Germicidal bulbs are becoming popular in the work place and at home.
Central heating or air conditioning, particularly those with a shared ventilation system, often have problems with spreading bacteria, viruses and fungal contamination. We’ve all heard about sick building syndrome. As we move indoors for the winter season, we are exposed to more airborne diseases. UV-C lighting is proving an effective way to fight off those germs that make us sick.
Ultraviolet germicidal irradiation (UVGI) is a disinfection method that uses ultraviolet wavelengths to disinfect and destroy airborne pathogens. The practice started out in medical facilities and work areas that needed to be sterile but is now available for home use in air purifiers and UV-C lighting.
Similar but different
Germicidal bulbs look similar to fluorescent light bulbs. It can be hard to tell them apart since they have the same basic shape with hot and cold cathode used. Both produce ultraviolet radiation inside the bulb that uses low pressure mercury to produce the light.
The difference is found on the inside of the lamp. In order to convert ultraviolet to visible light fluorescent bulbs are coated inside with phosphor. This gives them that telltale white glass look. A germicidal bulb transmits a higher ultraviolet wavelength so its glass is clear.
Most germicidal bulbs are configured to transmit at 253.7nm, the wavelength with the greatest lethal effectiveness against bacteria, viruses and fungal infection.
Exposure to the germicidal UV deactivates the reproduction systems pathogens so these pathogens can’t multiple.
While it’s good for destroying airborne pathogens, these germicidal bulbs do expose us to more powerful ultraviolet radiation. Compared to fluorescent bulbs that block out most of the UV, germicidal allow more exposure. Therefore, you must be careful to avoid looking directly at them.
Be sure to purchase your germicidal lamp from a reputable Philips OEM manufacturer to guarantee the best possible product. Counterfeit germicidal lamps simply don’t have any of the necessary safety features.