Far-UVC: the UV light you can use in hospitals, businesses, and senior care buildings
The disinfecting properties of the UV spectrum have been around for a hundred years, but it’s only in the past decade that we’ve taken steps to use them around humans1. This type of environmental sterilization can be used in hospitals, businesses, schools, and senior care buildings in conjunction with human presence. In terms of labor savings, this is groundbreaking technology. Here’s why.
What is UV-C and how does UV-C light help disinfect?
Unless you’ve read up on ultraviolet germicidal irradiation (UVGI), microbes and the UV spectrum, you’re probably not familiar with exactly how lights can be used to kill or inactivate viruses, fungi, mold, and bacteria. While we could get into the science of it, there are really five key points that go into understanding UV-C:
- The UV-C (UV-C, 100 – 280 nm) spectrum includes wavelengths from 200 to 280 nanometeres[nm]1
- UV-C radiation kills or inactivates microbes by damaging their DNA2
- UV-C is primarily used at 254 nm
- Most types of UV-C light can cause skin burns and eye injuries3 just seconds after exposure
Since UV-C is excellent at killing viruses, fungi, mold and bacteria but also harmful to humans, any business, hospital, senior care center, etc, that uses things like UV towers need to evacuate the rooms the light will be used in prior to turning the machine on. However, that can change.
Far UVC vs UVC: how is far-UVC different from regular UV lights?
Unlike regular UV-C lamps, towers, and other UV devices, far-UVC doesn’t operate with 254 nm. Instead, it uses 222 nm uv lamp bulbs. Combining the UVC lamp with the short pass filter removes harmful UV lights, leaving the lamp with a band of 222 nm UV light which has been shown through a new study conducted from Columbia University for Radiological Research to be safe for human skin and effective against common pathogens in the air and on surfaces4.
How can UV lights lead to labor savings & far-UVC’s role in it?
Even by needing to evacuate a room, UV lights have the ROI potential of $101,610 of labor savings per month5, according to a study done by the Caro school system in 2019 when the seasonal flu broke out and infected 25% of the student population and 20% of the staff population in this 5-building school system in Caro, MI6. Far-UVC takes this a step further.
This technology is new enough that we don’t yet have any stats for you. However, think of it this way: according to the Caro school system study, UV lights have the potential to save you $101,610. That’s with the labor of evacuating the room, hauling the UV tower out, letting it run, turning it off, hauling it away and allowing humans back into the room.
With far-UVC, you don’t need to do any of that. It’s controlled by a free app, and the lights can run with people inside the room. If UV towers, with all of that labor, still gave you x labor savings, how much more will you see with far-UVC? We certainly think it’s worth a shot.
Where can I install far-UVC lights in my building?
The key thing to remember when determining where to install far-UVC is that you need a ceiling height of at least 9 ft. So long as the ceiling is high enough, you can use this particular type of ultraviolet light for places like your bathrooms, common areas, kitchens, etc. Basically, you can place far-UVC lights anywhere you would have a regular light, so long as the height requirement is met.
What are the decor style types for 222 nm UV lights?
Currently, far-UVC is offered in three select styles:
How many hours can a far-UVC light run?
The far-UVC bulbs are rated for 10,000 hours. To put that into perspective, there are 8,760 hours in one calendar year, and your typical work year (40 hours a week) lasts about 2,080 hours per year7.
However, you may not even need to run far-UVC for the entirety of your typical work hours. Far-UVC light can inactivate 99.9% of pathogens the light hits in both air and on surfaces in a 400 square foot room in about 10 minutes.
There’s a bonus of being able to control far-UVC from a free app, so you can start the UV light sanitization no matter where you are.