UV light in LED strip lighting is possible with today's technology and its small size and flexibility allows many applications. Let's start with the basics.
What is UV light?
Ultraviolet (UV) light is a part of the electromagnetic spectrum that lies between visible light and X-rays. It is invisible to the human eye but has significant effects on the environment and many applications.
LED-ribbon and UV light
LED strip lighting has become an increasingly popular lighting solution in recent years. They are energy efficient, durable and versatile, making them an attractive option for both domestic and commercial lighting. There is also a growing demand for UV-emitting LED strip lighting for industrial, disinfection and entertainment applications.
Features and benefits of UV light
Different wavelengths and invisibility
UV light has a shorter wavelength than visible light and its spectrum is divided into three subcategories: UVA (320-400 nm), UVB (280-320 nm) and UVC (100-280 nm) radiation. Although UV light is invisible to the human eye, it produces a fluorescent effect on some substances and can cause the ""black light effect"", known as the ""black light effect"" in gloss paintings. Ledstore offers a 260-265mn UVC led light strip.
Sterilisation and disinfection
The main application of UV light is sterilization and disinfection. In particular, UVC radiation has an effective ability to kill bacteria, viruses and other micro-organisms, making it widely used in applications such as hospitals, the food industry and air purifiers.
UV-LED strip lighting is highly energy efficient and has a long lifetime. They can save energy and money compared to traditional UV lamps. Moreover, thanks to LED technology, the intensity of the light can be adjusted as needed.
The UVA radiation range of the UV-Led light strip creates light effects that are used in events and restaurants.
UV light in LED light-strip
When choosing an UV strip light, it is important to select the right wavelength for the application. For example, disinfection requires more powerful UVC radiation, while for entertainment use only UVA radiation is sufficient. LedStore's UV-led light strip contains UVA (390-410nm) and UVC (260-265nm) wavelengths, so the same led light strip will provide the desired wavelength depending on the connection.
Most UV led strip lights emit UVA radiation, which is less harmful to humans and the environment. These strip lights are often used in theatres, nightclubs and various events to create special lighting effects and highlight fluorescent materials. UVA radiation is the gentlest form of ultraviolet radiation and is included in the sunlight we are exposed to every day. UVA makes up about 95% of all UV radiation reaching the Earth and has wavelengths between 320 and 400 nanometres (nm). Although UVA radiation is less energy intensive than UVB or UVC radiation, it still has effects in different regions. These include:
Tanning of the skin: UVA radiation hitting the skin stimulates skin melanocytes to produce more of the colour pigment melanin. This forms a tan, which is actually our body's defence mechanism, providing protection from more harmful UVB radiation. Typically, tanning beds use around 100 to 200 watts per square metre to achieve an effective tan.
Light therapy: UVA radiation can be used in combination with medication to treat skin conditions such as psoriasis, atopic dermatitis and vitiligo. This is because UVA radiation has anti-inflammatory and anti-cell growth effects. In phototherapy for skin diseases, such as PUVA (Psoralen + UVA) therapy, the UVA light output per square metre can be between 20 and 100 watts per square metre.
Fluorescence phenomenon: UVA radiation can cause some substances to fluoresce, i.e. glow different colours. This property is used in theatres, nightclubs, events, etc. to create different lighting effects and to highlight certain materials. The UVA light used for lighting effects in theatres, nightclubs or other events can be between 10 and 40 watts per square metre. This varies greatly depending on the space and the desired effect.
Photochemical reactions: the energy of UVA radiation can cause photochemical reactions such as photocatalytic processes or photopolymerisation. These reactions are exploited in many industrial applications, such as light curing and photocopiers. Industrial applications, such as photocatalysis and photopolymerisation processes, typically require around 10 to 60 watts per square metre. This estimate varies greatly depending on the process and requirements of the application, and further experiments and measurements are required for optimisation according to each process.
All estimates given are rough and may vary from application to application. It is recommended to follow the guidance and recommendations of industry experts in determining the UVA light output for each application. LedStore does not manufacture medical devices.
UVC light strips
UV light strips contain UVC radiation, which is highly effective for disinfection and sterilization. These light strips are ideal for hospitals, laboratories and the food industry, where hygiene is very important. The 260-265 nm wavelength therefore falls within the UVC spectrum, which is renowned for its ability to destroy bacteria and viruses. The effectiveness of UVC radiation in removing bacteria from surfaces depends on a number of factors, including the intensity of the radiation, the duration of exposure, the type of bacteria and the thickness of the plane at which the bacteria are present. In general, effective bacterial destruction requires a UVC radiation intensity of about 30-100 milliwatts per square metre (mW/cm²) and an exposure time of several seconds to minutes. This means that effectiveness can vary greatly depending on the conditions and the level of bacterial destruction required.
Safety and site considerations
Exposure to UV light can have adverse health effects, so special attention must be paid to safety. UV strip lighting should be sited to ensure that people are not overexposed, and UVC lamps should only be used when the area is unoccupied.
Environmental and health impacts
Environmental impact of uv-light
Because UV light strips are energy efficient, they reduce both energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions. In addition, LED technology generates less waste and contains fewer harmful substances than traditional fluorescent and mercury lamps.
Protecting the user from the harmful effects of UV radiation
The harmful health effects of UV radiation can be minimised by following safety recommendations. For example, a strip light can be protected by a housing or Plexiglas, and by keeping living areas far enough away from strip lights that use UVC to kill bacteria, thereby reducing human exposure to radiation. UVC led strip lights are therefore target lights used to disinfect surfaces and objects. Not for continuous use while people are on the premises.