Additional FAQ's about UV and Nexos Intelligent Disinfection

See frequently asked questions about UV lighting for disinfection below or visit our UV Intelligent Disinfection page to learn more about how our IoT platform, Nexos, enables automated and safe disinfection.

Lighting Fixture

Process

Software

Installation

Regulation

General UVC Questions 

 

Lighting Fixture

Where is the lighting fixture manufactured? Is this the only fixture available with the Nexos Intelligent Disinfection solution?

The lighting fixture is manufactured the United States and is currently the only fixture available through Igor for the Nexos Intelligent Disinfection solution. Igor is manufacturer-agnostic and is open to working with other lighting manufacturers who may provide different fixture styles and types for this purpose – if their fixtures have been tested for efficacy.

Igor partnered with the leader in UVC LED chip technology, Crystal IS, as our LED diode supplier.  Crystal IS was founded in 1997 by Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute professors, Leo Schowalter and Glen Slack. RPI is well known in the lighting industry and Crystal IS is well known in the disinfection community.  Visit the Crystal IS website for another great resource to learn about UVC disinfection and research on the technology.

 

Can I source a different UVC light fixture for my project?

Yes, you are welcomed to use your own lighting supplier for a project. Please coordinate with your Igor representative or business development director to ensure that it meets our requirements for control.

Can this (UVC) be in the same light as a normal LED light?

In theory, yes, it is possible for one light to have both UVC sanitizing lights and normal white-tunable LED lights, but until one is commercially available, installations will require a separate fixture for UVC lighting. 

Process

How do I know if intelligent disinfection is occurring?

Since you cannot see UVC light, the Nexos Intelligent Disinfection solution provides additional indicators to make it clear that sanitization is in effect. There are colored lights integrated into the UVC light fixture so that when the UVC light is on, so is the purple lighting. Additionally, a wall control on the inside and outside of the space will change to a purple background and state that the disinfection is in process. Additionally, one can add the use of a beacon light that makes an audible warning sound as the countdown to disinfection is occurring to make it clear to anyone in the vicinity that UVC lights are about to be triggered.

Is there an immediate deactivation if someone happens to enter the room/area?

There are sensors for occupancy and door closures. If any sensors indicate a door has been opened or motion has been detected, the system immediately shuts down in that space. These sensors also must indicate the space is ready to begin disinfecting to get started.

If you must stop disinfection, do you have to restart from 0 for another 90-minute period or is there a short time upon resuming.

As of today, if a cycle is interrupted, the process will begin from the beginning the next time it is initiated. We recommend keeping the restart from 0 if the process was interrupted, as an interruption could indicate potential contamination, such as someone walking into the room.

Do the existing lights need to be off when these UV fixtures are on?

This is not required; however, the current process will turn off normal lights within the space and turn on colored lighting to indicate the process is running. It will then resume the state of normal lights as they were previous once it completes.

 

Software

Is there a maximum number of remote/fixed switches the gateway can support?

There are no artificial limits to how many switches, devices, or fixtures that can be connected to the Igor system.

Can we use a computer other than the NUC?

Yes. Our software operates on Windows 10 or Windows Server 2016 and higher. Clients are more than welcome to provide their own server, physical or virtual.

Does the node know if the light stops working?

The Igor PoE nodes all have built-in power monitoring which is recorded on a minutely basis by the Gateway server. If we see a drop in power draw from one of the nodes that's powering a UVC fixture when it is supposed to be on, then the software alerts the user to the issue and the specific fixture of concern.

 

How do I know if the UVC lighting is effective?

From a UVC light verification standpoint, there are several simple devices such as cards and beads that change color when exposed to UV light in addition to more advanced sensors that can be used. Each kitted solution will include two color-changing printed dosimeter cards to test UVC exposure after installation.

How are the analog sensors added or wired into the system? Are you integrated into the BMS over BACnet IP Data?

Most analog sensors can connect directly to Igor nodes without the need of a BMS or BACnet. We do have a separate BACnet IP integration that is available should that be necessary.

 

Installation

Do I have to buy a package, or can I get it custom designed for my space?

Package pricing is available for most standard room options, if you want a custom design, please work with your Igor reseller, installer, or business development partner to find a solution that works best for you. Using our package pricing is the most cost-effective way to quickly install this technology in your space, but it is not the only way.

Can you guarantee its effectiveness?

