UV Tech Insights
News & views on ultraviolet technology and applications - disinfection, safety, LED developments, and more
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UV Tech Insights
 OCTOBER 21, 2021

Welcome to the LEDs Magazine UV Tech Insights newsletter for Oct. 21, 2021. In general, we have seen a slowing of product announcements focused on germicidal ultraviolet applications and specifically UV-C-band products. The rush to market with handheld wands and the like with questionable safety properties has slowed perhaps with the slowing of the pandemic. We would hope, however, that rational minds have simply taken over along with legitimate engineering skills.

Thinking all the way back to the spring of 2020, I wrote a column about the potential dangers of UV-C and the companies emerging to try and leverage fear of the pandemic to line their wallets. We have tried our best to just bring facts about UV-C, disinfection, and efficacy relative to the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus. For example, we ran a just the facts column a year ago from experts at Rensselaer Polytechnic institute.

Much of our more recent content has looked at how a designer/specifier might effectively deploy UV-C in a disinfection application. One thing that has become abundantly clear is that the correct way to deal with UV-C is highly application dependent. Surface disinfection is an entirely different problem than air disinfection. And the choice of effective and efficient light sources is highly application dependent. LED sources lack the output power and cost too much for most surface disinfection applications but may prove the best choice in upper air disinfection.

We’ve had several information resources that cover source choice and UV-C product design. Our Carrie Meadows posted to our blog about the prior content recently. One of those resources is a link to a deep-dive webcast on the topic of LED sources and application fit done in September by ams Osram. Catch the archive if you missed it.

We are seeing some encouraging signs in the UV-C product space. Reputable companies are going to great lengths to ensure their products deliver on claims. For example, Energy Focus had some of its UV-C products independently evaluated by a test lab.

Incidentally, that company will not only be highlighted in LightFair 2021 exhibits next week but will also play a role in aiding the event organizers’ sanitization efforts by using the Energy Focus disinfection robot after hours. Carrie has sent out a call for exhibitors to share their product announcements with us, so please e-mail your media releases to her with booth number, product/exhibit description, and reader contact information along with a high-res graphic.

I do generally feel better about what might be potentially dangerous products when they come from major established players. For example, many companies rushed small chambers for the disinfection of personal products to market at the start of the pandemic. Such products really need operational safeguards that were lacking in many cases. New products such as a Signify-manufactured, Philips-branded box has specialized reflective surfaces to ensure efficacy along with sensors and safeguards to prevent the escape of UV-C radiation.

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]

Ams Osram UVCWC Image
An engineering specialist thinks outside the box containing UV disinfection technology to address additional potential of LEDs and photonics-based sensors.
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