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NLB Annual Lighting Forum: The Year of Artificial Sunlight UV

The NLB held a panel discussion as part of the NLB Annual Lighting Forum. The topic of this discussion was about UV light and its recent boom in popularity. The discussion was moderated by Randy Reid, Executive Director of the NLB, and featured the following experts:

  • Jim Colantoni, Puro Lighting
  • Kevin Matthews, Signify
  • Robert Soler, BIOS Lighting

The discussion started off with specifying the difference between UV-A, UV-B, and UV-C. UV-A is what really penetrates our skin and causes aging and skin damage. UV-B causes things like redness and skin cancer. UV-C is where there are the most germicidal effects, the leading reason why UV light has become so popular. The risks and danger of utilizing UV-C is discussed in detail amongst the experts as the proper design and use of UV light is vital in order for it to be a good disinfectant solution.

The standards and safety certifications that are available for projects that install UV light are touched upon and the importance of them are stressed. The increasing use of UV disinfection in offices and other occupational spaces in response to COVID-19 calls for stricter regulation according to Jim Colantoni. He believes multiple different safety organizations like OSHA should step in and ensure proper usage of UV. Robert Soler talks about how dosage and different types of UV need to be regulated and managed by informed entities.

Safety is a topic that repeatedly appeared in the discussion, as all experts agreed that proper monitoring and controls is vital. Robert Soler brought up an interesting point, saying that when people start experiencing negative effects due to misuse, the population will begin to think all UV is bad and UV technology will die out. This cause and effect relationship between technology and consumer use will play a significant role in the future of commercial UV disinfection.

As the discussion winded down, the experts were asked to look to the future on UV disinfection and what that will look like in 10 years. The experts agreed that it will be present in some capacity but were skeptical to the high prevalence and degree of implementation that some have suggested. Kevin Mathews believes that it depends on whether or not more viruses and diseases show up in the coming years will largely dictate the prevalence of UV-C.

Watch and listen to the full panel discussion here:

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