Kill Germs With Light

It's the height of flu season, and as I look over the facilities management topics I covered in 2018, here are two lighting snippets I want to highlight for you. They both deal with germs and lights. 

The first is that if you have UV disinfection lamps set up in your facility, possibly to degunk coils, you should check their run time to ensure the bulbs are still emitting the germicidal wave lengths. The blue light comes from a separate plasma in the tube and is not in itself germicidal. The UVC rays emitted by the vaporized mercury decrease over time, so the lamps should be regularly replaced. Refer to the lamp's manufacturers for proper relamping cycles to maintain effective germicidal performance.

Those UV-C rays are great at zapping microbes and super bad for human exposure. However, other related lighting technologies came onto the market in 2018 that aim to provide germicidal white light, suitable for use in occupied spaces. One manufacturer brought to market a fixture that emits UVA for a limited time, while providing white light all the time. Another uses the different germicidal properties of the violet spectrum, which they say do not affect humans in the same way as the ultra-violet spectrum. I'm curious to see if these alternative techs take off in 2019.

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