Interest in UV-C soars as 1,000 professionals attend webinar

Woman and man in a studio
Presenter Tina Edwards and Lux Review editor Ray Molony hosted the seminars, which explored the opportunities to deploy ‘this powerful weapon against the coronavirus’ as well as the health and safety challenges.

INTEREST IN UV-C lighting as a tool to make workplaces Covid-secure has soared, with over 1,000 professionals and executives attending a webinar on the topic this week.

The LuxLive Kicker UV-C conference attracted attendees from all over the world and included building managers and owners, consulting engineers, architects, lighting designers, facility managers and manufacturers. 

Some 1,676 people registered for the niche event and 1,097 people actively engaged and viewed the content streams.

The high-production value event including a specially-constructed studio where the presenters were live streaming, video adverts and video theming and attendee interaction throughout, differentiating the conference from other virtual events. 

However, it was the content that attracted delegates with the very latest exclusive research and use cases unveiled by the likes of Arup, Signify, and Blue Ocean Robotics.

Chaired by Lux Review editor Ray Molony, the seminars explored the opportunities to deploy ‘this powerful weapon against the coronavirus’ as well as the health and safety challenges.

Emile van Dijk, global head of special lighting at headline sponsor Signify, gave an introduction to UV-C lighting and how effective it is at killing the coronavirus and other pathogens.

Of special interest to many of the delegates was the standards and regulatory framework surrounding the technology.

This was covered by BSI executives Holly Rossington, electrical certification team leader and David Mudd, global digital and connected product certification director, along with LED expert Gareth Jones, head of test house LUX-TSI.

A hospital corridor with blue lights
Upper room disinfection can be used when people are in the room thanks to their design, whereby the UV-C irradiance is directed towards the ceiling and upper areas of the room and not downwards where people are present

There was general agreement that UV-C lighting product quality is already adequately covered by existing standards, although some may need modest updating to reflect modern deployment. 

However, a major gap was identified in best-practice guidance for the deployment of UV-C in applications such as workplaces, retail, transport hubs, warehouses and educational establishments.

There is a pressing need for recommended levels of irradiation to ensure adequate disinfection of air and surfaces, as well as a way of measuring and verifying this.

Delegates also wanted access to design software so they could have confidence that installations would perform as expected. 

A team from Arup explored how fluid dynamics could make UV-C more effective against the coronavirus.

Associate Dan Lister and senior engineer in advanced digital engineering Paul Lynch shared the results of independent research that the practice has been conducting into how air-borne particles behave in different spaces using computational fluid dynamics. 

Yann Desnouveaux, product manager Europe at Signify, discussed the promising area of upper-air disinfection using UV-C.

Industry observers expect a booming market for this application, in which air-borne viruses are inactivated by UV-C light that is safely and continuously emitted from units mounted away from occupants. 

Robert Axon, director of UV Technology, looked the disinfection of objects using UV-C.

This was followed by a panel discussion on the question: How do we safely deploy UV-C technologies and ensure market compliance?

Participants includes Mark Cunningham, managing director, Air-Lume; Dr Kevin Kahn of Crystal IS; and Marko Jurman, CEO of Filix Medical.

The two main UV-C sources, traditional mercury lamps and LEDs, were compared and contrasted by experts Kevin Kahn, market development manager at Crystal IS, Simon Schlegel, CEO and head of R&D at sterilAir and Alexander Kalkschmidt-Jährling of PP-L.

Despite the widespread replacement of traditional lighting with LED in the last decade, when it comes to UV-C, mercury lamps remain a powerful alternative to LEDs. 

However UV-C LEDs are improving all the time and many observers expect LEDs to take an increasing share of the growing market over time.

Mariusz Ejsmont, vice president of the management board at LUG Light Factory explained how to specify UV-C luminaires for effective disinfection of air and surfaces while Nathanael Dannenberg, national sales manager of Signify, explored the key applications and use cases for the technology.

In the final presentation, John Erland Østergaard, chief technology officer at Blue Ocean Robotics, looked at the deployment of UV-C robots.

He said self-driving UV disinfection robots are set to be a key tool in making buildings Covid-19 secure and are already being used in over 60 countries worldwide. 

A recent application was at Heathrow Airport. 

Ray Molony wrapped up by looking at the key takeaways from the day. He said there was an opportunity for an association, learned body or professional institution to take the lead by developing a code of best practice for the emerging sector.

The virtual conference was a ‘kicker’ event in the run-up to next month’s LuxLive, a digital festival of lighting over two days made up of four strands: Emergency Lighting, Smart Lighting, Workplace and the Lightspace Festival, focusing on lighting in architecture. 

  • View the agenda for LuxLive HERE.