COVID-19 sheds new light on the technology

Thanks to its disinfecting properties, UV-C radiation is a real all-rounder. UV-C lamps can be used to disinfect water, air and surfaces. But while the use of such lamps has so far been limited to a few industries, demand has exploded across all sectors worldwide since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. Learn more about the unique features which have suddenly placed UV-C technology in the global spotlight.

The effect of UV-C RADIATION: An introduction

Electromagnetic radiation is characterized by a specific wavelength. Compared to visible light, ultraviolet radiation, UV radiation for short, has a significantly shorter wavelength. Depending on the type of UV radiation, this lies between 10 and 400 nanometres. UV radiation is divided into four ranges according to its wavelength:

  • UV-A: UV-A radiation has a wavelength between 315 to 400 nanometres. The light can cause certain substances to fluoresce. Thanks to this, UV-A lamps have a long tradition in the entertainment business, but are also used in forensics – for example in marking banknotes. UV-A lamps can be produced easily and cheaply.
  • UV-B: UV-B radiation possesses a wavelength between 280 and 315 nanometres. Lamps that emit light in this range are highly valued by tan lovers in particular. UV-B lamps brown the human skin and are therefore used in tanning studios.
  • UV-C: UV-C radiation with a wavelength between 100 and 280 nanometres is classified as UV-C. UV-C radiation has an outstanding property: UV-C radiation is very energy-rich and therefore it is able to kill bacteria and viruses. The strongest effect against pathogens (pathogens) occurs at 265 nanometers. UV-C radiation causes considerable DNA damage to micro-organisms, which ultimately leads to decontaminating the corresponding pathogens. Mercury vapour lamps are currently considered to be the most effective UV-C radiation source.
  • EUV: Extreme UV with a wavelength between 10 and 100 nanometres is mainly used in manufacturing – for example in chip production.

The electromagnetic spectrum

Advantages of using UV-C radiation for disinfection

UV-C radiation: environmentally friendly and efficient

Compared to other disinfection methods, UV-C radiation has a number of advantages:

  • UV-C radiation does not require chemicals and toxic compounds.
  • Pathogens are unable to form resistance to UV-C radiation.
  • The radiation could render pathogens harmless in a matter of seconds.
  • The treatment’s short duration does not change the properties of a product.
  • UV-C radiation leaves no residue or discolouration on surfaces.
  • Ozone is not produced in the corresponding range above 240 nanometres.

For these reasons, UV-C radiation has been used for decades in some sectors such as medicine or food packaging disinfection (for example yoghurt pots) as a clean disinfectant solution.

Doctor and child


UV-C technology: Our Ace in the fight against COVID-19

Up to recently, the implementation of UV-C lamps were still very limited. In addition to medical applications, UV-C radiation was mainly used in the food industry as well as for cleaning pools, aquariums and wastewater. However, as COVID-19 becomes more widespread, the need for UV-C lamps has boomed. Even in areas where UV-C applications have at best been in a very small niche, there is now an increased demand.

UV-C technology for disinfecting hospitals and other uses

Here are just a few examples of the pandemic-related uses of UV-C radiation.



UV-C radiation is able to deactivate SAR-CoV-2's high viral loads and thus render them harmless.* The solution using UV-C technology to rapidly decontaminate medical equipment in hospitals significantly reduces the risk of infection – for example through cross-contamination.



In an aircraft, the risk of infection from the finest airborne particles, known as aerosols, is considered to be particularly high. Regularly disinfecting the air reduces the risk of infection.



In many sectors, working from home can only be temporary. UV-C radiation plays an important role in a virus-free workplace. As well as surface disinfection, air disinfection lamps are essential in the office to prevent the spread of Coronavirus through the air conditioning system.


Public spaces

The risk of infection is particularly high wherever groups of people gather. Escalator handrails and the handles of shopping trollies are notable examples. Over the course of the Corona pandemic, UV-C lamps can and will be used wherever they are needed to prevent contact or airborne spread of COVID-19.

* This was recently demonstrated by a promising study by PD Dr Adalbert Krawczyk and Dr Christiane Heilingloh of the Medical Faculty of the University of Duisburg-Essen (Universität Duisburg-Essen – UDE) at the Clinic for Infectiology (Director Prof Dr Oliver Witzke) of the University Medical Centre Essen (Universitätsmedizin Essen).

UV-C lamps from LEDVANCE

More than just light


T8 UV-C lamps

  • do not produce ozone during disinfection,
  • are CCG and ECG compatible,
  • can be mounted on a standard G13 base,
  • last up 20 percent longer than competitors’ comparable products (10,800h/L70B50).

T8 UV-C lamps are available in three lengths: 440 millimetres (15 watts / 25 watts), 900 millimetres (30 watts / 55 watts) and 1,200 millimetres (36 watts / 75 watts).

Linear Housing UVC Sensor

The Linear Housing UV-C Sensor has

  • an IR Sensor Safety Kit: 30 second delay at start-up, lamp switches off as soon as people are detected
  • an integrated long-lasting ECG – compatible with LEDVANCE UV-C T8
  • a detection range of up to 150 sqm (depending on the height of the installation)
  • anti-UV coating on the lamp holder, screws and plastic parts

The Linear Housing UV-C Sensor is available in two lengths: 440 millimetres (18 watts) and 900 millimetres (33 watts).

Why choose LEDVANCE UV-C?

One of the two globally lighting manufacturers with offices in >50 countries and R&D centers in Boston, Shenzhen, and Garching/Munich

Industry-leading in low pressure discharge technology for decades, holding more than 50 patents in this field globally

Maker of T8 UV-C lamps with a proven track record - the LEDVANCE factory in Smolensk/ Russia has been mass producing UV-C lamps since 2012


Dedicated research center on “light for human health & wellbeing”, recently awarded from VDE for our proprietary BIOLUX technology

Highest standards for product quality & product safety? (e.g., all sites ISO 9001 and 14001 certified; third party CB reports are an integral part of our qualification process)

Use UV-C lamps correctly and observe safety instructions

UV-C disinfection devices should not be used directly on the body as they can damage the skin and eyes. For this reason, some safety instructions must be observed during use:

  • UV-C lamps should only be directed at the surface to be disinfected. It is essential to avoid radiation to the skin or eyes.
  • Users must be protected from exposure to UV-C. The use of UV-C radiaton in enclosed rooms is therefore only recommended when there are no people in the room.
  • The UV-C lamp should be switched off immediately after disinfection.

In addition, information on the packaging and in the accompanying instruction book must be followed precisely.

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