GE Current debuts 365DisInFx brand, and germicidal UV-C LED ceiling puck (UPDATED)

Sept. 23, 2020
Presumably, the new LED-based puck from GE Current can deactivate the SARS-CoV-2 virus while operating at an irradiance level that is safe for human skin and eyes.

GE Current, a Daintree Company, has announced a new ultraviolet (UV-C-band)-based germicidal product using LEDs, which the company said operates at sufficiently low irradiance levels that allow it to be used while people are present in a space. Moreover, Current has a new solid-state lighting (SSL) germicidal brand called 365DisInFx that includes both the new UV-C ceiling puck-like device and previously disclosed UV-A-band luminaires that can deactivate pathogens over long hours of operation. The new UV-C puck is said to deactivate the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes COVID-19 almost instantaneously on surfaces and in air.

Now, you may feel a disclaimer coming because we have tried to be vigilant in writing about UV technology relative to the coronavirus and COVID-19. There are far too many poorly-designed and unsafe UV-C products that have been rushed to market. As we covered in an issue column, used inappropriately, UV-C is very dangerous to human skin and eyes — especially in the 250–280-nm wavelength region where germicidal efficacy is maximized. We have not seen a specification sheet for the new Current product that would reveal dosage or radiometric power per area over time.

Current, of course, has a long history of technology innovation via its GE lineage, and we would expect that its engineers have done proper research. “Our technology can be used in at-risk environments to reduce the potential spread of bacteria and viruses,” says Manish Bhandari, CEO of Current. “Years of research in responsible usage of the ultraviolet spectrum has allowed us to develop a growing suite of solutions that promote wellness and can make a transformative impact on our lives during the pandemic and thereafter. As a trusted source for innovation, we’re counted on to adapt to emerging needs and are ready to help not just the healthcare community, but also to make these benefits available to broader public spaces where a disinfection strategy is essential.”

The UV-C pucks are part of an LPU Series that does not produce any useful light for the human visual system. These new SSL products are round and ceiling surface-mounted. We presume that customers will have to follow guidelines for spacing in any given installation area that ensures germicidal efficacy. The pucks irradiate downward and deactivate virus in air and surfaces reached by the UV energy.

The 365DisInFx brand, meanwhile, uses the 365 prefix to indicate that the technology as a whole enables facilities to deliver continuous protection for visitors. The UV-A technology is available in a variety of Current ceiling-mount light fixtures and is coming to downlights. We covered that technology after a trial of the UV-A technology at a university medical facility.

The recent developments in germicidal UV are going to force us to rethink some of the terminology that we have used relative to germicidal applications. We have used the term continuous disinfection to describe violet-band visible light and UV-A products that deactivate pathogens over time as opposed to the longer-known impact of UV-C that works nearly instantaneously. But SARS-CoV-2 has really painted the situation in new colors. Society needs technology that deactivates instantly but that continues to operate continuously in public spaces where air is recirculated and a new visitor can shed virus at any moment.

We do remain convinced that deployment of UV-C in HVAC systems may prove the most effective usage model with the radiation shielded from humans completely. Alternatively, non-lighting products such as the UV-C-based air cleaner introduced by Energy Harness offer the same advantages. Meanwhile, we will await our industry’s opinion on the new GE Current products.

*Updated June 23, 2021 for brand name correction. LEDs Magazine regrets the error.

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About the Author

Maury Wright | Editor in Chief

Maury Wright is an electronics engineer turned technology journalist, who has focused specifically on the LED & Lighting industry for the past decade. Wright first wrote for LEDs Magazine as a contractor in 2010, and took over as Editor-in-Chief in 2012. He has broad experience in technology areas ranging from microprocessors to digital media to wireless networks that he gained over 30 years in the trade press. Wright has experience running global editorial operations, such as during his tenure as worldwide editorial director of EDN Magazine, and has been instrumental in launching publication websites going back to the earliest days of the Internet. Wright has won numerous industry awards, including multiple ASBPE national awards for B2B journalism excellence, and has received finalist recognition for LEDs Magazine in the FOLIO Eddie Awards. He received a BS in electrical engineering from Auburn University.