Back to school with UVC Lighting! Is the technology safe and can it effectively kill COVID-19?



The wait for the post-COVID-19 era is getting longer by the day. The world is raring to return to the normalcy we are used to. But no one exactly knows when that will be.

Experts have continuously reminded us of how normalcy may be challenging to attain. The pandemic has changed our lives significantly, and the more realistic option will be to adjust. Adjustments like improved personal and public hygiene is necessary to prevent another outbreak or a relapse.

One of the many ways to achieve this is with the introduction of UV lights. It is no news that UV lights offer excellent decontaminating capabilities – the reason for their increased adoption in places like hotels and restaurants, but more importantly schools and hospitals where they prevent contagion.

Read on to learn more about UV lights and their potentially central role in our quest to bounce back from the pandemic.



Where did UV Lights Come from?

The 19th century came with many historic breakouts in science. One is Charles Darwin’s introduction of the Theory of Evolution, which changed the world’s perception of life! Another is the discovery of the decontaminating effects of sunlight.


In the early 1930s, scientists adopted the use of sunlight to disinfect air and surfaces. Further investigation showed that it does this by preventing the expansion of microorganisms.[1]


Here is a clearer way to put it;


When microbes are exposed to electromagnetic waves from sunlight, it inactivates them, rupturing their DNA with the correct dose. It is effective in disinfecting water, air, or surfaces harboring microbes.


Based on this principle, the controlled use of UV lights can help in fighting the Coronavirus.[2]

Could UV Lights be the Answer to Potential School Reopenings?

You will agree that several things stopped working when the pandemic started. Restaurants went on break. Schools were shut down. Cinemas became non-functional. We were forced to make a whole lot of sacrifices to stay safe.

Months have passed, and we are gradually trying to go back to the status quo. Plans are in the pipe to reopen schools, but with the right safety measures in place. As much as we want our young champs to return to learning, it should not at the expense of their well-being.

The proper implementation of UV-C lights around the school premises can ensure effective decontamination of the area. This will guarantee the safety of students, teachers, and everyone else. And we just might be edging closer to school reopening, sooner than anticipated.

The standard approach is to install UV lights at heights above people’s heads. However, there are three main ways of doing this, including:

  • Irradiation in the upper area of occupied rooms at a minimum of 7 ft height

  • Irradiation in unoccupied rooms

  • Irradiation on-air ventilations (air- circulation) [3]

Due to the implementation of UV-C lights to decontaminate and ensure student's and staff member’s safety, a prompt return might occur sooner than anticipated.


Let’s take a look at how the implementation will work;



Solution 1: Clean Air 1


Installed at 7 feet or above, Air 1 purifies upper room air in occupied spaces. It's perfect for classrooms because of its continuous disinfection effect and its guaranteed safety. Also, it reduces the risk of cross-infection by virtually eliminating infectious air-bone microbes.



This fixture is ideal for all classrooms since it can safely sanitize occupied spaces 24/7 around the clock without harming any children. Learn More.



Solution 2: SA1, SA2, and SA3

  • SA1: This is a fixed UV-C solution that is ideal for unoccupied spaces. It is designed around your safety with a built-in PIR sensor that automatically shuts off when any type of motion is detected. This fixture is ideal to protect schools after hours, keeping children safe when they get back to class each morning.

Our SA1 model includes accessories such as an Infrared Remote, a stainless tripod, and a base for ceiling mount installation. Learn More.



  • SA2: It's a fixed UV-C solution that effectively kills viruses and bacteria on surfaces and air. It can be installed in walls, ceilings or pendant mounted. Since safety is our number one concern, it also has a smart built-in PIR sensor to detect movement and shut off in light of abrupt interactions.



This method of purification is ideal for many applications because it is economical, safe, fast, and easy with simple use and maintenance. Some common applications include universities, schools, hospitals, hotels, office spaces, restaurants, and many more. Learn More.




SA3: Similar to SA2, it is a fixed solution that is installed at ceilings or pendant mounted with a built-in PIR sensor to guarantee safety. This is ideal for small and medium spaces such as classrooms and completely secure due to the built-in sensor.

It is essentially the same as SA2 but less aesthetically pleasing, less powerful and more cost-effective. For this model, the disinfection sessions are manual, it does not restore on and off. Disinfection can be done as fast as 30 Minutes. The SA3, 36 UV Watts model, can disinfect an area of up to 333,6 sq.ft. in just two hours. Learn More.


