Can light be a disinfectant?
Posted on 18th December 2020
While we are all anticipating the wide availability of coronavirus vaccines, we also have a new awareness of the importance of general hygiene to prevent the spread of all types of disease.
As businesses start to welcome back employees, new levels of hygiene will need to be maintained. One solution will be lighting technology. How does it work?
Viruses normally spread:
directly through the air between people due to coughs and sneezes, for example
indirectly in the air through air flows and circulated air in a building
via contaminated surfaces.
Indoor infection between people is the most common. Studies have shown that coronavirus transmission is highest in crowded, confined indoor spaces, where a special sort of lighting called UV-C can be effective.
What is UV-C?
UV-C radiation acts as a disinfectant for air, surfaces, objects and water that can help reduce the risk infection. It has been used for many years to prevent the spread of bacteria and viruses.
Recent tests in laboratory conditions have shown UV-C light sources can reduce the virus on a surface to below detectable levels in as little as nine seconds. This provides many locations and businesses with an extra layer of protection to keep the public and employees safe and healthy.
Types of UV-C lighting
Although people should not be directly exposed to UV-C light, a variety of UV-C lighting solutions can be used in existing lighting or air-conditioning systems in most business settings.
Upper air lamps that radiate the light upwards to disinfect the air in a room and help prevent air-borne infections could be suitable for many different environments, including offices and hospitality venues. They have recently been installed at Philips Stadium, home of PSV Eindhoven, making them one of the first major clubs in world football to have UV-C lighting at their stadium and training ground.
While UV-C lamps are suitable for occupied spaces they must be professionally installed, so please be sure to take the right advice if you are considering this as an option for your business.
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