which UV-C LEDs can serve today. Bob Karlicek and Leah Scott of the Center for Lighting Enabled Systems & Applications (LESA) at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute noted applications such as pulsed UV-C LEDs have great potential.

Moreover, you will find other content on our site that’s focused on germicidal UV-C concepts. A midwestern company called Energy Harness, for example, has created a ceiling-mounted air circulation system with a UV-C-LED disinfection chamber and that product has been installed in schools.

We constantly warn of the dangers of UV-C radiation and we continue to decline to publish news of many new products that lack proper safeguards. We will continue to devote resources to the safe deployment of germicidal UV based on interest you the readers have shown. So let’s discuss our upcoming plans.

We are working to plan a six-webcast series on the UV topic. The first three will focus on technology issues tied to UV LEDs and other sources. The final three will focus on application scenarios. The entire series will build upon the webcast we did back in June when Bob Karlicek separated fact from fiction relative to germicidal UV. That presentation is still available for viewing on demand.

The webcast series will stretch into 2021 and we will complement that series with three special reports presented in issues of our magazine during 2021. Unfortunately, the pandemic is not waning, and germicidal or disinfection technologies are going to remain incredibly important in society’s future to ward off future pandemics.

We will start our special magazine coverage with the January/February issue and a focus on germicidal UV applications in schools. Our July/August issue will have a special report focused on UV in healthcare settings. And we will close the series with a focus on commercial environments next October.

Those special reports will have staff-written content and that content will be augmented with some contributed articles. So feel free to suggest ideas for contributions. We will generally be looking for articles that describe technical approaches to solve a specific application problem.

You will find many more stories of interest in the body of today’s newsletter. And always feel free to contact me to discuss content we post or to pitch a contributed article.

With that I wish you a safe and happy weekend.

- Maury Wright, (858) 748-6785, [email protected]