WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN
UVC LED and Mercury UVC Lamp?
What is UV and UV-C
The sun is a source of the full spectrum of light, including radio waves, infrared, visible light, ultraviolet (UV), x-rays, gamma rays, and cosmic rays.Among all radiations, UV is the most sophisticated wavelength range, which can be subdivided into UV-A (315 to 400nm) , UV-B (280 to 315 nm) and UV-C (200 to 280 nm).
The UV-C is the smallest wavelength of UV with the strongest effect to DNA. Unintentional overexposure to UV-C causes skin redness and eye irritation. But UVC does not cause skin cancer or cataracts based on the research from Dr. Nardell at the Harvard Medical School.
FDA SOURCE: Ultraviolet (UV) Radiation
What is Mercury UVC Vapor Lamb
The mercury vapor lamp is a high intensity discharge lamp. It uses an arc through vaporized mercury in a high pressure tube to create very bright light directly from it's own arc. The wavelength of the radiation generated by mercury vapor lamp is about 254nm – 365nm, it also a kind of ultraviolet (UV), for the 254nm-280nm (UV-C) can be used for disinfection. Indeed, the traditional UVC is generated by UV lamp, using mercury as the source for ultraviolate radiation.
The LED UV-C and the mercury UVC lamp almost have the same germicidal effectiveness from the UVC LED Germicidal Effectivness Curve above. But they are different!
WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE?
UV-LED produces UVC radiation by geenrating a voltage to join positive holes with negative electrons emitting energy in the form of photons. UV-LED generally can last beyond over 10,000 hours of operating time as it is a semiconductor device. Mercury UV lamp produces UV light by generated an electric arc inside an ionized gas, mostly mercury chamber to excite atoms, which then decay to emit photons. As the decay process, the operating time per lamp can last between 1000 to 1600 hours normally.
And the most impartant is that the Mercury UV Lamps hold their mercury either in a liquid form or an amalgam in a quartz cube, and if the lamp is broken, mercury vapor is easily dissolved into the treated product. Accidents and improper procedures increase the risk of exposure to people and the local environment.
The UV-C LEDs do contain small amounts of elements such as the metals gallium and magnesium. These metals and or metalloids are bound within a stable crystal structure and cannot leach into the environment.
More info from FDA: Mercury Vapor Lamps (Mercury Vapor Light Bulbs)