How UV Light Kills Bacteria


If you ever wondered how UV light kills bacteria, search no more. You’re in the right spot. Ultraviolet light, through the sanitization process and packed into the right device(I would mention here UV air purifiers, ultraviolet wands, toothbrush sanitizers or UV phone sanitizers), can be used to kill germs and bacteria.

Bacteria are a group of single-celled microorganisms that reproduce through cell division. Among other things, bacteria cause fermentation, diseases, and sepsis. The single cell property of bacteria makes it be destroyed or sterilized by UV light. Since the main form of reproduction in bacteria is through cell division, any alteration in the structure or segment of the cell can influence the cell division process.

Ultraviolet (UV) light is a type of light, invisible to the human eye, that exists on the electromagnetic spectrum between X-beams and visible light and which travels in vacuum with the same speed of light equal to c. We are presented with low levels of UV light from the sun’s beams each day, although the ozone layer consumes a significant part of the UV energy. The UV light has three different bands depending on the wavelength; the UV-A, UV-B and UV-C light spectrums. This spectrum differs in their wavelengths.

Shortwave (UV-C) radiation has a potent germ-killing effect. It causes erythema and ophthalmitis (pink eye). Low-weight mercury release can produce this radiation. The nature and the impacts of this radiation and the application are described in the section bellow. Ultraviolet radiation with a wavelength shorter than 200nm is called vacuum UV.


Germicidal UV Light-Powered Products


Why to use UV light to kill bacteria?

UVC wavelengths are in between 200 and 300 nanometers, making them germicidal – meaning they are fit for inactivating microorganisms, for example, bacteria, viruses, and protozoa. This quality makes UVC energy an effective, environment-friendly and chemical-free approach to killing dangerous microorganisms in any condition; yet particularly in healing facilities that contain tranquilize safe superbugs including MRSA and C. diff.


How UV Light Kills Bacteria

To understand Ultraviolet Germicidal Irradiation (UV light bacteria killing effect), it’s imperative first to understand what ultraviolet light is. Ultraviolet light is the light between X-Rays and Visible Infrared on the light spectrum, with wavelengths between 100 nanometers and 400 nanometers. Ultraviolet is additionally divided into three distinct bands: UV-C, which ranges from 100 to 280 nanometers; UV-B, running from 280 nm to 315 nm; and UV-A, which finishes off that segment of the spectrum from 315nm to 400 nm.

The UV-C wavelength range is the germicidal part of the ultraviolet light area of the light spectrum which can deactivate the DNA in viruses and bacteria, successfully taking out the chances of reproduction and in this manner illness(more and more air purifiers are implementing a UV feature for killing or stopping bacteria to multiply inside the devices). All the more granularly, the nucleic acid in the cells of an infection ends up noticeably harmed by the ultraviolet light because of the formation of covalent bonds. When this happens, the bacteria’s DNA can’t duplicate itself; subsequently, it can’t reproduce and in this way dies.

Mutation is a genetic variation in the base grouping of DNA. Ultraviolet (UV) light kills cells by harming their DNA. The light initiates the reaction between two particles of thymine, one of the bases that make up DNA. The subsequent thymine dimer is extremely stable. However repair of this type of DNA damage- more often than not by extracting or removing the two bases and filling in the gaps with new nucleotides – is somewhat possible and effective. All things considered, it breaks down when the harm is extensive.

Ultraviolet (UV) light, applies its mutagenic impact by energizing electrons in particles. The excitation of electrons in DNA particles frequently brings about the formation of additional bonds between adjacent pyrimidine (particularly thymine) in DNA. Whenever two pyrimidines are bound together along these lines, it is known as a pyrimidine dimer. These dimers frequently change the state of the DNA in the cell and can lead to problems during replication. The cell regularly tries to repair pyrimidine dimers before replication. However, the repair mechanism can prompt mutations too.

The more the exposure to UV light, the more thymine dimers are formed in the DNA and the more prominent the danger of an off base repair or a “missed” dimer. On the off chance that cellular procedures are disrupted on account of an erroneous repair or remaining damage, the cell can’t complete its normal functions. Now, there is two likely outcomes, contingent upon the degree and area of the harm. If the harm is not very extensive, dangerous or precancerous cells are created from healthy cells. If it is far reaching, the cell will die.


