COVID-19 has highlighted the threat that the spread of viruses and bacteria can pose. The understanding that the quality of the air we breathe and the cleanliness of the surfaces we touch have a profound effect on our health and wellbeing has never been greater.
Busy public areas such as offices, stores, schools, museums and public transport are faced with meeting the challenge to ensure their premises are free of viruses and have systems in place which will reduce or eradicate the ability of viruses and bacteria to spread.
While the disinfection of offices via the use of detergents and rigorous clearing has been the traditional response, advances in lighting technology have provided innovative solutions that use ultra-violet (UV) rays.
UV-C technology has been used safely and effectively to neutralize viruses and bacteria in hospitals and governmental buildings for more than 40 years. That technology is now available to companies to keep staff and customers safe.
What is UV-C?
There are three types of UV radiation found in sunlight. There is UV-A and UV-B, which you may recognise from sunscreen labels. UV-A and UV-B cause sunburn and signs of skin ageing like wrinkles and age spots, and even skin cancer. However, we don’t come into contact with UV-C because it is filtered out by the ozone layer in the Earth’s atmosphere.
UV-C has been proven to kill viruses and germs and Signify, part of the Philips Group, has been at the forefront of UV technology with a proven track record of innovation in UV-C lighting over the past 35 years.
It has proved effective on the family of viruses that include COVID-19. In laboratory testing at the University of Boston, Signify’s UV-C light sources inactivated 99% of SARS-CoV-2 virus on a surface with an exposure time of 6 seconds1.
How does it work?
Signify’s range of UV-C products use ultraviolet light to inactivate microorganisms like viruses and bacteria, making them harmless to humans. UV-C disrupts the DNA or RNA that enables those viruses and bacteria to multiply.
The wavelength of UV-C light is shorter than the wavelength of the light we can see and spans the range of 100-280 nanometres (nm). It is most effective at inactivating viruses on or around 260-265nm, known as the ‘germicidal peak’. Signify’s UV-C lamps operate at 254nm, which is proven to be highly effective in inactivating viruses, bacteria and mould spores.
Safety is paramount.
Humans and animals should not be exposed to germicidal UV-C light at this wavelength as it can cause damage to their skin and eyes in a matter of minutes of exposure. Provided that our UV-C products are used and installed correctly, UV-C is a reliable and highly effective form of disinfection, with safety risks mitigated by the appropriate safeguards put in place.
The Global Lighting Association has developed guidelines for manufacturers and users of UV-C disinfection products that focus on increasing the safety of products for their users. Signify’s UV-C products are developed and designed to meet the high standards set within the guidance.
Our UV-C Solutions
Powercor offers two innovative and attractive UV-C systems that can be adapted to best meet your needs.
UV-C Surface Disinfection.
This solution has been widely used in Pharmacies, retail, gym, spa, industries, cleanrooms, industrial kitchens, restaurants, transport, hotel rooms, schools, universities, and banks.
A fixed installation of luminaires on the ceiling is used at controlled times to fill a room or enclosed space with disinfecting UV-C radiation. The battens provide disinfection for high contact areas.
It delivers proven, effective disinfection over the useful long lifetime of lamp and luminaire. It is environmentally friendly, with no ozone emissions during or after use.
During direct exposure of surfaces to a UV-C light source safety steps need to be taken. This is the case, for example, with the disinfection of surfaces in an office. To prevent damage to eyes or skin resulting from direct exposure to UV-C light sources, no people or animals can be present during a UV-C surface disinfection cycle. That’s why surface disinfection cycles are typically run at night after all people have left the area which is due to be disinfected.
UV-C Upper Air Disinfection.
For those who want a system which enables people to use and work in the room while disinfection is ongoing, we provide a range of solutions in which UV-C radiation at 254nm is safe to use with people in the room. Our innovative upper air disinfection systems are designed to allow people to be present underneath them during their operation. These systems are installed high up in the room and disinfect air through natural convection as it passes through a well-controlled and narrow UV-C irradiated zone that remains close to the ceiling. This zone is at a height above where people are typically present.
The systems are positioned at least 2.3 metres off the floor and the beam of UV-C rays is controlled by specific reflectors and the louvre design. This allows for the disinfection of the air in a space, while ensuring that day-to-day business activities can continue underneath the area where the device is active.
Used in offices, Meeting rooms, retail, hotel rooms, schools, universities, banks, gyms, and restaurants the complete upper layer of air is consistently exposed to the UV-C rays. The natural movement of air enables all air particles to be irradiated by UV-C rays. This movement can be helped by means of mechanical ventilation.
As a result, a wide volume of air is permanently treated, inactivating all pathogens. It is also environmentally friendly, with no ozone emissions during or after use.
Far more than installation
Professional UV-C products are not available for use and/or purchase by consumers. They are designed and intended to be used by trained professionals who take the appropriate safety precautions.
A combination of good product design, implementation of appropriate safeguards, training and instructions for users and installers, provide additional layers of safety for our UV-C products.
As a Signify Certified Value Added Partner, we provide a full turnkey solution. Our clients benefit from a comprehensive survey and design process with full technical specification, through to a professional install carried out by experts. We offer comprehensive support and advice services to ensure our clients gain the maximum benefits from the innovative solutions we provide.
Germicidal UV-C lighting is a powerful and quick form of disinfection, and by ensuring that the appropriate safeguards are put in place and that users and operators are well-instructed and trained, UV-C disinfection is a recognized and well-established means of disinfection.
For more information
For more information UV-C Light Technology or a quote, please contact Powercor on 01932 839 890 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
1 Data made available to us by the National Emerging Infectious Diseases Laboratories (NEIDL) at Boston University, which has been collected from a laboratory experiment conducted by Dr. Anthony Griffiths (Associate Professor of Microbiology at Boston University School of Medicine) and his team at the premises of the NEIDL (such data will be the subject of a forthcoming scientific publication by Boston University), shows that Signify’s UV-C light sources irradiating the surface of a material inoculated with SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes the COVID-19 disease) at a UV-C dose of 5mJ/cm2 (exposure time 6 seconds) resulted in a 99% reduction of the SARS-CoV-2 virus present on that surface. This study determined that a UV-C dose of 22mJ/cm2 results in a reduction of 99.9999% of SARS-CoV-2 virus on that surface (exposure time 25 seconds).