UVC lighting, based on extensive scientific research, is a highly effective way of killing or neutralizing viruses, mold, and bacteria. However, we cannot guarantee it will prevent or stop the spread of all illnesses, even with perfect usage. As with all solutions to the current pandemic and spread of illnesses, this product significantly minimizes the risk of virus spread, but it does not fully eliminate that risk. Use Nexos Intelligent Disinfection with other safety protocols - such as hand sanitizing stations, social distancing, alternating work from home schedules, and more - to maximize its effectiveness.

How do I buy this product?

Contact your Igor reseller, distributor, or Igor business development director for more information. If you are unsure of who that is, reach out to us and we will make sure you are connected quickly!

How do you commission Nexos Intelligent Disinfection?

This system will come pre-kitted and as pre-commissioned as possible. Our intent is to make the installation totally plug-and-play and simple.

 

Regulations

Is the Nexos Intelligent Disinfection CE compliant?

Yes, our hardware is CE compliant. This includes the Nexos Linear Nodes which debuted in 2019, in addition to the Rev. 5 Nodes in the square form factor. From our standard kitted Intelligent Disinfection bill of materials, everything has CE certification. If customized, it will be up to the client and Igor’s teams to work together to ensure all components are CE certified.

General UVC Questions

Is being exposed to UVC lighting like being in the sun?

Yes, but UVC is much more intense and burns can happen much more quickly. "Accidental overexposure to UVC can cause corneal burns, commonly termed welders' flash, and snow blindness, a severe sunburn to the face. While UVC injury usually clears up in a day or two, it can be extremely painful." UVC exposure can therefore cause painful damage to the eye and other parts of the body. The powerful UVC rays can break through human skin and interfere with DNA. As mentioned earlier, UVC lighting has the potential to deactivate the DNA of bacteria, viruses, and pathogens. UVC lighting can have a range of effects on humans, depending on how long individuals are exposed to the light, and the wavelength they are exposed to. UVC lighting can cause painful burns to human skin, and potentially cause skin cancer with longer exposure, as UVC is a known carcinogen for human skin.

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How long do the UVC lights last?

A typical UVC light appears to last around 9,000 operating hours. This number varies slightly based on a number of factors, but, "as a rule of thumb, anything over the 9,000-hour range has to decrease UVC lamp effectiveness." Be sure to abide by the instructions provided with your UVC lamp to ensure maximal safety and efficacy.

Source

Does UVC disinfect pathogens in the air as well as on surfaces?

As mentioned earlier, anything directly in the path of the UVC light source will be disinfected. See the previous question about the reflective debate. 

Aside from COVID-19, what other pathogens does UVC lighting inactivate?

It is proven that UVC light will kill any DNA-based microorganism given enough UV dosage. UVC lighting goes beyond COVID-19 and can deactivate pathogens that cause influenza, MRSA, the common cold, E. coli, infectious hepatitis, salmonella, and more. Essentially, given enough time, UVC lighting can kill any bacteria, mold, protozoa, or virus!

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Are the terms inactivate, kill, disinfect, and sterilize the same in terms of what the lighting does to pathogens?

Yes, these terms are all related. Killing bacteria disinfects, and therefore eventually sterilizes a surface. A sterile surface is one that is completely disinfected. Viruses are generally not considered living, so the term usually used in scientific papers is to “deactivate” viruses. Killing bacteria and deactivating viruses on surfaces results in sterile, or disinfected, surfaces.

What is UVC and is it the same as GUV?

Essentially, yes. UVC is a type of ultraviolet light with wavelengths from 200 to 280 nm. GUV light is germicidal ultraviolet light. It deactivates the DNA of bacteria, viruses, and other pathogens, destroying their ability to multiply and cause further disease. UV light has germicidal properties, and since UVC light falls within the UV spectrum, UVC light is germicidal (GUV). Because of how sensitive DNA is, only UVC light demonstrates significant germicidal properties - is why UVC light is used in sanitization!

Does UVC deactivate COVID-19?

Yes, UVC lighting, when used properly, is highly effective in killing microorganisms and deactivating viruses, including SARS-CoV-2 at the 254nm radiation. UVC radiation deactivate pathogens by damaging their DNA. It always works – for any microbe, virus, fungus, or spore – it is just a matter of dose.

