Curiosities about UV-C rays


Present for over 25 years in the lighting field, ATENA LUX is recognized in Italy and abroad also for its specific production dedicated to the medical sector. In fact, it stands out for the production of bed head units, certified as electro-medical devices, and lighting fixtures for operating and clean rooms. Recently the health situation has prompted the company to develop new models of luminaires with UVC light sources with a germicidal effect that represent an effective solution for environments sanitation.


Germicidal Lamps

UV-C ultraviolet rays are electromagnetic waves with germicidal properties. Their wavelength ranges from 100 to 280 nm and their maximum effectiveness occurs at the wavelength of 265 nm. UV-C rays have a destructive effect on RNA and DNA of bacteria, mold, yeasts and viruses, preventing their proliferation. Germicidal lamps emit light at 254 nm, approximately 85% of maximum efficiency and are ozone-free.

What are the advantages of using UV-C germicidal lamps?

Ultraviolet (UV) purification is a very effective method to clean the environment of biological pollutants such as bacteria, viruses, molds, mites and fungal spores. Lighting devices with germicidal UV sources are a very efficient tool as an alternative to the use of normal chemical disinfectants and antibiotics which, in addition to causing damage to the human body by coming into direct contact through inhalation or ingestion, are inevitably the cause of environmental pollution.

It is therefore a safe disinfection system recommended by recognized bodies and organizations such as World Health Organization, American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers, International Ultraviolet Association. Several scientific publications are available and in particular the CIE (Internation Commission on Illumination) has published a series of technical reports and international standards over the years on the topic of ultraviolet radiation, on how to measure it, on its effects and use. as a means of disinfection:

  • CIE 187:2010  UV-C Photocarcinogenesis Risks from Germicidal Lamps
  • CIE 155:2003 Ultraviolet Air Disinfection

UV-C lighting fixtures are used in various areas and mainly in:

  • Hospitals (medical clinics, clean rooms)
  • Veterinary clinics, stables and stables
  • Food and pharmaceutical industries
  • Air conditioning systems
  • Water treatment systems

But more and more often they are also requested in shops, warehouses, offices, in areas open to the public. There are no limits to the possible applications of UV-C rays: even in domestic environments they are used to avoid the formation of mold, against dust mites and for the maintenance of healthy air and water.

How germicidal UV-C lamps work

UV-C radiation has a photolytic effect on DNA and RNA, thus preventing microorganisms such as bacteria, mold, yeasts and viruses from reproducing. The purification effect is obtained with wavelengths less than 320 nm, with maximum efficiency at 260 nm.

For the elimination of microorganisms with UV-C rays, they must be on the surface of an object or transported by air. Each microorganism needs a different UV-C dose for its inactivation or elimination. Among the various universally recognized documents, the one produced by CIE (CIE 155: 2003 Ultraviolet Air Disinfection) shows a table that explains for each type of microorganism the quantity of UV-C radiation (expressed in J / m2) necessary for it to be destroyed.

Precautions for the use of germicidal lamps

Since UV-C TUBES are classified according to IEC / EN 62471 (photobiological risk): Risk group 3, the radiation of this UV-C lamp represents a health risk.

The lighting fixtures with UV lamps are specially designed for the disinfection of air in rooms not occupied by people. In fact, the reflections of the ceiling and walls and the presence of free radiation produced by the appliances themselves can cause the propagation of ultraviolet intensity waves that cause conjunctivitis and erythema. It is necessary to protect the skin and eyes from direct exposure by wearing appropriate protective devices. UV-C lamps cannot be used for general room lighting.

Optional: presence sensor and timer

ATENA LUX wall luminaires can be equipped with a presence sensor and a timer to safeguard the health of the customer and of those who come into contact with the product.  Thanks to these options, the lamp turns on 1 minute after pressing the button, to allow staff to leave the room: the device will not turn on as long as it detects movement within its range of action (≈ 3 m) . Once the sanitization cycle has started, the device will remain on for 30 minutes.
If the sensor does detect a movement, the lamp will turn off immediately and will restart 10 seconds after the last movement obviously detected without resetting the duration of the cycle.




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