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How Does UV Light Work?

UV disinfection devices can clean surfaces and protect people from viruses, bacteria, and other pathogens. The devices can be suitable for homes, workplaces, schools, and hospitals. UV disinfectant tools can sanitize surfaces in a few minutes.

How Does UV Light Work?

UV light disinfects surfaces by acting on pathogens’ DNA and RNA — genetic materials that facilitate microbes’ growth, development, and reproduction. UV light’s electromagnetic energy speeds up the cross-linking of these genetic materials, causing cellular damage and preventing pathogens from functioning and replicating. UV light disinfectants can contain the following spectrum lights:

  • UV-A: It can stimulate the oxidation process, which results in the cell death of pathogens
  • UV-B: This light can reduce bacteria on a surface
  • UV-C: This is the strongest light, responsible for killing mold, fungi, and viruses

Disinfectants that harness the three types of UV light are the most effective in killing pathogens and microorganisms like fungi.

How Fast Does UV Light Work?

UV light disinfectants are ideal for disinfecting living, working, and public spaces as they kill pathogens fast. Some real-world tests have shown that far-UVC disinfection lamps can reduce microbes in a full-sized room by up to 98% in five minutes. The time frame can differ depending on the bacteria you’re dealing with and the distance between the UV light and the pathogens.

UV Light Disinfection Options

UV disinfection devices can be portable or permanent. Permanent devices can be installed near your HVAC system’s evaporator coil to help the UV rays sanitize the air as it passes through your HVAC.

You can also choose upper-room ultraviolet germicidal irradiation (UVGI) systems if you don’t have a mechanical HVAC system or aren’t sure your facility will have adequate airflow. Upper-room UVGI systems should be custom designed and installed by qualified UV system manufacturers and HVAC professionals. The CDC recommends two-to-three UVGI systems for a 500 square foot room for maximum impact.

Some permanent UV devices have automatic functions, so you only need to set the most convenient time for disinfection and wait for your disinfectant to sanitize your facility.

When’s the Best Time for Disinfection Cycles To Occur?

Institutions like schools and offices are best disinfected at night or when they’re least busy. Most UV sanitizing devices allow you to set a timer so you can have it run during the night or at a convenient time, then they can turn off when you come back to school or the office.

Which Facilities Would Benefit From UV Disinfectants?

Here are areas that can benefit from UV light disinfection:


Schools and universities have a high risk of virus and germ outbreaks because of their large populations. School administrators can combat pathogens by installing UV light sanitizers in commonly used areas like classrooms, bathrooms, libraries, nurses’ clinics, and cafeterias. Disinfecting these areas can limit germ spread among students, teaching staff, and support staff.

Athletic Facilities

Athletes who share workout equipment or are involved in contact sports are at a high risk of spreading germs in athletic facilities. UV light disinfectants can kill germs and protect people who frequent your facility. You can use disinfectants in shower stalls, cardio rooms, yoga studios, and locker rooms. To maximize your athletes’ safety, disinfect weights, cardio machines, and workout mats.


Hotels offer services to people from different areas who may carry germs that can affect your establishment’s safety. To keep your hotel safe, you can use a UV light disinfectant unit to disinfect dining areas, cooking areas, rooms, and shared spaces like gyms.

First Responder Spaces

You can protect first responders from pathogens by using UV disinfectants on their spaces. Such spaces include emergency response vehicles, call centers, living quarters, and break rooms. Disinfecting these spaces can limit germ spread among people who come into contact with first responders, some of whom may have compromised immune systems.


Disinfecting spaces and equipment in medical facilities is key to keeping patients safe. You should disinfect patient rooms, bathrooms, nurse stations, reception spaces, doctor’s offices, and surgical equipment before use.

Invest in a UV Disinfectant

A UV disinfectant is the perfect addition to your home and workplace as it can kill pathogens and other microorganisms. Shared spaces like schools, hospitals, hotels, and athletic facilities can also benefit from UV disinfectants. UV light can disinfect spaces in minutes, making it one of the fastest-acting disinfection choices.

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