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From Fluorescent Bulbs to UVC Light in Medical Applications

From Fluorescent Bulbs to UVC Light in Medical Applications

UVC light

Since the advent of lighting technology, the impact on human lives has been significant. Likewise, a device has never been so easily overlooked in its tremendous role beyond daily life. Lighting has improved beyond the simple invention of the lightbulb. Smart technology has enhanced communication between lighting and network communications. This led to advancements in smart buildings and entire smart buildings, in which smart lighting plays a foundational role.  

Over the last decade, solid-state light-emitting diode (LED) technology has replaced conventional lighting sources. LEDs enable long-term energy savings compared to traditional lighting sources, and with increased adoption comes a greater return on investment (ROI). Beyond providing light, LEDs offer energy efficiency, extended lifetimes, versatility, and color quality over incandescent, fluorescent, and high-intensity discharge lighting.  

In 2020, U.S. households alone reported that 47% of users adopted LEDs for indoor lighting. At the current rate, LED lighting could result in total annual energy savings between 2017 and 2035 would be around $890 billion. That’s a lot of money saved, considering that 40% of a city’s energy funds go into something as necessary as street lighting.  

Barring lighting fixtures for indoor, street, building, and entertainment lighting, an impressive market exists for LED applications beyond simple illumination. Lighting has been used in healthcare, as an example, for decades. Lightning is an essential medical assistant, from surgery theater lights to the small diodes that illuminate bacterium on a microscope’s slide.  

However, lighting is taking a more active role in resolving patient issues beyond aiding in identifying a problem. Lighting technology is now being utilized to kill off the viruses that led to a worldwide pandemic.  

How Light Sanitizes

UV radiation, specifically UV-C light, is ultraviolet light with a wavelength between 200 and 280 nanometers. According to the Federal Department of Agriculture (FDA) in the U.S., “UVC radiation is a known disinfectant for air, water, and nonporous surfaces. UVC radiation has effectively been used for decades to reduce the spread of bacteria, such as tuberculosis.”

UVC light is so effective thanks to, as one would guess, radiation. Discovered in the late 1800s, UVC can be used to kill up to 99.9% of germs. In the early 1900s, UVC light was utilized within Europe for water purification and is still utilized today.  

Alex Berezow, a microbiologist and senior editor at Big Think, described the process in an article with New York Magazine. “UV light is lethal to bacteria and viruses because of its high frequency that scrambles and damages their nuclear material,” Berezow said. “When it damages the DNA (or RNA) code of these pathogens, it also triggers lethal mutations that prevent them from reproducing properly.” Thereby leaving the nasty microscopic organism essentially harmless. The FDA clarified that the effect of UVC light on the SARS-CoV-2 virus, which causes Covid-19. UVC radiation has been shown to destroy the outer protein coating of SARS-Coronavirus.  

UVC radiation is most used inside air ducts to disinfect the air or lamps called “germicidal lamps.” While this technology has been in place for decades now, its use has grown in popularity since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic. Many lamps usually provide low doses of UVC, so longer exposure is needed over a given surface area to provide effective inactivation of bacterium or viruses. Between 2022 and 2030, the global ultraviolet disinfection equipment market size is expected to have a compound annual growth rate of 5.7% CAGR.  

In 2021, the global market for ultraviolet disinfection equipment reached $3.7 billion. In part thanks to increasing consumer awareness of air pollution and airborne diseases. WHO and the CDC have continually promoted its usage in labs, hospitals, operating rooms, and colleges to improve air quality. Thanks to rising Covid-19 cases, hospitals implemented UV systems to disinfect high-risk indoor settings.  

UVC disinfection systems, beyond medicine, have been widely acknowledged by public agencies for their aid in treating drinking water, reclaimed water, and wastewater. It will likely continue being utilized and advanced over the coming years. It also has a lower environmental impact than other cleaning methods, such as sodium hypochlorite and chlorine gas.  

UVC Manufacturers and Where to Find Them

Edison Opto’s professional optical system design and integrated circuit services can meet all customer needs. UCV modules utilized in different UVC disinfection systems can be optimized for environments and applications. Edison Opto’s UVC EMS customized services offer the high-efficiency EDILUV Series, which offers high power intensity and enables various scenarios for disinfection and sterilization.  

Likewise, design and sanitizer simulation can be provided as an evaluation method in real application scenarios. It is possible through UV LED optical simulation to reduce the cost of UVC module development and achieve the best sterilization effect.  

Sourcing the perfect UVC LED that abides by NSF/ANSI 55-2019 standards, which refers directly to the revision regarding drinking water treatment that allows UV-LED technology to treat microorganisms, can be tricky. Throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, consumer use of UVC technology led to a massive boom in the market. As a result, they were also impacted by the 2020-2022 global chip shortage.  

Their decades-long use as sanitation devices in water treatment and air filtration provides proof of years-long success, which continues to advance through further research and development. The WHO and CDC recommended UVC use for Covid-19 prevention, and its effectiveness against other bacteria and viruses makes it a highly desired tool in medical-to-home environments. Obtaining them in a greater capacity in future years might be difficult if a worldwide pandemic reoccurs, which is always a possibility.  

Thankfully, there is one way to secure a stable supply without complex strategic preplanning. Sourcengine, a global marketplace for electronic components, has over 1 billion parts listing that's continually growing from a list of over 3,500 suppliers. This includes manufacturers like Edison Opto and its EDILUV series for all disinfection needs.  

As a franchised partner of Edison Opto, Sourcengine’s team of engineers offers design-in services, technical support, and more to help your product get to market faster and more efficiently. No matter what stage of development you’re in, Sourcengine’s team can provide you with innovative solutions that keep your products agile.

If you can’t find the part you need, Sourcengine’s global team of experts can help you get it by submitting an RFQ. No matter what you need or when you need it, we’ll help you fulfill all your lighting needs.

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