What type of UV light is used to kill bacteria?

As stipulated before, UV light has three wavelength classes: UVA, UVB, and UVC. UVC is the main Ultraviolet light wavelength known to be germicidal. UVC uses short-wavelength ultraviolet radiation (shorter than UVB and UVA, which are NOT germicidal) that is hurtful to microorganisms.

Broad Spectrum UV Disinfections regularly claims to be more successful than short wavelength UVC, in any case, wastes a lot of energy with no reported increment inadequacy – just short wavelength UV produces a good amount of energy necessary to kill microorganisms effectively.



At the point when compared with other techniques for disinfecting bacteria UV light is much better as shown below:

  • UV purification is a chemical-free process and doesn’t leave any residue behind.
  • UV requires no transportation and storage or handling of harmful or corrosive chemicals.
  • No-touch automated sterilization and eliminates human mistakes in the cleansing process.
  • Other gadgets require movement or multiple positioning adding to workflow and reducing productivity.
  • Other strategies for bacteria sterilization introduces other chemicals or human mistakes in the cleaning process.


Therefore UV light is intended to kill bacteria in an efficient way. The light Minimizes microbial develop on loop and dry skillet and counteracts it from leading to airborne infections. UV light also improves air flow.


Germicidal Ultraviolet

Germicidal UVC innovation is better than conventional germicidal strategies for sterilizing bacteria. There are many benefits of germicidal technology, as stated below:


Benefits of UVC Germicidal Technology

Complies with Strict Local Codes and Regulations:

UV Germicidal is naturally well disposed and chemical free. Dissimilar to germicidal chemicals, there are no destructive materials and no disinfection by-products (DBPs).


Safer Technology:

Germicidal lights utilize UVC light to sterilize bacteria, mold, organisms, and viruses. There are none of the safety risks related to the utilization of hazardous chemicals.


Cost Effective:

UV germicidal innovation is easy to work and maintain. The lights are energy proficient and enduring, and their minimal plan makes retrofitting straightforward.


Germicidal Lamps

UV Lamps can generate UV-C light. UV Lamps are referred to as Germicidal Lamps. Germicidal UV lamp purification has a long history, and it is used for air purification, water treatment in aquarium UV sterilizers, and surface disinfection purposes. It is a cost-effective, environmentally-friendly solution. Its effectiveness is related to intensity and exposure time. Ultraviolet germicidal lamps are low-pressure mercury vapor lamps that are generating ultraviolet light by electrical discharge. The produced Ultraviolet light has a lethal effect on micro-organisms. Ultraviolet light is used in industrial and residential applications to purify water, air, and surfaces.

The effectiveness of UV Lamp is bounded by ambient temperature because of the inherent characteristics of the mercury. The most optimum ambient temperature range for standard low-pressure UV lamp is between 65-85 degrees F or 18-29 degrees C. This means that if the ambient temperature goes below or above this range, the effectiveness of the UV light intensity decreases. Depending on the application(ex: ultraviolet wands) the UV lamps are normally protected inside of a glass tube to avoid large temperature changes.


Safety measures for operation of UV lights

It’s known that ultraviolet light has bacteria killing properties. Shockingly, its usefulness is restricted since it additionally harms us. In any case, now analysts have built up a high intensity, narrow spectrum wavelength that is sufficiently safe.

The impact of UV radiation overexposure relies on upon UV amounts, wavelength, a bit of body uncovered, and the affectability of the person. Overexposure of the eyes may lead to painful irritation, a coarse sensation, and additionally tears within three to twelve hours. Overexposure of the skin will produce sunburns between one to eight hours. Certain medication can make an individual more responsive to UV light.


High Intensity, Narrow Spectrum (HINS) light works by energizing atoms in bacteria to toxic levels, actuating bacterial suicide. Since it’s innocuous to people, it can be joined into lighting, keeping regions always sterile.

