FAQ’s : UV Light and the fight against COVID

In this time of COVID-19, many are searching for ways to regain normality – something that will be elusive until an effective solution for the virus is found. In the rush to find solutions, there is a lot of misunderstood information out there, and one of the most misunderstood products is UV-C lighting. As lighting experts in Calgary, and with more than three decades of lighting experience with projects around the globe, we are ready to weigh in on this important issue.

UV-C is highly effective against COVID-19 – but it must be handled in a certain way. Safety using UV radiation against COVID-19 involves understanding the product.

Understanding UV Radiation

The most recognizable source of UV light comes from the sun. Not all UV rays are equal – the spectrum includes UV-A, UV-B, and UV-C.

UV-A and UV-B

If you’ve been to a club or blacklight bowling/mini-golf place, you’ve seen UV-A lights. These rays are better seen through the art of black lighting, making for a fun and engaging experience. Many of us have also experienced the power of UV-B rays as these (along with UB-A) cause sunburn. UV-B is mostly absorbed by the ozone layer. Limited exposure to UV-B is important, however, as it creates natural vitamin-D in our bodies.

UV-C

UV-C is a germicide. It is incredibly powerful and can deactivate up to 99.99 percent of bacteria and viruses. The reason why planet earth is safe from UV-C is because of the ozone layer that protects us. You can see why scientists wanted us to protect the ozone layer at all costs during the environmental push of the 80s and 90s!

And yet, UV-C has been used widely on earth for more than a century. How?

Artificial UV-C and it’s Rise to Power

UV-C radiation used for water, surface, and air purification is created artificially through specialized lighting – and it’s not a new concept at all. In fact, UV-C sanitation has been used for decades and has been a big factor in the fight against tuberculosis. You experience UV-C in your everyday life, and life as you know it would be quite different without it! Water treatment plants use it to help purify water, skyscrapers use UV-C in their air circulation systems, for example.

How effective is UV-C as a germicide?

“Our test results show that above a specific dose of UV-C radiation, viruses were completely inactivated: in a matter of seconds we could no longer detect any virus,” quotes Dr. Anthony Griffiths, Associate Professor of Microbiology at Boston University School of Medicine. Since the SARS pandemic, Dr. Griffiths and his team have been working hard to advance research in this field.

If it’s so effective, why are many of us just learning about UV-C sanitation now?

Up until now, the common person had no need to learn about UV-C. Its applications are mainly for high-level sanitation and medical uses. However, with a pandemic ravaging the globe and the search for solutions at high urgency, knowledge of UV-C’s power is quickly gaining traction.

UV-C in Your Home

UV-C is like any other type of radiation. Know about it, respect it, take the proper precautions, and you will be fine. Safe UV-C lights are contained within treated glass that does not emit ozone; non-treated glass can emit ozone. To prove this point Luxibel purchased 20 UV-C lights and tested them all. Most turned out to be novelty products that were not dangerous, but also did not perform as advertised. To get a safe and effective UV-C light, purchase from a trusted manufacturer that invests in R&D, like Philips.

UV-C at Work

With sanitation on everyone’s mind, we can expect to see UV-C lights used with increasing frequency in workplaces. Possible examples include UV-C cycles to sanitize:

  • • Salon tools
  • • Treatment rooms (acupuncture, chiropractor, Dr.’s offices, etc.)
  • • Event spaces wedding venues and theatres
  • • Public washrooms
  • • Galleries

Orange Frog Productions and UV-C

The pandemic has put many events on hold, and since Orange Frog is the event lighting specialist in Calgary, we’ve been using this time to work on our processes, inventory, and training. When I first came across UV-C lighting as a sanitation method, I was intrigued. Even before the pandemic, I had been looking for ways to add to our services and support more Albertans. Over the next few weeks, I delved deeply into the research, separating fact from fiction, and learning about the many various studies undertaken on the method and the lights themselves. When it became clear that UV-C lighting can, under the right circumstances, be beneficial in the fight against COVID-19, I wanted, as a lighting professional, to be part of the solution. Providing UV-C lighting sanitation services is a natural evolution for Orange Frog.

UV-C sanitation is more than turning on a light. An analysis of the space must be done to see how much irradiation is needed for the volume of the room. As lighting experts in Calgary, we have all the tools and

knowledge needed to customize UV-C sanitation lighting for spaces of all shapes and sizes. We use Philips lights because of this brand’s longstanding tradition of excellence and research in the lighting industry. With our knowledge of lighting, Philips products, and specialized room volume calculations, we provide the full package: a customized sanitation strategy and the lighting required to do it. Our products have built-in safety features (such as motion sensors to stop the cycle in a large room if someone enters it during cleaning) and we provide robust training on the safe use, handling, and purchasing of UV-C lighting. We are also available by phone and email to answer any questions you may have.

We host Zoom webinars on UV-C technology. Bookmark our website or follow us on social media for the next webinar details.

Orange Frog is your one-stop solution for UV-C sanitation lighting. Contact us today to learn more.

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