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Read: Bug Zappers. Content courtesy of: EC&M

Thursday, April 21, 2022

Read: Bug Zappers
COVID-19 spurred demand and budgets for disinfection technologies in classrooms, offices, and other public spaces. That's creating opportunities for ultraviolet lighting, which could get an additional boost from new standards.
Content courtesy of EC&M

By Tim Kridel, Freelance Writer

By the time you read this, the World Health Organization (WHO) might have officially declared COVID-19 endemic. Or maybe yet another variant has emerged to keep the pandemic going. Either way, one thing is certain: COVID has triggered a long-term change in how and why schools, hospitals, businesses, and other organizations disinfect their buildings and the air inside. Those changes create opportunities for the electrical industry,
starting with disinfection lighting.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has dramatically spurred awareness and is defining a ‘new normal’ focused on indoor air quality and indoor health,” says Travis Jones, vice president and general manager at Pittsburgh-based Wesco International. “As we move forward, there are other air and surface quality hazards — such as mold, influenza, E-coli, and salmonella — that still cause millions of occupants to suffer.”

Disinfection lighting covers a variety of technologies and use cases, including ultraviolet germicidal irradiation (UVGI), which is used to disinfect the air or surfaces such as desktops. Water also is a big market, says Mike Krames, president of Arkesso, a consultancy specializing in LED technologies. Like lighting for illumination, UVGI is available in incandescent and solid-state versions. The research analyst firm IHS predicts that the germicidal LED (GLED) segment alone will be worth over $5 billion by 2024. Just to put that into perspective: In 2019 (before the pandemic), it forecast just $150 million
over the same period.


That hockey stick growth is even more impressive in light of how long UVGI has languished as a niche play. Since the 1950s, it’s been used mainly to neutralize
tuberculosis (TB) — an application that’s become the foundation for Centers for
Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) guidance for the design, installation, testing, and safe operation of “upper-room” UVGI systems. Read more here.

Also known as “upper air,” these systems have luminaires installed close to the ceiling, where the light can zap viruses as they’re circulated up by the HVAC system. This location also keeps the UV light directed horizontally rather than being projected down on the room’s occupants, thus helping to alleviate concerns about damage to their skin and eyes — more about that aspect in a moment.

Read the rest of the article here.