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UVC Top 5 Common Myths

February 23, 2017 |

UVC light system for Coil IrradiationWhen an industry is new, or when and old industry experiances a boom there are many compaines that try to jump in for the ride.  This creates a lot of people talking about htings they really don't know anything about in order to earn some sales, and if the conditions are right they can create many myhts making the durability of an industry to sustain itself as these myths get proven wrong it hurts the credibility of the entire industry.  The UVC light industry that offers uv light sterilization through UVGI is currently one of those industries.

 UVC is certainly not new, the germicidal properties of the C band of UV light was discovered way back in the late 1800's, but it is experiancing tremendous growth.  This growth is due to a mix of more studies being done that provide documented proof of UV-C lamps ability to sterilize (or more properly irradiate) an environment and lower costs.  The most common applications of the technology can be found on our post: What Is UVC Light's Most Common Applications

MYTH 1: Our Lamps HAve Higher Output Than Their Lamps

This used to have some truth to it, but is now a myth.  It stems from when UV-C was first used for coil irradiation and neon was added to the lamp.  The neon created a higher bulb temp which increases the UV-C output of the lamp, but it also caused the output to drop faster and burn up the filiments quicker leading to more failures.  This process is all but gone as only a very small amount of lamps for very specific applications use this added neon.  The reason for not using this anymore is two-fold; first the cost of neon sky-rocketed so it hurt the affordability of the lamps and when some manufacturers didn't use the neon they could warranty the lamp life.

MYTH 2: UVC is Expensive to Install

Again, this myth is born from being truthful at one point.  Using coil irradiation as an expamle: systems that used to cost $10,000 and have paybacks of several years now routinely cost $2,500 and paybacks are only a few months.  When we look at UV air disinfection applications used to require fixtures that cost a couple thousand dollars and treatment of a small 200 sq' room would need multiple fixtures, now the fixtures are well under a thousand dollars and treat up to 200 sq' with just one fixture.

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MYTH 3: Our UV-C Lamp Lasts Longer Than Their UV-C Lamp

Lamp life has been a battle among manufacturers as a sales differentiation tool.  This one is a flat-out misleading.  What makes this so myth worthy is that the vast majority of lamps (over 90%) are made by one company with the remainder split among three different maufactures and those making longer life claims don't use anything that isn't industry knowledge.  What these claims lack is at what output of C band ultraviolet light do you have at the end of the warranty period.  Many studies have been done documenting the drop-off in C-band output over time, with the consensus being after 1-year continuous use 15% of output is lost, after 18 months 25% of output is lost, and at 2 years half the output is lost.  These lamps are really just fancy T5 fluorescent lights, and under countuois use (so they don't go through thte stress of cycling on and off) they will remain illuminated with visible light for several years, but the C-band of UV isn't visable.

MYTH 4: UVGI for Coil Irradiation Only Makes Sense in the South US/Hot Climates

With the current costs of raw materials, installation, and operation even cold climates (like our home-base of Minnesota, Wisconsin, and North Dakota) will have paybacks that will make any CFO or accountant smile.

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MYTH 5: This Stuff is Deadly/Dangerous

Yes, UVGI is the process of breaking apart the DNA helix of fungus, bacteria, virus, and any other pathogens/organisms.  Human exposure to this light is not a good thing, but the reputable manufacturers of these systems make accidental exposure very difficult.  Where this myth begins to hold some truth is some less than reputable manufactuers or people looking to make a quick buck on the swell of popularity and they don't treat UVGI with the respect needed to ensure a safe product and safe application.

Have more questions?  Have a myth we didn't include?  Contact Us and ask or let us know!

 

Tags: myths UVC UVGI

Written by Ben Klawitter