Whenever we think of UV germicidal lamps, we immediately think of standard UV lamps that emit a wavelength of 254 nm.
Although these are the most popular types of UV lamps used in residential, commercial, and industrial spaces, using 254 nm wavelength has a few drawbacks.
Drawbacks of 254 nm UV Germicidal Lamps
- UV germicidal lamps with a wavelength of 254 nm are installed and used only in closed, unoccupied spaces.
- Exposure to 254 nm UV has dangerous effects on human eyes and skin. Hence, before switching on the UV lamps, the space must be evacuated.
- People who will service or install the standard UV lamps must wear PPE to ensure safety.
- Although 254 nm UV germicidal lamps effectively inactivate the pathogens, in some cases, the pathogens have been reconstituted due to a photoreactivation process (according to UVReporter.com).
- Since 254nm UV germicidal lamps are used in closed spaces, the air exchange rate per hour is 5-20, which is typical yet less than other disinfecting methods. This reduces the overall efficacy of 254nm UV germicidal lamps.
Far UVC Lamps: A Better Alternative to Standard UV Germicidal Lamps
Although standard UV germicidal lamps are still a popular choice for commercial and industrial spaces, Far UVC lamps are also gaining trust and increasing in usage.
This shift is happening due to a significant benefit offered by Far UVC lamps. These lamps emit shorter wavelengths of 222 nm, which are as effective as 254nm for killing bacteria, viruses, and other microorganisms. However, the major benefit is that Far UVC lamps can be used constantly in occupied spaces as opposed to 254 nm UV lamps that are used in unoccupied spaces.
Far UVC lamps reduce the risk of human exposure significantly. This gives it a sweet spot to be used in high-traffic healthcare facilities that can’t be evacuated when germicidal cleaning is required.
Far UVC Lamps: Disinfection Effectiveness
As previously mentioned, according to UVReporter.com, pathogens inactivated by 254 nm wavelength are reconstituted photoreactivation process. This can reduce the overall effectiveness of standard UV germicidal lamps.
However, with Far UVC lamps, 222 nm wavelength is highly effective at continually disinfecting the spaces of harmful pathogens. These lamps can inactivate pathogens in line of sight at the speed of light. Far UVC lamps can deactivate pathogens such as bacteria, protozoa, fungi, viruses, mold, and more.
A study published in Nature (https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-018-21058-w) studied the disinfection effectiveness of Far UVC and found that it can kill several pathogens, including viruses. Far UVC light was able to kill viruses such as H1N1, adenovirus, alpha and beta coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2 virus, and more.
Another study published in March 2022 (https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-022-08462-z) studied the effectiveness of Far UVC light in a room-sized chamber. The chamber was continually sprayed with a mist of S. aureus while the Far UVC lamps were switched on in the overhead system. It was observed that the Far UVC light could kill 98% of airborne microbes in 5 minutes while continually spraying the mist.
In the same study, it was observed that the air exchange rate of Far UVC light was 184 air exchanges per hour which are way higher than air exchanges for standard UV germicidal lamps.
Far UVC Lamps: Potential Future in Disinfection
The research is promising for Far UVC lamps and indicates greater safety and efficacy over standard UV germicidal lamps. However, it will take a few more years for Far UVC lamps to become mainstream.
Until then, you can rely on standard UV germicidal lamps, which have shown a significant disinfection ability. For procuring customized standard UV germicidal lamps for your commercial or industrial spaces, get in touch with us at Light Spectrum Enterprises, Inc. We are an industry leader in manufacturing and supplying high-quality UV lamps to our global clients. With more than 20 years of experience in the industry, we can deliver the best results.
Contact our sales team now to know more.