Germicidal Ultraviolet Light

There is a great deal of interest in the use of ultraviolet light to mitigate germs and viruses. The technology of germicidal lighting is referred to as germicidal UV, or GUV. Technically, the GUV spectrum is defined as UV-C. While the UV-C part of the spectrum is an effective killer of COVID-19 and similar viruses, it must be used carefully to be both effective and safe. Information on this site is compiled to help promote the safe and effective use of GUV in residential settings.



See a quick guide to UV light, or scroll down for a deeper dive into the topic.

Germicidal Ultraviolet Light - Technology Newsletter

April 2020

April 22, 2020
As an industry that is being significantly impacted from the ramifications of COVID-19, it is important to gauge the opportunities in front of us and how we can differentiate our businesses moving forward. Our top priority is to do everything we can to help our members and the lighting industry remain healthy, both in body and business.
And, lastly, some cautions:
  • Insist upon and read carefully all GUV product safety and caution notices. If none are provided, ask the manufacturer. If you feel the information provided is incomplete or hard to understand, consider not using the product.
  • Germicidal lighting works only via line-of-sight. Reflected light does not kill germs because most reflecting surfaces in homes absorb the critical UV-C wavelengths.
  • Exposure matters. Exposure = Intensity x Time. Like sunburn, damage to skin and eyes results from being exposed for too long to the light source. GUV exposures, however, are likely to be measured in seconds and minutes, not hours.
GUV is a good way to help control the spread of the COVID-19 virus. Learn the facts to apply it effectively and safely. Be safe and well.
Terry McGowan, FIES, LC
Dir. of Engineering & Technology
American Lighting Association

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