Germicidal UV fixtures are gaining popularity in industries that never used them before. Now schools, hotels, office buildings, restaurants, and retail stores are considering them as a way to protect employees, customers, and tenants.
With an efficacy rate of 99.9% or higher, it's no surprise these products are considered as an option to disinfect spaces.
But choosing the right germicidal UV fixture at the right price can be complicated.
There are a wide range of products on the market right now, and they vary greatly in cost. A UV-C fixture can cost you anywhere from $150 to $20,000.
So what's the difference in the products? Typically, the price depends on how much area the fixtures cover, the quality of the product, and the technology used to disinfect the room.
First, we'll explain the different fixture options. Then we'll take a look at how you can estimate how much you're going to spend.
UV-C fixture options
Because there is such a wide range of UV-C fixtures available, we're dividing them into three categories: ceiling or wall mounted fixtures, tabletop fixtures, and far-UVC fixtures.
1. Mounted UV-C fixtures
If you want a high-powered, high-quality product that can disinfect a room in minutes, mounted or installed UV-C fixtures are your best option.
School classrooms, hospital operating and patient rooms, medical facilities, spas, office buildings, restaurant kitchens, and more can all benefit from these products.
Here is the biggest drawback: For safety reasons, most (but not all) UV-C fixtures can only run in an empty room.
That's because UV-C at the 254 nm wavelength can harm our skin and eyes. These fixtures should be installed by a professional and handled by trained employees only.
Here are a few mounted UV-C fixture options organized by brand.
PURO Lighting Germicidal UV Fixtures
PURO Lighting products use Violet Defense Technology to produce broad-spectrum UV. These fixtures can be mounted on the ceiling or on the wall.
You have two options: The Helo F1 and the Helo F2.
|PURO Helo F1
Starting at $3,699
|PURO Helo F2
Starting at $7,099
The Helo F2 uses two UV bulbs instead of one like the Helo F1, but has three times the power.
You can schedule both of these products to run on a timer or you can turn them on with an installed switch. They're also equipped with an occupancy sensor that shuts off the product if motion is detected.
PURO Lighting products generally last around two years depending on use. Right now, the parts cannot be replaced. If one of your fixtures stops working, you will have to replace it with another one.
OSRAM Germicidal UV fixtures
OSRAM recently entered the Germicidal UV market with a product called the AirZing. Similar to PURO Lighting's product, the AirZing can be installed on the wall or ceiling at a height between eight and 13 feet.
The OSRAM AirZing has a delayed 30-second start so it will not turn on as soon as a switch is flipped. It also has an occupancy sensor that will shut the product off as soon as motion is detected (plus a backup sensor if the first one fails).
Right now, this product does not come with a timer. If you'd like to set up the fixture to run on a designated cycle, you will need to install a separate timer. The fixture also does not currently have a covering over the germicidal UV lamp, so the bulb is exposed. This could pose a safety risk in areas like classrooms.
Healthé Air Troffer
This troffer by Healthé Lighting is the exception to the rule that rooms must be empty while fixtures are running. The troffer can run all the time without exposing anyone to UV-C.
|Healthé Air Troffer
Starting at $2,450
Here's why this troffer is different: The UV LEDs are enclosed inside the fixture. The Healthé troffer uses HEPA-carbon activated filters to bring in air. The UV-A and UV-C LEDs inside the fixture disinfect the air as it cycles through.
The Healthé Air troffer also produces general illumination, so you can still use it as a light source.
2. Tabletop UV-C fixtures
Tabletop fixtures are typically a simpler product used to disinfect smaller spaces.
There is little installation required. You simply plug in the fixture and turn it on. For safety reasons, make sure you buy a product that you can control from an app or that has a delayed start so you can safely exit the room.
The iUVC1 germicidal lamp by Archipelago has proximity sensors that automatically shut off the product when pets or humans are around.
|iUVC1 by Archipelago
You may need to run tabletop fixtures like the iUVC1 multiple times in different areas to ensure UV rays are hitting all surfaces.
3. Far-UVC fixtures
Far-UVC is a relatively new concept in the UV landscape. In the last decade, scientists started looking at different wavelengths within the UV-C spectrum, specifically 208 to 222 nanometers.
Many studies so far have found the shorter far-UVC wavelengths can still disinfect air and surfaces, but do not harm our skin and eyes. Others in the lighting industry still have concerns about the safety and effectiveness of the products.
Healthé Lighting has three far-UVC products on the market right now.
|Healthé Space Downlight
|Healthé Space Cylinder
The product pictured above on the left is the Space Downlight. This is ideal for high-touch surfaces because it delivers a constant dose of UV light throughout the day. The downlight fits into a standard six-inch recessed can opening.
The product in the middle is the Space Cylinder. The cylinder can be either pendant or surface mounted. Similar to the downlight, the product also offers general illumination in addition to far-UVC. The cylinder also delivers a low dose of far-UVC throughout the day, constantly sanitizing surfaces. It can also be programmed to run only when areas are unoccupied.
The product on the right is called the Entry. This is probably not what comes to mind when you think of fixtures. The portal is really in a category all of its own.
The Entry Portal uses far-UVC to disinfect as people walk through. Businesses like the Seattle Space Needle have started to install them at entry points.
Healthé recommends standing under the portal's far-UVC light for up to 20 seconds for the highest level of disinfection.
