Ultraviolet Lighting FAQ

Today, we are dealing with one of the largest health crises American’s have ever had to face. As we continue to fight the spread of Covid-19, Americans across the nation have begun scrutinizing how we can disinfect and sterilize spaces quickly without the use of toxic chemicals.

For years, hospitals have been using ultraviolet (UV) lighting to help disinfect their spaces and tools. But only recently has this come to the attention of others. We understand your concerns and questions regarding the use of UV lighting. Below, the experts here at Action Services Group answer some of your more frequently asked questions (FAQs).

What is UVGI or Ultraviolet Germicidal Irradiation?

UVGI stands for Ultraviolet Germicidal Irradiation. UVGI includes UV wavelengths that range between 200 nanometers (nm) and 280nm. (These wavelengths are also known as UV-C light.)
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How does UVGI or Ultraviolet Germicidal Irradiation work?

UVGI or Ultraviolet Germicidal Irradiation works through damaging the DNA and RNA of microorganisms and preventing them from reproducing, which then inhibits the spread of illnesses. UVGI is 99.9% effective in killing microorganisms and preventing the spread of bacteria. Learn More Here

Do germicidal lamps kill viruses?

UVGI wavelengths are able to deactivate viruses, helping to prevent them from being spread. Once deactivated, the virus dies. UVGI lamps have been proven to be 99.9% effective against viruses. Learn More Here

Can UV light kill mold?

Yes, UV lighting has been proven to be 99.9% effective in killing mold spores and preventing future growth. Learn More Here

Can UV-C fixtures be used in my home?

Yes, there are UV-C fixtures that can be installed or used in the home. However, you do need to be cautious. UV-C light includes wavelengths that are not be safe for use around eyes or skin. While far-UVC light, which includes wavelengths between 207nm and 222nm, is safe for use around eyes and skin, you need to make sure you purchase your product from a reputable manufacturer to ensure it actually falls within this narrow bandwidth of wavelengths and is not just a UV-C product. Learn More Here

How frequently will UV lamps need to be replaced?

UVGI lamps have an estimated lifespan of 17,000 hours when used continuously. This means they typically last up to 2 years with only a 20% decrease in effectivity. Learn More Here

How hot do Germicidal UV lamps get?

Germicidal UV-C lamps do not get very hot. They are most comparable to your standard fluorescent lamp used in many of your current light fixtures. Learn More Here

How close to the surface do UV lamps need to placed in order to be effective?

The effectiveness of a UV lamp is directly proportional to the duration of exposure and intensity of the light. For most viruses and microorganisms, being subjected to high-intensity lamps for a short period is just as effective as being exposed to a low-intensity bulb for a long period. That being said, the average bacteria can be neutralized in 10 seconds from a bulb that is 6 inches away. Learn More Here

Do I need to clean UV lamps? If so, how?

Yes. UV lamps should be checked once every three months and cleaned. To do so, wear gloves and use a clean, dry cotton cloth or paper towel. Using alcohol only, gently run your cloth over the surface of the lamp while it is cool and off. (This will also help to maximize the life of your lamp.) Learn More Here

What are the dangers of using a UV lamp?

Prolonged exposure to UV-C lighting can cause redness of the skin as well as eye irritation and potential dryness. These are temporary and non-life threatening. UV-C light will not cause cancer or cataracts. Learn More Here

Will UV lamps damage materials?

Plastic, dyes, and plant life seems to be most affected by UV lamps. Long-term exposure can cause plastic to become brittle and shorten the products lifespan by up to 10%. Dyes may also become faded after long-term continuous exposure to UV lamps. Plantlife may be damaged when exposed to direct or reflected UV-C light. Learn More Here

Will a UV light kill the coronavirus?

At this time, Covid-19 is still a very new virus with much investigation left to go. However, UV-C lamps have been proven to be 99.9% effective against all other bacteria, viruses, and mold spores. Therefore, experts agree that is likely has the ability to kill the coronavirus when applied correctly. (It should also be noted that, to date, there have been no instances where a bacteria, virus or mold spore has developed an immunity to the effects of UV-C light.) Learn More Here

What safety precautions should be taken when UVGI fixtures are being used?

While side effects are considered temporary, eyes and skin should not be exposed to UVGI light. Eye googles or face shields can be used while the light is on in a room that is occupied. Covering your skin or wearing sun block is also suggested. However, the most recommended precaution would be to use the light only when the area is not occupied, therefore preventing any accidental exposure. Learn More Here

Can germicidal lamps be turned on and off repeatedly or will this burn them out faster?

There are three types of UVGI lamps. Cold Cathode and Slimline germicidal lamps are not affected by being turned on and off. However, Hot Cathode lamps will suffer from a reduction in lifespan when turned on and off frequently. The expert at Action Services Group can help to explain the differences in these types of lamps to ensure you invest in the type that meets your needs. Learn More Here

Do UV lamps need a ballast to work?

Yes. A ballast is required for the germicidal lamp to operate. The expert at Action Services Group can help you find the right ballast and lamp combination to ensure your fixture works properly. Learn More Here

Can UV lamps be used to disinfect the air?

Germicidal UV-C lights can be installed in ceiling fixtures, as well as within air ducts, to help disinfect the air we breathe. Shields can be installed beneath a ceiling fixture to ensure occupants below are not exposed to the potential side effects of a UV-C lamp. Learn More Here

UV Lighting with Action Services Group

If you do not see your question answered above, contact Action Services Group today. Our experts are standing by to address all of your questions and concerns with finding the right UV light for you. Call 800-223-0982 or email info@actionservicesgroup.com.