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Practical advice on commercial lighting from LED retrofts to lighting design

Germicidal UV use by industry [During and after COVID-19]

Posted by Luis Espino on

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As we create our "new normal," businesses across every industry are trying to find the best way to operate.

Cleaning checklists are changing. Disinfecting is at the top of the priority list. But how do you make sure you're cleaning properly during and after COVID-19?

One solution: Germicidal UV (also called UV-C).

UV-C light can inactivate pathogens like viruses and bacteria on surfaces and in the air in a matter of minutes.

If you want to brush up on some UV basics, click here.

Using UV-C in businesses

Germicidal UV isn't just for healthcare facilities anymore. Any business or industry trying to guarantee a clean environment for customers, employees, and tenants can use UV products to protect their facility.

Here are some general safety guidelines for UV-C products:

  1. As a general rule, UV-C products are not safe for humans. The products should only be used in empty rooms. Some products use far-UVC, which is considered safe for humans. There are also methods like upper-air UV and HVAC applications that do not expose anyone to UV directly.
  2. Any staff or employees that use germicidal UV products should be trained and strictly follow manufacturer guidelines. The biggest risk for exposure to UV-C is typically during maintenance.
  3. Germicidal UV should be used in addition to other cleaning protocols, not in place of other cleaning measures. You can think of germicidal UV as the final layer of defense after other cleaning steps, like disinfecting, are complete.

We're going to discuss uses for germicidal UV for several industries. Click below to jump ahead:

There are two UV applications that could benefit all industries: Upper-room UV-C and UV systems for HVAC equipment. We talk about those options below.

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UV-C for airports and transit stations

On an average day prior to the coronavirus pandemic, more than two million people pass through TSA checkpoints at airports. Of course, those numbers are much lower right now. But as passengers start to travel again for business and pleasure, germicidal UV can help contain the spread of germs.

Transit stations for trains and buses are also looking for ways to disinfect and protect passengers. New York City is using UV products, specifically PURO Lighting mobile units like the ones pictured below, to clean subways and buses.


Germicidal UV mobile units can be used in several areas, like restrooms or inside airplanes, trains, and buses. But remember, it’s important to make sure the area is clear while most UV-C products are running.

mobile-uv-m1-2-t mobile-uv-m2-c mobile-uv-sentry-m4 mobile-uv-auv
PURO Sentry
M1-2-T
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PURO Sentry
M2-C
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PURO Sentry
M4
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American Ultraviolet®
mobile units
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United Airlines is also using a product by American Ultraviolet called the Blade to disinfect cockpits.

The blade is a handheld unit that can disinfect hard to reach areas, like the screens and buttons pilots rely on.

handheld-uv-blade
American Ultraviolet® Blade
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UV-C for banks

Hundreds of people may use an ATM or visit a bank branch in a single day. Germicidal UV can help make sure all of those buttons, counters, and pens are protected from bacteria and viruses.

Operating germicidal UV fixtures, like the PURO™ Lighting and OSRAM AirZing, is an easy and effective way to disinfect. These fixtures can be set on a timer to run when the bank is closed.

Puro F1 Puro F2 OSRAM AirZing
PURO Helo F1
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PURO Helo F2
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OSRAM Air Zing
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UV-C for commercial offices

Many people are still working from home instead of going into commercial office buildings. But that won't always be the case. Eventually, employees will return to work, and disinfecting commonly used spaces can help give them peace of mind (and it could mean fewer sick days down the road).

Since commercial office buildings tend to be empty overnight, using PURO™ Helo fixtures or the OSRAM AirZing may be another option. These fixtures use broad spectrum UV, including UV-C, so they should run when no one else is around.

Puro F1 Puro F2 OSRAM AirZing
PURO Helo F1
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PURO Helo F2
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OSRAM Air Zing
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UV-C for grocery stores

Grocery stores are critical during the COVID-19 pandemic, but they're also full of people. It's very difficult to sanitize while stores are so busy. If your store closes overnight, use that opportunity to run germicidal UV fixtures.

Puro F1 Puro F2 OSRAM AirZing
PURO Helo F1
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PURO Helo F2
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OSRAM Air Zing
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UV-C for hospitals & medical centers

UV-C products were already operating in some hospitals before the COVID-19 pandemic. Studies show germicidal UV can reduce healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) in patient rooms, surgical suites, and laboratories.

Germicidal UV mobile units offer the flexibility of disinfecting areas when no one is around, plus the ability to move to different areas. The American Ultraviolet® ARTZ2.0 was designed specifically to give hospitals fast disinfecting power.

Puro-M2-F Puro M2-C Sentry M4 American UV Artz 2.0
PURO Sentry
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PURO Sentry
M2-C
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PURO Sentry
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American Ultraviolet®
ARTZ 2.0
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Another for hospitals and medical centers is germicidal UV fixtures. You can run PURO™ Helo or OSRAM AirZing fixtures in surgical suites or operating rooms when they're empty, or even in lobbies and waiting areas of medical centers that close overnight. 