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What factors influence the dose of UVC lighting needed to deactivate COVID-19?

The dose depends on the UVC wavelength, the type of pathogen, the environment around the pathogen, and the aerosol droplet size with the virus inside. If the virus is in a droplet or coated in a material, it may be harder to deactivate.

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What is the difference between a maintenance dose of UVC versus a medical or clinical dose?

Clinical disinfection can also be referred to as providing a clinical or medical dose of UVC for sanitization purposes. Typically, this results in a 6+ log reduction in the virus’ presence. For practical purposes, this often occurs overnight because to achieve a clinical or medical dose of UVC lighting requires longer time periods, sometimes up to two hours depending on the lighting used. Maintenance doses are not strictly defined or regulated. Usually, this means that the disinfecting lighting is used in shorter spurts during the day, often in as little as 15 minutes. In disinfection terms, something is better than nothing and the spaces undergoing maintenance doses will still see significant reductions in viruses and bacteria present.

What are the effects of UVC on fabrics and plastics? Is the effect like exposure to sunlight?

Most effects that sunlight has on materials such as plastics and fabrics are caused by the UV component of sunlight (as outlined in the IESNA handbook). However, it is important to note that only about 10% of sunlight is ultraviolet light, of which only about 1/3 can penetrate the earth’s atmosphere and therefore reach the ground. So, in essence, “pure” UVC light is an exponentially heightened sunlight response.

These UVC fixtures are only on and used for 1.5 to 2 hours per day, depending on situational requirements. It will take extended exposure over several years to see any noticeable degradation much in the way you would see fading after years of sunlight exposure. UVC radiation is more damaging to some polymers than others, but new research is needed to ensure a good lifetime for common interior materials.

“Based on several decades of use, experience has shown that within a few exceptions, the UV induced damages tend to remain superficial and do not generally affect the structural or mechanical integrity of thick plastic components. For critical components such as exposed electrical wire direct insulation coating, it is recommended to cover the wires with aluminum tape or run the wires inside protective metallic rigid or flex conduits according to good practice and general electrical codes prescriptions. Rubbers in general such as motor belts and conduits used in the HVAC industry have proven to stand germicidal UV very well over the last 20 years of cumulated field experience.

Screens of many electronic devices can be affected by UV degradation due to the grade of plastic used and the very thin film generally used. For such devices, protection is easily achieved by installing with a simple glass window of 3 mm thickness over the screen. Transmittivity of common amorphous glass approaches zero for below 370 nm wavelength.”

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Does the disinfection process create ozone that needs to be removed prior to occupation of the room?

If you use LED UVC lighting or properly designed UVC lamps, you do not need to worry about producing ozone. Ozone generation is not an issue for UVC LEDs as the wavelength is too long to produce Ozone. Mercury lamps, Excimer sources, and Xenon bulbs are usually not an issue if they are properly designed and made from the right materials.

In properly designed lamps, only mercury or xenon lamps with Vacuum UV can produce ozone. They operate in the 100-200nm range, where it can produce ozone. UVC, conversely, reaches its optimal germicidal strength near 253.7nm. Because ozone may only be produced below 200nm, at 253.7nm (rounded to 254nm), the germicidal wavelength does not generate ozone.

In addition to the stronger 254nm wavelength that does not produce ozone, UV-C lamps offer another layer of ozone protection. Most germicidal lamps are produced with doped quartz glass, which blocks the transmission of the 185nm ozone-producing wavelength. The doped quartz glass allows the 253.7nm radiation to pass through, but it blocks the 185nm wavelength from escaping. Therefore, germicidal lamps with doped glass CANNOT produce ozone.

Some UVC manufactures add UVV into their devices as an added tool for sanitation, and therefore do produce ozone, but this is disclosed with the product.

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Do you need to remove pets and animals from a room when disinfection is occurring with UVC lighting?

Although humans may be more sensitive to UVC lighting, animals clearly demonstrate sensitivity as well, and it is important to ensure that your animals or pets are not in the direct path of your UVC light source. They will likely be safe if they are not in the direct pathway, as UVC does not reflect off any surface. Additionally, it may be harder to prevent an animal from moving quickly into the path of light, so it is important to ensure that they are at a safe and controlled distance from your UVC source.

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Is UVC technology new?

No, UVC technology has been around for decades. It has been used in hospitals and surgical suites more extensively in the past 15 years.

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