UV light disinfection has been around for decades and is a proven effective method to eliminate germs with the use of a UV disinfection lamp.

UV Light disinfectionWhat Is a UV Disinfection Lamp?

UV lights for disinfecting are used for various disinfection applications to reduce pathogens such as bacteria and viruses. UV disinfection lighting also prevents mold and mildew, which helps to prevent foul odor caused by mold spores or bacteria. UV light disinfection provides a no-touch, chemical-free method of killing many types of harmful germs in the air, on surfaces, and in water.

How Effective Is UV Light Disinfection?

UVC radiation has been proven highly effective in reducing the spread of many types of viruses and bacteria, such as tuberculosis. A UV disinfection lamp is often called a “germicidal” lamp for this reason. Since the onset of the most recent COVID-19 global pandemic that started in 2020, many people have wanted to know if UV disinfection lighting kills the virus that causes COVID-19. According to the Food and Drug Administration, FDA, the UVC radiation found in quality UV disinfection lamps has been shown to destroy the outer protein coating of the SARS-coronavirus, which is a different variation from the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes COVID-19.

Research is ongoing to determine the effectiveness of UV light disinfection against the SARS-CoV-2 virus, and many studies show positive results.  UVC radiation has been proven to be highly effective at eliminating various pathogens. As reported in a study issued by Biological Consulting Services, the following harmful pathogens were effectively eliminated with a UV light disinfectant:

  • Polio Virus LSc 1 – 99.99% reduction
  • Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA) – 99.99 reduction
  • Influenza A H1N1 – 99.999% reduction
  • Salmonella species, 6 variations – 99.99% reduction
  • SARS-CoV-2 virus – 99.999% reduction

UV light disinfection is proven highly effective in eliminating these harmful pathogens and many others. It is important to work with an experienced UVC disinfection lamp manufacturer to ensure the lamp emits the proper wavelengths for effective disinfection.

Limitations of UV Lights for Disinfecting

To achieve the most reliable disinfection UV light provides, it is important to understand the limitations in the safe handling of a UV disinfection lamp. UVC radiation can only inactivate a pathogen, virus, or bacteria with direct, line-of-sight exposure. Surfaces that contain dust, soil, or bodily fluids may not receive the full amount of inactivation of pathogens as the contaminated surface can block full exposure of the disinfection lamp.

Direct exposure

In addition to the requirement for direct exposure, the dosage and duration of exposure to UVC radiation can vary depending on the surface area and the type of virus or bacteria. Many UV disinfection lamps sold for home use are designed to emit a very low dose of UVC radiation which could take even longer to potentially inactivate pathogens.

Safety concerns

Direct exposure to UV disinfection lamps can also cause harm to human skin and eyes. A UV disinfection lamp should not be used in the direct vicinity of human exposure due to these safety concerns. This is one reason why UV disinfection lamps are often used inside air ducts and HVAC systems to purify the air and eliminate harmful airborne germs without risking harmful exposure to humans.

Using UV disinfection lighting in air vents and HVAC systems is a common and safe way for many people and businesses to experience the benefits of UVC germicidal radiation without any of the risks. Disinfection UV light installed in HVAC systems provides many benefits, which include:

  • Purifies and improves indoor air quality
  • Disinfects and eliminates viruses, bacteria, and mold
  • Provides 99.99% surface disinfection
  • Improves efficiency of HVAC equipment
  • Disinfects coils in the drain pan
  • No touch, no chemical disinfection

Air disinfection UV light systems are one of the most effective ways to reduce the risk of exposure to harmful airborne pathogens.

far uvc light disinfectionNot all UV lights for disinfecting are created in the same way, and effective UVC germicidal lamps must emit a very specific wavelength. 254 nm lamps have been the standard wavelength for germicidal effectiveness, although far UVC 222 nm lamps are gaining in popularity due to many advantages. Far UVC, Excimer lamps provide the same germicidal effectiveness, if not greater, in some applications while causing less damage to skin and eyes.

UV Germicidal Lamps
UV Germicidal Applications


LightSources is a leading global supplier of germicidal UV lights for air, water, and surface disinfection systems. We offer a wide range of high-quality UV disinfection lamps as well as custom design and engineering, and prototype development. Contact us to speak with an engineer about our many solutions for UV light disinfection.

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