Welcome to the LEDs Magazine UV Tech Insights newsletter for June 17, 2021. What a difference a year makes. That statement applies in so many ways to our world right now. But specifically I was thinking about germicidal ultraviolet (UV) technology when I wrote it.
It was about a year ago, or maybe a bit more, when we experienced a profound uptick in UV-C-band (100–280-nm) press releases. Companies were rushing products to market. And as I have noted before, many of the product concepts were maybe half baked and some outright dangerous. Thankfully, the COVID-19 vaccine and masks have provided some pandemic relief. And the flow of UV-C press releases has virtually stopped.
I speculated in a January column in the magazine that the interest in UV-C technology would wane as vaccines arrived on the scene. However, I didn’t expect such a notable drop in information flow. And I sincerely hope the trend is temporary. UV-C radiation should become a lasting element in our commercial spaces, schools, medical facilities, and more.
With little to write about in terms of new product or technology announcements, I’ll review some recent resources we presented that all have significant valuable insights on UV-C. I did a Quick Chat video interview with Adam Lilien of UL on fixed UV-C installations. Adam described safe and effective ways to deploy UV-C in a fight against pathogens.
We also had two recent webcasts on the UV-C topic. Solid-state lighting (SSL) industry consultant Michael Krames covered the progress made in UV-C LEDs, which face similar obstacles that high-power, visible-light LEDs faced a decade ago. We need higher power levels, longer lifetime, and lower cost for UV-C LEDs to broadly displace legacy lamps. But progress is being made in applications such as upper-air disinfection.
We also learned that there are unique requirements for the LED drivers utilized in UV-C systems in a webcast presented by product manager Kai Li of Mean Well. For example, dim-to-off functionality can extend the life of such SSL systems. Moreover, some circuit topologies work better than others because of the relatively higher forward voltages in most UV-C LEDs.
I’ll also revisit one item I touched on in our weekly News & Insights newsletter yesterday. Our Carrie Meadows went looking for answers about patent issues relative to UV-C technology after the issue became a hot top on industry social media recently. One discussion centered on whether a company could patent use of a specific wavelength. If you have interest in the UV intellectual property space, make sure you read Carrie’s blog based on an interview with patent attorney Marshall Honeyman.
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.
- Maury Wright, (858) 208-9442, [email protected]