The UV Lighting Sector is Probably Going to Explode

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Germicidal UV lighting is hot right now, and those who carry out ultraviolet light installations can’t catch up with the demand. This isn’t a new technology, but there has never been such an intense need for it, so engineers and scientists are looking upon the existing solutions trying to figure out how to make them safer for humans.

You see, UV light is amazing for killing viruses, germs, and bacteria, works in a flash (literally), and covers all surfaces and crevices in a room. The problem with it is that in order to be effective in this germicidal action, is has to emit 254mm-wavelength radiation. At this wavelength, the UV radiation damages human cells and has the potential to cause serious harm to those exposed.

Thankfully, researchers at Hiroshima University have tested UVC light at 222 nm and found out that it cannot penetrate human skin or eyelids, meaning that it cannot harm people. At the same time, the irradiation killed SARS-CoV-2 viruses in real-world surfaces, so it should be good for COVID-19 disinfection too. The team will now run new testing rounds to confirm this, but they are quite optimistic already.

If this proves to work out well, UVC light may finally break loose from being deployed only on hospitals and medical facilities and under the control of teams that know what they’re doing. We could have places shed with “safe” UV light where nothing bad can circulate in the air for long. Buses, aircraft, cinemas, theaters, and many more locations that are now struggling to get back to something that resembles normality may be “unlocked” thanks to 222 nm UV lights.

Even if this is not feasible for whatever reason, controlled UVC units that radiate when humans aren’t present, or that radiate in disinfecting chambers and then re-circulate the air in a room may flood the market soon. One thing is for sure, and that is that the future of UV lights is brighter than ever.

Image by Thanasis Papazacharias from Pixabay
Source: EC&M magazine