While the portal can disinfect upon entry, it does little to stop someone from spreading germs once they are inside a building. It works best when paired with other UV measures, like HVAC systems, upper-air units, and other UV fixtures.
Cost for UV-C fixtures
So what can you expect to pay for the products mentioned above? Each product covers different square footage, uses different intensities, and may require different cycle lengths.
To help you get started on an estimate, we will explain how the products work in a 350 square foot area. That's the standard size hotel room, office board room, and patient room. From there, you can multiply by the number of rooms in your facility to get a better understanding of product costs.
These costs do not include installation, which should be handled by a professional.
1. Cost for mounted UV-C fixtures
Similar to the section above, we will explain the cost for mounted UV-C fixtures by manufacturer.
PURO Lighting Germicidal UV fixtures
PURO Lighting fixtures come with a one year warranty. They are relatively easy to install but we recommend letting a professional handle the installation.
|PURO Helo F1
Starting at $3,699
|PURO Helo F2
Starting at $7,099
The Helo F1 covers a 10x10 area, or about 100 square feet, so you would need four in a 350 square foot room. That cost totals about $14,796 for each room before installation.
The Helo F2 covers a 12x12 area, or about 144 square feet, so you would need about three in a 350 square foot room. That comes to about $21,297 for each room before installation. Remember, the Helo F2 is more powerful and may be able to disinfect in less time than the Helo F1.
If this price tag seems a little alarming for every room in your building, think about installing a few of the fixtures in the areas likely to spread the most germs, like locker rooms, bathrooms, etc.
Then you could consider using a mobile UV unit to disinfect areas like classrooms and offices. The best approach may be to use a combination of UV products, not just one, to get the disinfection results you want.
OSRAM Germicidal UV fixture
A 30-minute cycle of the OSRAM AirZing will disinfect about 86 square feet. For a 350 square foot room, you would need about four to cover the area completely. That comes to a cost of $676 per room.
This does not include other equipment you might need like a cover for the exposed UV lamp or a timer to set up designated run cycles.
Healthé Cleanse Fixture
The Healthé Cleanse Troffer is designed for new construction or retrofits only. It fits into a designated 2x4 space.
While installation is relatively easy, you may have to purchase additional mounting hardware.
Healthé recommends replacing the HEPA carbon-activated filter every six months and the UV LEDs after 2,000 hours of usage.
|Healthé Cleanse Troffer
Starting at $2,450
Each troffer provides sanitizing coverage to about 86 square feet. In a 350 square foot room, you would need around four fixtures, which is about $8,000.
2. Cost for tabletop UV fixtures
As we mentioned, tabletop UV-C fixtures are designed for small spaces. To cover a 350 square foot room, you will either need to run multiple cycles with the UV fixture in different locations or you will need to buy multiple fixtures.
|iUVC1 by Archipelago
You could shorten disinfection time by buying multiple products, but this product is not designed to disinfect an entire room with a single fixture.
More than likely, you would use these fixtures on smaller areas, like a desk, so one fixture may give you the coverage you need for that application.
3. Cost for far-UVC fixtures
|Healthé Cleanse Downlight
|Healthé Cleanse Cylinder
Coverage for the Healthé Cleanse downlight depends on the ceiling height. Healthé Lighting recommends spacing the downlights five to six feet apart.
The Cleanse downlight is recommended over high-touch areas, like sinks and counters, and likely would not be used to cover an entire room. The downlight is designed to deliver low dosing throughout the day. The dose deliver three feet below the fixture is 23mJ/cm² over an eight hour day. If you need three Cleanse Downlights to cover a counter, the cost comes to $5,100.
As far as installation, the downlight replaces a standard 6" recessed can. Replacement parts for this product are not available, so once it stops working you will have to buy a new product.
The Cleanse Cylinder is very similar to the downlight. Healthé Lighting recommends spacing the fixtures five to six feet apart. The cylinder also delivers a dose of 23mJ/cm² over an eight hour day to a surface three feet away.
There are two differences between the cylinder and the downlight: the housing and the wiring. The cylinder cannot fit into recessed cans. Instead, it installs directly into a junction box. This is a new fixture that just hit the market. For pricing, please contact us.
Cost for the Healthé Cleanse Portal is simple. Each unit is $22,500, plus installation costs. The number you need will depend on how many entrances you want to cover, or how quickly you want to be able to move people through these entrances.
How to tell if UV-C fixtures are working
Because a single UV-C fixture will likely not cover an entire room, you might be curious how you can tell which areas and surfaces they're disinfecting.
This process involves finding the right dose, then testing your results.
To test your results, you can use a device called a dosimeter. The center changes based on the dose, or amount of UV energy, received.
The dosimeter responds to 254 nm light (conventional germicidal UV products), but takes much longer to respond to 222 nm light (far-UVC products).
Questions about UV-C fixtures
While UV-C fixtures can be extremely effective for air and surface disinfection, pairing them with other UV products like UV systems for HVAC equipment or upper-air UV units can result in even higher levels of protection.
But it's not all about UV products, either. Using PPE, cleaning products, and antimicrobial surface protectants also help make sure your building is ready to fight COVID-19 and other viruses and bacteria. For help finding a full disinfection solution for your building, request a free consultation with one of our lighting specialists.