The analysts, from the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow, additionally foreseen that individuals may not enjoy living in a purple-tinted world, so they’ve made sense of how to consolidate it with LED innovation for a hotter, more wonderful gleam.

From above, it’s quite ok for you to use UV light in sanitizing bacteria. Notwithstanding, if no ozone creating UV-C lights are utilized, skin and eye assurance are required. In many cases, we cannot prevent people from being exposed to some harmful UV radiations. High power UV radiation can hurt eyes cornea, lenses, and retina. Unfortunately, damaged eyes show effects like strong lacrimation or the inclination some remote body scratches in the eye just a short time later. Consult an eye expert, if any of these side effects appears. UV-C radiation can likewise bring about sunburn. Normally this sunburn vanishes following 1-2 days.

The penetration depth of UV-C radiation is low. Hence they are considered harmless and friendly to the human body.



For us to be exceptionally safe when using UV light powered tools, the accompanying recommendations are suitable:

  • Turn off unused UV sources
  • Never look into an UV source directly with no face protector.
  • Do not look into reflected UV radiation that originates from a metal mirror or cleaned metal surfaces while working beside an UV source, always wear safety goggles and gloves
  • Regularly wipe cool, unlit UV light globules with a delicate material moistened with liquor. (Dust particles can reduce the adequacy of an UV light.)
  • Do not touch an UV globule with your bare hands. The common oils on your hand may leave a fingerprint and create dead space on the bulbs’ surface.
  • Paint walls are utilizing UV absorbing paints. UV radiation can be reduced if the room is painted with UV absorbing paint.


Germicidal UV Light Applications

This property can be applied in air purification. UVC lamps kill mold, the airborne allergens, bacteria, viruses and protozoa in your home or office. Thousands have installed UVC lamps in clinics, hospitals, manufacturing, offices and family residences all around the world. By using ultraviolet germicidal light they now enjoy the healthiest air to breathe.

Many people have paid a service company to clean the ducts in their home or office and have looked at the mess that is inside the ducts. Harsh chemicals are needed to even begin to take control of this problem. Why wouldn’t bacteria and mold grow? It’s a perfect environment – moist and just the right temperature.

There is a solution to these problems. No more harsh chemicals needed. Installing UVC germicidal fixtures will not harm offices or residences and do not produce ozone or any other contaminants. Your coils and ducts will be kept clean 24/7. This allows the air circulating system to run like new, at maximum efficiency. This lowers maintenance and energy costs and increases the life of the blower motor.

The saving could be in the thousands of dollars in your utility bills and maintenance repair costs. The improvement in your air quality is unsurpassed. Your UVC germicidal fixture eliminates bad order and the buildup of that slimy mess caused by molds and bacteria.

Let’s not forget the need for good air filters. Efficiency with your UVC germicidal fixture depends on the removal of dust and other particles. At this point, your UVC light sterilizes the microorganisms rendering them unable to reproduce. No more moldy odor or messy build up in your air circulating system. This eliminates the need for flammable and dangerous toxic chemicals. Besides, using these chemicals is usually only a surface cleaning and actually forcing the mold and gunk deep inside the coils. The smell and odor returns. Most likely you will have to replace the coils to cure the problem.

Eliminate this recurring expense and frustration by installing a UVC germicidal fixture. That will put money in your hand and the provide the purest air possible to breathe.



The truth is that Germicidal UV has been used for more than one decade in the Medical industry. Because of their ability to destroy micro-organisms (Viruses, bacteria, germs).The Industrial and Medical fields have found UV light to be very dependable, and they can be easily fixed. This is a plus, and you will continue to see them available for personal use as well, more and more.

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Passionate about everything that shines, settled down on UV(ultraviolet) lights. I'm motivated and with a mission to help people live a better life!

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  1. My issues is that you need at least 2 hours of UV light to kill mold, then you need to clean that up, residue is a important factor of future mycotoxins issues!

    How can you kill mold within a duct system that runs continuously and in the case of a HRV (heat recovery ventilator) that brings in air from outside 24/7?

    I’ll have more info soon!


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