Forum for Illumination Research, Engineering, and Science (FIRES)

Standards Category: Ultraviolet Radiation
Designing a UV-C Germicidal System

Designing a UV-C Germicidal System

By Ian Ashdown, P. Eng., FIES
Senior Scientist, SunTracker Technologies Ltd.

Germicidal lamps emitting ultraviolet-C (UV-C) radiation have been in use since the 1930s (Wells and Wells 1936). These are most commonly low-pressure mercury-vapor discharge lamps, which are basically fluorescent lamps without a phosphor coating and fused quartz rather than borosilicate glass bulbs. They emit monochromatic radiation mostly at 254 nm, a wavelength that is very effective in disrupting the DNA of viruses, bacteria, and other pathogens.

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