What is UV-C LED?
Written by Tim Greenhalgh
UV-C LED technology is a highly effective means of disinfection and sterilisation, making it ideal for a range of uses and environments.
UV-C light has been used in laboratory and hospital environments for around 40 years to disinfect water, air and surfaces as well as pharmaceuticals. It’s now also being safely deployed in the home.
UV-C LED is a relatively new form – the technology uses light to damage the DNA of pathogens, and it provides more benefits when compared to conventional UV purification. Direct exposure to UV light ruptures the DNA or RNA of bacteria and viruses so they cannot multiply and cause an infection.
- Micro-organisms destroyed in 2 seconds of exposure
- Kills up to 99.9% of bacteria and viruses
- Compact formats
- Narrow spectrum of output, specific wavelength
- Low heat.
Technically, UV light provokes a reaction between 2 molecules of thymine, one of the DNA bases. Extensive damage means that the DNA sequence is altered so the pathogen cannot reproduce. Thymine is especially sensitive at wavelengths at or near 265 nm. Similar effects are found in RNA.
Viruses are not strictly speaking living organisms – they are proteins and genetic material that survive and replicate inside another life form, so cannot be killed – but UV-C light deactivates them. UV-C LEDs generally harness 260-280 nm wavelengths, which “switch off” pathogens like bacteria and viruses.
The efficiency of UV-C depends on the dosage which is, broadly speaking, the watts delivered by the LED source, distance from the target, and the duration of exposure.
Apart from healthcare, UV-C LED technology has been also deployed in a range of water-disinfection systems, including pumps for water processing, water supply for soda dispensers and even home kitchen taps.
Earlier forms of disinfection lighting include mercury-discharge lamps, which cannot be effectively used in some settings, and have the downside of longer lamp warm-up time compared with the near instant LED technology and repeated on-off cycles does not damage the components.
These conventional lamps also emit only part of the light spectrum in the UV-C range, with efficiency of less than 45% while LED technology provides controlled emission within the spectrum for greater efficiency and less power consumption.
The LED chip source is also compact and can be used in a wider range of formats and designs, with low operating voltage, suitable even for battery systems. And LED UV-C products are not hampered by problems related to the pollution, management and disposal of mercury.
The pandemic has focused our attention on making our environments safer and UV-C technology is a central player in the way we move to a cleaner, greener way of living.
Innovative companies like Ledvance have designed a range of solutions that use UV-C light safely to improve daily life. For example, the Ledvance Sterilisation Box is the ideal solution for quick, safe and toxic-free cleansing of everyday objects.
The box provides reliable, chemical-free disinfection by UV-C LED technology, using the strong sterilising effect of UV-C light in the wavelength range between 200 and 280 nanometres – without the need for toxic compounds.
The sterilising box switches off automatically when opened and doesn’t damage the sterilised object, leaving no residues or discoloration. You can sterilise smartphones, glasses, pens or masks within minutes and it’s extremely easy to use. Simply place the item in the box and close it then set the sterilisation time – 6 minutes for smooth surfaces, 9 minutes for porous surfaces.
The box is non-slip and has a robust, washable housing for use anywhere – at home, in the office or on the go. It features a powerful battery, recharged via the included USB cable, with 25 cleaning cycles at 6 minutes each or up to 16 cleaning cycles at 9 minutes on a single charge. Full recharge only take an hour with full recharge taking only 1 hour.
For office and home environments, the Ledvance UVC HEPA Air Purifier eliminates 99.9% of viruses and bacteria, including SARS-CoV-2 / Covid19.
This small, mobile and light-weight LED air purifier can be used in a wide range of spaces, both business and domestic. It’s great for small offices and hotel rooms, and for in-car air disinfection so it’s ideal for pool-car users, taxi drivers and chauffeurs.
The eco-friendly HEPA Air Purifier is sustainable and space-saving, with a small and lightweight design, and recharging/power via a USB plug. It not only filters bad smells from the air but also kills viruses and bacteria through UV LED radiation, reducing risk of infection and providing constant air disinfection.
It can also be used just about anywhere in the home, including the home office while you work and the kitchen when you are cooking.
It works through a 3-step process, providing a healthy environment:
- The H13 HEPA filter prevents aerosol particles from passing though.
- The HEPA filter is disinfected by the VIOLEDS LEDs.
- Additional disinfection of the air passing through the purifier by the VIOLEDS LEDS.
It’s also very quiet, so you will hardly notice it (38dB) and it’s safe with no UVC radiation emitted from the product. It’s chemical and mercury-free and can be safely used around pregnant women and new-born babies.
It also removes pollen and micro dust from the air, and you can adjust the operation with 3 speeds for air purification.
Ceiling fan light
Ledvance’s Smart+ UV-C Ceiling Fan works perfectly as an energy-saving light choice for the home office or gym. The ceiling fan with integrated LED light purifies the air in your room with UV-C LED technology and is controllable on mobile phone or voice assistant through WiFi technology.
The ceiling fan light has adjustable colour temperature and RGB colour control, and also has a handy remote control. The SMART+ range is equipped with SMART+ WiFi technology which enables pairing via WiFi and eliminates the need for a gateway or bridge.