What is UV Light Used For?

UV Light is a Leading Disinfection Solution

UV light is a known disinfectant for surfaces, air & water. It is a spectrum of light that occurs from 100-400nm. There are several bands, or ‘wavelengths’ of UV light. What is commonly referred to as ‘germicidal’ UV light peaks in the ‘UV-C’ range of 264nm. UVC lamps generating 254nm are commonly referred to as ‘germicidal UVC’ lamps.

When properly applied, Ultraviolet Germicidal Irradiation (UVGI) has been found to reduce pathogens* including tested bacteria and viruses – on multiple surfaces and in multiple environments (4,7,8). A collection of publications identified in the References section of this document indicate reduction rates as high as 90.0% – 99.9999% on certain bacteria and viruses when irradiated at specified dosages.

Many Spaces Utilize UV Light for Disinfection & Sanitization Purposes

Because of its effectiveness, UV light is trusted as a disinfecting solution for many rooms, spaces, and facilities. As the need for keeping a clean space has never been more important than it is today, UV light disinfection is becoming more common.

Areas that routinely utilize UV light as a disinfection solution include:


Event venues, hotels, indoor public spaces, warehouses, athletic facilities, restaurants, schools & universities, office spaces and more are common environments for infection transmission, especially viruses. UV light typically supplements chemical disinfectant protocols in shared areas, and where chemicals are not appropriate (electronics, fabrics, etc.).


Airline interiors use UV light to quickly treat all high touch surfaces between flights. Seats, tray tables, lavatories are shared by a number of passengers throughout the day, and UV light enables treatment of the aircraft efficiently between flights.


Any shared space, particularly in a public area, is susceptible to the contamination of viruses and other pathogens. When applied properly and with the correct technology, UV light can effectively and efficiently disinfect rooms and shared spaces of all sizes.

How Long Does it Take for UV Light to Disinfect?

UV light begins disinfecting immediately. With minimized distance, and optimal angle, germicidal doses are delivered in less than 1 second. Distance from light source to target determines time requirement.

How to Use UV light for Disinfecting

mobile uv light sanitizer turned on and glowing while being used for disinfection

Pathogen inactivation requires direct exposure to UV light. Therefore, the treatment of lingering viruses on a surface may not be effective if that surface is covered or shielded by another object in the room. Stationary UV light machines are limited in their ability to reach and expose all target surfaces. Many areas remain shadowed, and untreated. To overcome distance, stationary light sources require long cycle times making the optimal solution a mobile UV light sanitizer that can bring the UV light within inches of each target surface.

Is UV Light Safe for Disinfection?

UV light is safe for disinfection. It is important to prevent skin and eyes from UV exposure, but simple and elegant integrated features can allow operators to work safely with zero exposure.

Why Should You Use UV Light for Disinfection?

UV light is chemical-free, fast & effective. Hospitals typically use germicidal UV as a supplement to manual cleaning. It is proven in hospitals for 20+ years, safe on electronics and machinery, and achieves a 99.9+% reduction in pathogens and viruses when applied correctly.

UVC Dosage Chart for Common Pathogens

  1. CDC. 2015. “Norovirus Illness: Key Facts.” January 2015. https://www.cdc.gov/norovirus/downloads/keyfacts.pdf.
  2. CDC. 2019. “Cleaning and Disinfection | MRSA | CDC.” February 27, 2019. https://www.cdc.gov/mrsa/community/environment/index.html.
  3. Centeleghe, I.; Norville, P.; Hughes, L.; and Jean-Yves Maillard. 2023. “Klebsiella Pneumoniae Survives on Surfaces as a Dry Biofilm.” American Journal of Infection Control, March. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ajic.2023.02.009.
  4. Chun-Chieh Tseng & Chih-Shan Li. 2007. Inactivation of Viruses on Surfaces by Ultraviolet Germicidal Irradiation, Journal of Occupational and Environmental Hygiene, 4:6, 400-405, DOI: 10.1080/15459620701329012.
  5. Cleveland Clinic Medical. 2020. “E. Coli Infection.” Cleveland Clinic. September 21, 2020. https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/16638-e-coli-infection.
  6. Hepatitis A questions and answers for health professionals. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. https://www.cdc.gov/hepatitis/hav/havfaq.htm. Accessed June 30, 2023.
  7. Lore, M. et al. 2012. Effectiveness of Three Decontamination Treatments against Influenza Virus Applied to Filtering Facepiece Respirators. Ann. Occup. Hyg., Vol. 56, No. 1, pp. 92–101.
  8. Malayeri, A.J.; Mohseni, M.; Cairns,B.; and Bolton, J.R. 2016. “Fluence (UV Dose) Required to Achieve Incremental Log Inactivation of Bacteria, Protozoa, Viruses and Algae.” ResearchGate, September. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/309385062_Fluence_UV_Dose_Required_to_Achieve_Incremental_Log_Inactivation_of_Bacteria_Protozoa_Viruses_and_Algae.
  9. Masjoudi, M, Mohseni, M, Bolton J, Sensitivity of Bacteria, Protozoa, Viruses, and Other
    Microorganisms to Ultraviolet Radiation, J. NIST, Vol 126, Article No. 126021 (2021)
  10. MPH Online. 2021. “Surfaces and CovId-19: A Public Health Perspective – MPH Online.” April 8, 2021. https://www.mphonline.org/coronavirus-live-on-surfaces/
  11. “Performance Testing Report.” 21 Dec. 2018. https://www.dimeruv.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/Dimer_Nemko_Report.pdf
  12. Public Health Agency of Canada. 2012. “Pathogen Safety Data Sheets: Infectious Substances – Pseudomonas Spp.” Canada.Ca. April 30, 2012. https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/laboratory-biosafety-biosecurity/pathogen-safety-data-sheets-risk-assessment/pseudomonas.html.
  13. Winkelhake H. How long does the cold virus live on surfaces? Norton Children’s Posted: January 20, 2020, https://nortonchildrens.com/news/how-long-does-the-cold-virus-live-on-surfaces/