Ultraviolet (UV) light eliminates bacteria and viruses. With new UV LEDs, LED iBond’s technology can be used for purifying air and water. The innovators at LED iBond lead the industry in the development of miniaturized, handheld equipment for efficiently disinfecting surfaces and components with UV light sterilization.
Disinfecting Light: UV’s Potential is Being Realized
The Covid-19 outbreak has precipitated a global search for solutions that can prevent the spread of the virus. One of our focus points at LED iBond is the development of solutions to help reduce the impact of this global pandemic. Our ability to incorporate UV-C LEDs expands the suitability of our technology for applications within the UV disinfection industry.
One proven solution that has been in use for many years: ultraviolet light (UV light). The most compact, concentrated and durable source of UV light is the UV-C LED, capable of pathogen inactivation in environments where a variety of concerning elements may be present, including but not limited to: MRSA, C. diff, E. Coli and Pseudomonas.
UV LED Disinfecting Light vs. UV Bulbs Containing Mercury
In contrast to mercury-based UV-lights, UV-C LEDs contain no environmental contaminants and can be switched off and on based on application requirements – potentially extending the useful lifetime of these products.
The majority of bulbs in use today, including fluorescent tubes contain mercury compounds and other potentially toxic elements. LED (light-emitting diode) technology takes advantage of the way electrons interact as they orbit around atoms and engage with nearby elements.
Instead of igniting a flame or creating a reaction within potentially toxic gases, LEDs simply encourage the transfer of electrons – resulting in photons of light being emitted. Disinfection UV light is a much safer and sustainable alternative to mercury-based illumination / disinfecting devices.
What is UV-C?
The sun radiates light in three different wavelengths: UV-A, UV-B and UV-C. Both UV-A and UV-B are the rays of sun that reach our skin through the atmosphere – associated with sunburns, skin cancer and aging. If you’re headed to the beach, regularly applying a decent sunscreen should protect you from most of their harmful effects on your health.
UV-C is absorbed by ozone in our atmosphere – rarely reaching the earth’s surface, which is good news. These harsh waves are capable of obliterating genetic material – not something you want raining down from the heavens.
UV-C is Harnessed to Sanitize the Air and Surfaces
One of the challenges with airborne contaminants, like COVID, is that they can cause harm while airborne or resting on surfaces that we come into contact with. Once COVID makes it into our bodies – through our eyes, the nose or mouth – it has the potential to kill humans, or at least make us very sick.
UV-C rays can be generated by disinfecting devices powered by LEDs. In targeted, calibrated doses, UV-C can be an important ingredient in the fight to disinfect the air we breathe and the surfaces we come into contact with.
Real-World Examples of Disinfection UV LED
There are many potential applications for ultraviolet disinfection technology – both in sanitizing surfaces and eliminating airborne threats.
When killing airborne threats, the longer UV-C lights are in contact with the same air, the more effective they become. Both proximity and duration are important. So you’ll often find UV-C sanitizers within air conditioning (HVAC) systems – positioned where the air is funneled through a tight space, forcing the air near the surface of the lamp(s).
Hospitals have turned to UV-C machines to sanitize the air and cut down on the transmission of superbugs like MRSA and COVID. One example that has received public attention is Duke Health Systems in the United States.
They have performed extensive testing with a variety of applications to ensure effectiveness – producing an interesting presentation highlighting their findings: transmission rates of dangerous viruses and bacteria were decreased by 30%. That is a massive improvement in a tough environment, with patients and care staff constantly coming and going.
Airplanes have traditionally been sources of increased transmission – thanks to the fact that infected people can be transported from one place to another in a matter of hours, and passengers spend the entire time in a tightly sealed compartment.
Many airlines (including JetBlue and United) and airports (including Heathrow) are testing and implementing UV-C disinfecting lights to improve passenger and worker safety. The results have established that these devices can be used to quickly clean high-traffic areas (in about 10 minutes), helping to maintain transportation routes through the pandemic.
Offices and other areas where people gather for extended periods can be vectors for the transmission of disease. During the coronavirus the Boston Globe reports that many office buildings have installed UV-C lighting in elevators and bathrooms – in an attempt to keep gathering spaces clean and safe.
Factories have unique requirements. Depending on what is being manufactured, the quality of the air can be important – beyond the need to keep workers safe. The FDA has recommended the use of germicidal lamps (featuring UV-C technology) in the sanitization of air, water and nonporous surfaces.
The potential uses are endless, as UV-C lighting provides carefully calibrated illumination to match the needs of the space where it is installed. Comparatively low energy usage and their extended life minimizes downtime and maximizes the return on investment.
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