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Killing Bacteria with UV Light

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Killing Bacteria with UV LightUVC light is part of the ultraviolet light spectrum and emits a high frequency of UV light that makes it extremely effective at killing bacteria, viruses, mold and other pathogens.  Killing bacteria with UV light requires the use of germicidal wavelengths of 185-254 nanometers (nm).

UVC light disinfection began in the mid-twentieth century, and is becoming more and more popular as it offers a wide range of industries and municipalities safe and affordable solutions.  Since it eliminates the production of corrosive materials and disinfection by-products (DBPs), it has none of the health hazards associated with the use of harmful chemicals.

One of the most common types of germicidal UV lights are low pressure mercury lamps that are used in a large range of applications including sewage treatment, purification of drinking water, food processing and irradiation, water reclamation, HVAC air sterilization and odor control.  Economical to operate and long-lasting, the lamps are available in standard and high-output quartz germicidal lamps, quartz compact and GU lamps, standard and high-output softglass lamps, and softglass compact lamps.

Your application will determine the type of UVC lamps that will work best for your needs.  Standard low pressure mercury lamps provide the highest efficiency with 40% of a lamps’ electrical power converted into UVC radiation at 254nm.  For applications requiring the highest UVC output, high-output mercury lamps are the best choice as they provide approximately twice the UVC output.  In both standard and high-output (HO) UVC lamps, liquid mercury droplets collect at the lamp’s “cold spot.” As it reaches peak temperature, it creates a mercury vapor that produces maximum UVC output.

By operating on a lower current (between 180 and 425mA), soft glass lamps are available in standard and high output selections and provide a germicidal efficiency of 30%.  The lamps are ozone free and best used for simple disinfection applications that only require a wavelength of 254nm.

Other highly efficient low pressure mercury lamps are amalgam lamps.  These lamps use a mercury amalgam mix to control the mercury vapor pressure.  Instead of a “cold spot,” the lamp’s “amalgam spot on pellet” is used to regulate mercury vapor pressure.  Amalgam lamps yield up to three times the UVC output of a standard low pressure mercury lamp of the same length.

LightSources and our strategic partner LightTech, along with our affiliated companies, represent the leading high-tech designers and manufacturers in the lamp industry today.  Our team consists of the most highly skilled professionals that specialize in a range of innovative solutions.  Please contact us to learn more about our broad range of standard and custom lighting solutions.

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