Emerging Technology
09. February 2022
Reading time: 10 Min.

Using UV LEDs for Disinfection

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Devices under UV LED disinfection light

You may know the main source of UV radiation as the sun, but there are also manufactured sources of UV radiation, including LEDs.

UV Radiation

Ultraviolet (UV) radiation is divided in three sections, depending on the wavelength: UV-A (315-400 nm), UV-B (280-315 nm), and UV-C (100-280 nm). Depending on the wavelengths, their application areas are different:

UV-A Applications

UV-B Applications

UV-C Applications


UV-C for disinfection

Especially UV-C radiation is interesting for disinfection purposes such as Corona virus inactivation.

UV-C disinfection is based on the fact that UV-C radiation damages DNA and inhibits the proliferation of bacterial, fungal, plant and animal cells. In a similar mechanism, UV light damages the RNA of viruses, which renders them inactive. The more damage caused to the RNA, the less the virus can infect other organisms. Different wavelengths of UV-C are more effective in inducing DNA/RNA damage than other wavelengths. According to studies, a wavelength of 260nm is more effective than other wavelengths in the UV-C. Nonetheless, the wavelength of 275nm is suitable for disinfection such as deactivating Corona viruses and is currently often the best wavelength for achieving disinfection as 275nm LEDs have a higher optical power output (radiant flux) and are therefore often the best solution for disinfection.

For more information on using UV-C for disinfection you can watch our webinar, UV LEDs for Disinfection or read the Application Note Disinfection with UV-C LEDs.


UV-C light has proven beneficial for cleaning and disinfecting, but it also poses some danger to humans. Eyes and skin can be affected by all types of UV radiation, but UV-C is particularly damaging. It is important to wear protective equipment when working with UV-C and you should attach warning labels to any applications. Not following safety protocols can quickly result in damage to the skin.

Watch our Webinar Recording

Würth Elektronik Presents- UV LEDs for Disinfection

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