COVID-19 (Coronavirus Disease 2019) is the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, which is the cause of a viral outbreak that led to a devastating global pandemic. Public health systems and economies worldwide have been ravaged by this virus and many people are asking the question, “Does UV light kill Covid?”. As of December 31, 2021, the pandemic is experiencing a surge with the new Omicron variant and a total death toll of 5,439,895 globally, with more than 825,816 deaths in the United States. *UPDATE – as of 3/29/23, there have been 761,402,282 confirmed cases of COVID-19, including 6,887,000 deaths globally, and 102,697,566 confirmed cases of COVID-19 with 1,117,054 deaths in the U.S., as reported by the World Health Organization, WHO.
We put together a compilation of several studies showing the effectiveness of UV light for COVID, including how UVC light kills other coronaviruses, how SARS-CoV-2 is transmitted, and UVC lamps that are proven effective at eliminating betacoronaviruses and the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes COVID-19.
Types of UVC Lamps Effective in Killing Covid
Ultraviolet (UV) light is a type of UV radiation from the sun, that has less energy than X-rays and gamma rays, although has more energy than visible light and radio waves. Sunlight emits natural UV rays in three broad spectrums, UVA, UVB and UVC. People can experience exposure to UVA and UVB rays from natural sunlight, although most UVC natural rays are absorbed by the ozone layer.
UVC light is replicated in manmade germicidal UVC lamps, which have been proven to kill many viruses and bacteria including beta coronaviruses. SARS-CoV-2 is in the beta coronavirus family similar to the MERS (Middle East Respiratory Syndrome) and SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome). UVC light is proven effective at eradicating MERS and SARS and recent studies show that UVC lamps are also similarly effective in killing the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes COVID-19.
Does UV Light Kill Covid in Liquid?
UV light is an effective disinfectant and sterilizer, proven to kill viruses in water, on surfaces and in the air. UVC light effectively inactivates bacteria and viruses by damaging nucleic acids of cells, rendering them unable to replicate. An inactivated cell that is unable to replicate is considered harmless and unable to spread further disease. According to a recent study in the American Journal of Infection Control (AJIC), UVC light is proven effective at killing the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes COVID-19 in liquid cultures as «SARS-CoV-2 is highly susceptible to irradiation with ultraviolet light«.
UVC lamps are used in UV water disinfection applications such as waste water treatment plants, aqua culture, pool and spa and many additional water sterilization needs.
Does UV Light Kill COVID on Surfaces?
UVC germicidal lamps have been shown to be effective at killing the SARS-CoV-2 on surfaces in studies by the AJIC showing a 99.7% effective rate on laboratory surfaces. In order to achieve this high efficacy rate to disinfect surfaces they must be clean and experience direct exposure.
For this reason, many hospitals and medical facilities have added UVC light disinfection to their regular cleaning regimen. UVC light disinfection helps to keep hospital rooms, surgical rooms, surgical and medical equipment sterile and free from harmful bacteria, including some antibiotic resistant superbugs.
UVC disinfection is helping restaurant owners get back to business and keep their staff and patrons safe. UVC lamps are used in many areas of a restaurant such as disinfecting commercial kitchen surfaces and preventing grease build-up in exhaust fans. Learn the many benefits of UV lamps for restaurants.
UVC lamps manufactured to emit light in the UVC range are the most effective to kill viruses and bacteria, with standard germicidal lamps designed to emit light at 254 nm. While this wavelength is proven highly effective it can also be damaging to human skin and eyes, therefore some germicidal lamps are designed to emit wavelengths between 207- 222 nm, referred to as Far-UVC light. Far-UVC light is effective at killing germs and viruses and is less hazardous to skin and eyes than other types of UVC lamps.
Does UV Light Kill COVID in the Air?
Many scientists believe that airborne particles are one of the most common modes of transmission of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, thus sterilizing and disinfecting air in enclosed spaces should help to protect people against contracting the COVID-19 disease. UVC lamps in HVAC units are an effective method of sterilizing air and is utilized in many commercial, industrial, and residential air purification systems.
A recent study published in Scientific Reports concludes that UVC light is effective at killing airborne human coronaviruses including those that cause the common cold and the SARS-CoV-2 virus.
Based on what we know about ultraviolet light, specifically UV light emitted in the UVC range, many studies are showing that UV light may be used as a valuable tool to kill the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes COVID-19 in liquid, on surfaces and in the air. Far-UVC light may be a good choice for some disinfection applications with less harmful health risks to human exposure.
Quality UVC Lamps Proven to Kill Viruses
LightSources is recognized internationally as a leading supplier of high-quality germicidal UVC lamps proven to kill many viruses and bacteria, with a modern state-of-the-art glass factory in Europe and several valuable partner companies providing custom engineering services. You can find our UV disinfectant lamps in many applications worldwide for water, air and surface sterilization.
Our engineers possess deep technical knowledge of UV radiation and lamp design, with a commitment to continual improvement through research and development. Our UV light proprietary technologies include LongLife+, which is a specialty coating engineered to increase the life of your lamp for up to 16,000 hours. We offer prototype solutions with rapid development, custom engineering to meet your specific and unique specifications and proprietary solutions for you that increase your brand awareness.
LAMP PRODUCT DATA:UV Germicidal Lamps
LAMP Applications:UV Germicidal Applications
LightSources, LightTech and our valuable partner companies together represent the LightSources group, offering the leading high-tech lamp designers in the industry. We offer one of the widest selections of UVC lamps for any application, and custom engineering including custom phosphor blends. Contact us to learn more about our UV germicidal solutions and with any questions regarding UV light to kill Covid.