Puro F1 Puro F2 OSRAM AirZing
PURO Helo F1
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PURO Helo F2
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OSRAM Air Zing
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UV-C for hotels

Hotels need to comfort guests with a germ-free stay. With so many different visitors throughout the day, the focus for germicidal UV should be on commonly used areas.

To take cleaning to another level, consider a mobile UV unit. You can use it in multiple areas, like elevators and guest rooms. Before you begin operating, make sure no one is nearby.

Puro-M2-F Puro M2-C Sentry M4 MRS45-12 MOBILE UV UNIT
PURO Sentry
M1-2-T
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PURO Sentry
M2-C
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PURO Sentry
M4
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American Ultraviolet®
mobile units
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A hotel in Breckinridge, Colorado recently purchased more than 50 PURO Lighting fixtures to disinfect 800 rooms. Watch the video below to see them in action.

UV-C for restaurants

COVID-19 isn't the only concern for restaurants. The CDC estimates 48 million Americans get sick from food-borne illness each year.

Reducing germs in high traffic areas can cut down on all types of illnesses.

Consider installing germicidal UV fixtures in restrooms and the kitchen. PURO™ Helo fixtures are FDA-approved and can run while the restaurant is closed overnight.

Puro F1 Puro F2 OSRAM AirZing
PURO Helo F1
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PURO Helo F2
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OSRAM Air Zing
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American Ultraviolet® also has a kitchen exhaust fixture that creates overall cleaner environments by reducing grease and odors.

HVAC KE Series - 2 lamp
American Ultraviolet® Kitchen Exhaust
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UV-C for retail stores

Retail stores have already started to adjust their operations, with changes like occupation limits and social distancing markers.

Consider installing germicidal UV fixtures in areas where germs originate, like bathrooms. These fixtures can run overnight when the store is closed.

Puro F1 Puro F2 OSRAM AirZing
PURO Helo F1
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PURO Helo F2
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OSRAM Air Zing
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UV-C for schools and daycare centers

From infants to college students, we always want to protect our children. You can use a wide variety of germicidal UV depending on the space you want to cover.

Installing fixtures like the PURO™ Helo F1 and F2 or the OSRAM AirZing in classrooms and locker rooms allow for overnight disinfection, so schools are clean again every morning.

Puro F1 Puro F2 OSRAM AirZing
PURO Helo F1
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PURO Helo F2
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OSRAM Air Zing
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Mobile UV disinfection units may also provide flexibility to cover different parts of the school, university, or daycare center based on need.

Puro-M2-F Puro M2-C Sentry M4 MRS45-12 MOBILE UV UNIT
PURO Sentry
M1-2-T
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PURO Sentry
M2-C
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PURO Sentry
M4
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American Ultraviolet®
mobile units
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Senior care facilities

Protecting the most vulnerable group from COVID-19 is the top priority right now. The virus has already spread through countless nursing homes and assisted living homes around the country.

UV-C fixtures can disinfect commonly used areas, like meeting rooms and kitchens. 

Puro F1 Puro F2 OSRAM AirZing
PURO Helo F1
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PURO Helo F2
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OSRAM Air Zing
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Mobile units are another option but may not be as convenient since you have to make sure areas are completely clear before use.

Puro-M2-F Puro M2-C Sentry M4 MRS45-12 MOBILE UV UNIT
PURO Sentry
M1-2-T
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PURO Sentry
M2-C
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PURO Sentry
M4
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American Ultraviolet® MRS45-12
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UV-C light for HVAC equipment

Every commercial building with an industrial HVAC system can benefit from using germicidal UV applications.

Using germicidal UV on your HVAC system can clean and disinfect the air in your building while also protecting parts of the system where mold and bacteria can grow.

uv-hvac-applications

The Illuminating Engineering Society notes that while germicidal UV is effective for disinfecting air, it does not stop the transmission of germs between people.

American Ultraviolet® offers a variety of options, including fixtures designed to disinfect coils and others designed for ductwork.

HVAC KE Series - 4 lamp
American Ultraviolet® HVAC fixtures
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PURO™ Lighting also suggests using its Helo F1 to disinfect coils on industrial HVAC systems. Instead of running continuously, the Helo F1 runs in one to two-hour cycles.

Puro F1
PURO Helo F1
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Germicidal UV HVAC applications will vary based on what works best for your system. Contact us for a free consultation and a custom solution.

Upper-room UV-C for businesses

Upper-air germicidal UV units operate constantly, mounted at least seven feet in the air. Since the UV-C rays hit above our heads, they are not harmful but still disinfect the air.

upper-air-diagram

The Illuminating Engineering Society (IES) listed this as the top UV-C option because it can actually help reduce the transmission of pathogens like viruses.

You can read more about how upper-room UV-C fixtures work in this article.

Products like the one below have been used for decades in hospitals.

American UV Upper Air
American Ultraviolet® Upper-Air Series
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Questions about germicidal UV

We are always looking for ways to help businesses keep their buildings as safe and clean as possible. If you are interested in germicidal UV products, please consider a free lighting consultation with one of our lighting specialists.

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