Interestingly, we have seen the implementation in some academic establishments. The Queen’s Grant High School in Matthews, North Carolina, and KIPP DC in Washington are two schools to have taken the step closer to ensuring a safe return to classes.

Queen’s Grant High School installed UV lights in ventilation systems by running it through a fan. This ensures that the air stays purified and free of any bacteria.[4]

KIPP DC decided to go a step higher than using facemasks and ensuring social distancing. So, they adopted ventilation systems with UV lights to increase protection and maintain safety. [5]



Can UV Lights Kill the Virus?

You may be curious to learn how effective UV lights can be in terms of decontamination. Can they really get rid of the virus and ensure absolute safety? Well, let’s find out together!

Dr. Brenner, in his recent research at Columbia University, identified a specific type of UV-C light capable of reducing the transmission of viruses and bacteria through the air. [6]

The researchers at Boston University validated Dr. Brenner’s submission. According to them, UV-C lights can inactivate this virus, if exposed to the right dose. That being said, it has been found that a dose of 5mJ/cm2 leads to a 99% reduction of the SARS-Co V-2 virus: the agent causing Coronavirus (NIEDL laboratory).

Now that we have established that UV lights can indeed ‘kill’ the Coronavirus, can we implement the principle in crowded spaces? The answer is clear; and it is a yes.

For instance, CodeLumen offers “the safe solution to UV lighting” with the Clean Air 1 line. The line is specially designed for crowded and occupied places like classrooms and halls, thanks to its 320 sq. ft of continuous disinfection range. It kills 99.9% of viruses and bacteria within this range.

Does this guarantee absolute safety for our students?

This is another crucial question that needs a definite answer. The main goal is to keep everyone safe at all times. We want to walk around and amongst each other without any fears of getting infected. If that is the case, then UV lights can be the missing piece of the puzzle.

When used correctly, UV lights are a potent disinfectant capable of cleansing open and enclosed spaces. As stated by Dr. David Brenner, UV-C light has the potential to be a game-changer. From his findings, it is clear that UV lights can prevent viruses like influenza, COVID-19, and new diseases.

So, if we are really keen on reverting to our normal lives, UV lights are one of our best shots at making that happen.

Conclusion:

In the light of the abrupt events brought by the pandemic, we need to and should take advantage of technological advancements. UV lights present a way to not only keeping schools and students safe but also potentially preventing new outbreaks or a relapse of the current situation.

Could UV lights perhaps become the formula for a new normal? The answer is yes, and we are on the path to make that happen!


Contact us for more information! Visit our platform. HERE.



[1] Reed, Nicholas G. “The History of Ultraviolet Germicidal Irradiation for Air Disinfection.” Public Health Reports (Washington, D.C.: 1974), Association of Schools of Public Health, 2010, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2789813/.


[2] Center for Devices and Radiological Health. “UV Lights and Lamps: Ultraviolet-C Radiation, Disinfection, and Corona.” U.S. Food and Drug Administration, FDA, 19 Aug. 2020, www.fda.gov/medical-devices/coronavirus-covid-19-and-medical-devices/uv-lights-and-lamps-ultraviolet-c-radiation-disinfection-and-coronavirus.


[3] PMC, Europe. “The History of Ultraviolet Germicidal Irradiation for Air Disinfection.” Europe PMC, Dec. 2009, europepmc.org/article/PMC/2789813.


[4] Gillis, Elsa. “Researchers Shine Light on Tech to Kill Virus as Schools Explore Options to Keep Students Safe.” WSOC, 19 May 2020, www.wsoctv.com/news/local/researchers-shine-light-tech-kill-virus-schools-explore-options-keep-students-safe/GLUGMSAJ7ZHZRIO6ISZLLYUDQM/?outputType=amp.


[5] Mooney, Chris, et al. “As America Struggles to Reopen Schools and Offices, How to Clean Coronavirus from the Air.” The Washington Post, WP Company, 26 June 2020, www.washingtonpost.com/climate-environment/2020/06/26/coronavirus-indoor-air-schools-offices/?arc404=true.

[6] “Using the Power of Light: Preventing the Airborne Spread of Coronavirus and Influenza Virus.” Columbia University Center for Radiology Research, 24 June 2020, www.crr.columbia.edu/research/using-power-light-preventing-airborne-spread-coronavirus-and-influenza-virus.