Coronavirus reveals the best and worst of people and organizations (MAGAZINE)

May 4, 2020
While we tend to look toward companies aiding health efforts or finding ways to maintain business in the face of the COVID-19 health crisis, unfortunately, there have also been instances of some crossing lines with the broad interest in UV technology.

Let me start by offering my best wishes to you all relative to health and safety in the trying times of COVID-19. As I’ve said before, this pandemic should be playing out on movie screens and not in global society. The pandemic has revealed the bravery and generosity of so many, starting with frontline medical professionals around the globe. Unfortunately, there are also people and organizations attempting to leverage the situation for their own gain. We are even seeing such actions in the LED and solid-state lighting (SSL) sectors.

There have been plenty of noble actions in our sectors. Companies have repurposed manufacturing lines to make protective equipment for hospitals, and donated luminaires to temporary medical facilities. Luminaire makers have quickly modified product designs or created new products that can be deployed in temporary facilities. And largely I have heard that the companies in our industry are doing right by their employees in every way that they can. Indeed, I thank our management at Endeavor Business Media for the way we have been treated and for allowing us to continue delivering needed technical information.

Now let’s look at the other side of the docket. And I mentioned some of this in one or more of our email newsletters, so I apologize if you have seen it. I have been astounded by some of the press releases that have been submitted to us. We do publish legitimate press releases on our Company Newsfeed. We have always tried to be diligent in assessing the validity of releases we receive. The last few weeks have revealed an overflow of questionable news. I know we’ve let a couple slip through. I apologize. And we probably did not publish a few that should have been posted.

Perhaps the worst of the questionable claims have been in the area of ultraviolet (UV) and violet/blue radiation in instantaneous and continuous disinfection applications, respectively. UV-C energy in the 100–280-nm band can kill the coronavirus almost instantly, as can UV-A and violet/blue energy after lengthy exposure (see some quality resource examples via our blog).

UV is a fantastic technology and the future of UV LEDs is incredibly bright. But this is serious stuff. Misuse can do far more harm than good. And we are seeing hastily-created product concepts and campaigns touted that look just plain dangerous.

Likewise, we have seen press materials arrive with product details and even quotes clearly copied from another company’s literature. It would be fantastic if a company could actually develop a substantive UV intellectual property portfolio in a matter of weeks or months. But it’s just not possible.

We are going to keep publishing anything we think is valid on the UV subject, just as we have for years. As you can guess, that material is getting a lot of search traffic right now on our site. We are also working quickly to develop a webcast that will feature true experts in the field discussing the facts about UV.

Meanwhile, we’d ask that you help us and report anything that looks questionable that you see in our content. Also, let me know if there are other areas beyond UV that we should especially scrutinize.

I hope that by the time you read this, given our lag time in the publishing schedule, the hardest-hit regions around the globe will have turned back the worst of the pandemic.

Maury Wright
[email protected]

For up-to-the-minute LED and SSL updates, why not follow us on Twitter? You’ll find curated content and commentary, as well as information on industry events, webcasts, and surveys on our LinkedIn Company Page and our Facebook page.