Aug. 2020 - Happy Home, Healthy Home

Posted by Amy Wommack on Wednesday, October 21, 2020


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Issue No. 115






August 2020



Healthy Home, Happy Home


Protect the Ones You Love


Get the Facts about Ultraviolet Germicidal Devices

Ultraviolet germicidal devices are rapidly entering the consumer market due to increased demand for sanitizing and germicidal capabilities in the face of COVID-19. But are they all safe? Such UV germicidal products may or may not be effective and when used improperly can cause damage to eyes and skin as well as to pets, house plants and home furnishings.

To explain the potential health risks, the American Lighting Association (ALA), National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) and UL worked together to provide important safety information about UV-emitting lighting.

A new document, “Ultraviolet-C (UVC) germicidal devices: what consumers need to know,” is one of the first official guidelines for consumers who currently have no assurances of device effectiveness or the risks of over-exposure from devices that do not provide proper containment of UVC emissions.

For more information about germicidal UV lighting, see ALA’s additional GUV Information Resources, or consult with a lighting expert at an ALA-member showroom. Find residential lighting design and buying tips at

Key Points to Know

  • The COVID-19 virus can only be destroyed by directly exposing it to ultraviolet light in the UVC part of the spectrum which ranges from 200 – 280 nanometers (nm).
  • LEDs which generate UVC radiation are in development, but currently expensive and not generally available for today’s germicidal products.
  • Disinfection = (UVC Intensity) X (Exposure Time). It is difficult to determine if any portable UV product, such as an ultraviolet wand, is effective if it is just moved around randomly near objects and surfaces. Direct exposure is also required. UVC light is not visible to the human eye, and when reflected from most surfaces does not destroy germs.
  • Effective and safe UVC disinfection products that can be used in homes include UVC lamp assemblies built into HVAC ducts and permanently mounted wall and ceiling fixtures that direct their UVC light toward the ceiling and are positioned so that no direct light reaches room occupants or sensitive surfaces and materials.
  • UVC germicidal products can be tested and certified for fire and electrical safety using existing UL and CSA standards, however, there is no product certification and testing process for germicidal effectiveness or human safety from germicidal UV exposure.



The best ideas are in Lighting magazine. Pick up a copy of the 2020 issue, now on newsstands and in ALA-member showrooms. The new magazine features all the latest styles and tips for how to create a beautiful home.

Stop by a nearby ALA-member showroom for a free copy of Lighting magazine or get a digital copy at


American Lighting Association

2020 N. Stemmons Frwy., Unit 100

Dallas, TX  75207



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2050 North Stemmons Freeway, Dallas, TX 75207


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