LED + SSL, Light + Health

Two DOE Reports Characterize Current UV LEDs

The U.S. Department of Energy has released two reports which characterize the current state and viability of commercial ultraviolet (UV) LED products. RTI International conducted these studies through a contract with KeyLogic Systems, working with the LED Systems Reliability Consortium (LSRC).

  • Initial Benchmarks of UV LEDs and Comparisons with White LEDs focuses on the construction and initial performance of commercially available UV LED components in radiometric and current-voltage tests. A test matrix containing 13 different UV LEDs was created in association with the LSRC. Testing involved at least 22 samples of each commercially available product (as of June 2021). In addition, two common, commercial white LEDs were tested to provide a benchmark against blue-pumped white LEDs. Read the report.
  • Operating Lifetime Study of UV LED Products focuses on the long-term performance and reliability of the same set of commercially available UV LEDs. Understanding the failure modes and failure rates of UV LEDs is important in understanding GUV product effectiveness over time and improving UV product reliability at the LED, lamp, and luminaire level. This information is critical to developing products with higher efficiency, lower carbon footprint, and significantly reduced environmental impact than the lighting technologies they replace. The study employed three stress tests to examine the reliability of each product. Results from stress testing, along with an extensive literature review, identified specific failure mechanisms across these UV LEDs. Read the report.

The COVID-19 pandemic put a spotlight on germicidal ultraviolet (GUV) radiation for air and surface disinfection. This technology area represents a growing opportunity to improve indoor air quality while saving energy over high-ventilation approaches. However, light-emitting diode (LED) GUV sources and fixtures available today have low efficiencies relative to visible LEDs or other UV sources (such as mercury lamps). Driven by demand for pandemic preparedness measures in buildings and good indoor air quality, many emerging GUV R&D activities target application effectiveness through increased source efficiency, improved fixture design, and enhanced reliability.


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David Shiller
David Shiller is the Publisher of LightNOW, and President of Lighting Solution Development, a North American consulting firm providing business development services to advanced lighting manufacturers. The ALA awarded David the Pillar of the Industry Award. David has co-chaired ALA’s Engineering Committee since 2010. David established MaxLite’s OEM component sales into a multi-million dollar division. He invented GU24 lamps while leading ENERGY STAR lighting programs for the US EPA. David has been published in leading lighting publications, including LD+A, enLIGHTenment Magazine, LEDs Magazine, and more.


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