UVC Lighting was on the horizon even before the pandemic hit. When COVID-19 ushered in new concerns over staying well and figuring out ways to outsmart microbes, excitement over UVC gained steam. New applications for it and other lighting technologies are at the forefront of research for wellness in the home as well as hospital and commercial spaces.
UVC Light is a brilliant technology. There has been a lot of hype lately and it is important to know exactly what its research-backed applications are and the truth behind the differences between various types of UV light. It is of utmost importance to know where, when, and at what intensity and duration it should be used.
The sun gives us UV radiation in the form of UVA, UVB, and UVC. UVB light is harsh on our delicate human eyes and can lead to damage that could cause cataracts and blindness. Skin damage from UVB light can lead to cancer. Even UVC light, the least likely to be harmful to humans, can damage the eyes at the wrong intensity and duration.
We know UV rays from the sun help our bodies to make Vitamin D, boost our immune systems, and contribute to circadian rhythm balance. We also know that UV radiation can disinfect surfaces—leading to a lot of excitement. It feels good to think or even know that a space is free of the viruses that everyone is trying to avoid at all costs, specifically COVID-19. However, at this point, conclusive research shows that UVC only kills bacteria. The great news—research is underway to find out what the applications are against viruses and other microbes. We can only keep our fingers crossed at this point.
UVC Light at Home
UVC light at a level fit for human consumption can kill 50% of the bacteria in a space. It can be used in the home and integrated into various architectural fixtures, but it does have to be on at all times to continue working. After the light is turned off, the space is clean for a certain amount of time. The moment someone walks into that space, it becomes contaminated. Controlling who enters the space is key at that point.
Possible applications are the baby’s room, kitchen, or when someone has been ill in the house with the idea of overall increased health and wellness at home.
UVC in Hospitals
Right now, UVC caters to hospitals with the intention of disinfecting unoccupied patient rooms or surgical suites. At higher intensities, it is not fit for human consumption. A person cannot be in the space during decontamination, and as said before, once someone walks into the room, it is no longer sterile. However, with the ability to kill 80-90% of bacteria in a space, UVC can assist in cutting down on infections because of increased control over contamination.
The expectation for UVC is that it will have a growing place in smart design for residences and commercial spaces. We are keeping our finger on the pulse of emerging technology for bespoke lighting designs, and UVC is on our radar.
Responsive Living, the term coined by Acoustic Architects founders, Aaron Flint and Spencer Hauldren, is the concept of seamlessly enhancing the client’s unique lifestyle using smart home technology. Responsive Living allows you to interact with your space via touch input, voice command, and predictive automation, placing you in full control of your home.
If you would like to learn more about smart lighting solutions for your home, feel free to connect with us. We will be happy to schedule a demo with you.
For more information, visit acousticarchitects.net.
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