Frequently Asked Questions
Quickly find out whether we have already addressed any questions you might have. The Frequently Asked Questions listed below have been aggregated from the many forms and voicemails we have received from our website visitors over the last few weeks since the coronavirus pandemic began and are being regularly updated as appropriate.
Last Updated May 6th, 2020
We welcome all inquiries. The better we can understand your challenges, the better we can design solutions for them around these new technological capabilities. If there is something that is on your mind that we might not have covered, please get in touch with us today!
Far UV Technologies is here to help you in any and all capacities.
#1: WHAT IS KRYPTON™ DISINFECTION LIGHTING AND WHAT DIFFERENTIATES IT FROM TRADITIONAL UV-C DISINFECTION?
Traditional UV-C disinfecting systems use mercury lamps, and more recently LEDs, to generate UV light at wavelength between 254-260nm. While generally effective, UV-C lights come with two major downsides: First, they are not safe for human exposure, as they pose a carcinogenic safety risk for the skin and eyes. Second, when organisms are inactivated by 254nm UV-C, a significant amount may be reactivated by exposure to UV-A or visible blue light found in sunlight, fluorescent lights and other light sources after sanitation within a day or even hours.
In contrast, Krypton™ lighting emits UV light at the “far” end of the UV spectrum (200-230nm), using inert krypton gas to emit 222nm UV light with the addition of chloride, and 207nm UV light with the addition of bromide. These Far UV wavelengths are safe for human exposure because they do not penetrate the skin or eyes. Additionally, pathogens do not reactivate following exposure to far UV, due to a different permanent kill mechanism than that of 254nm light. Krypton light primarily kills microbes by resonating with the proteins in the microbe’s outer membrane, causing it to fail.
Far UV can autonomously and continuously disinfect viruses, bacteria and fungi in occupied spaces, which is essential for containing and mitigating the emerging threat of the coronavirus and similar outbreaks in which potentially infected human carriers in heavily occupied locations are often not distinguishable from the non-carriers. Along with effective diagnostics, vaccines, and therapies, elimination of pathogens in occupied spaces is a critical element of disease eradication. Far UV technology is an essential addition to existing sanitation practices, as part of a multi-pronged approach to prevent the spread of existing and emerging infectious disease.
#2: WHAT TYPES OF ORGANISMS CAN KRYPTON™ DISINFECTION LIGHTING KILL?
To date, we are unaware of any bacteria, viruses, or fungi that far UV light has not successfully killed. Data are available specifically assessing 222nm far UV light against organisms such as E. coli 0157:H7, Yersinia enterolytica, and methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), influenza A (H1N1), adenovirus and coronaviruses. It should address the most common illnesses caused by rhinovirus (the common cold), norovirus (flu), and the bacteria responsible for the most common foodborne illnesses such as Salmonella, Listeria, Shigella and Campylobacter, in addition to eradicating more dangerous microorganisms including Ebola, MERS, SARS, coronaviruses and all chemical or antibiotic resistant microbes (MRSA, C Diff).
#3: HAS 222nm UV LIGHT BEEN TESTED AGAINST COVID-19?
At present, at least 5 academic institutions are assessing the efficacy of 222nm UV light against COVID-19, and we will share these results as soon as they become publicly available (expected within the next week or so). The only reason it has taken this long is that COVID-19 specific testing requires Bio-Safety Level 3 labs, which are more rare and at present most research institutions have been closed due to the pandemic. That said, based on the significant efficacy of 222nm UV light against other coronaviruses such as feline enteric coronavirus, HCoV-229E and HCoV-OC43, there is no reason to believe that 222nm UV light will not be effective in killing COVID-19. Coronaviruses are actually among the easiest of pathogens for Krypton disinfection.
#4: WHAT DATA ARE AVAILABLE REGARDING THE SAFETY AND EFFICACY OF FAR UV LIGHT?
There is ample publicly available peer-reviewed clinical data available. A few links are supplied below from some of our strategic partners and other academic and industry-leading participants as well as some information from the CDC regarding the recent coronavirus pandemic. We will be adding to this list so stay tuned:
#5: IN ADDITION TO SAFETY, WHAT ARE SOME OTHER ADVANTAGES OF KRYPTON™ LIGHTING?
Traditional sanitation practices generate physical and chemical waste, and require paid labor to implement. Attempting to clean while spaces are occupied is disruptive, creates inefficiencies if conducted between occupations (such as between patients), and is simply impossible in many cases (such as a grocery store or fulfillment center). In contrast, Krypton lighting provides safe autonomous and continuous disinfection while spaces are occupied, without the use of water, bleach, hydrogen peroxide, cold plasma, ozone or conventional 254nm UV-C sanitization alternatives.
#6: DOES KRYPTON™ LIGHTING REPLACE STANDARD CLEANING AND DISINFECTION PRACTICES?
The Krypton™ light will only sanitize the air it travels through and the surfaces it hits. It will not treat, for example, the underside of a table or anything else being shadowed from the Krypton™ light source. Unlike most sanitation and janitorial solutions, we are unique in providing a sanitation solution for spaces while they are occupied. As a result, we recommend using Krypton™ disinfection lighting as part of a multi-pronged sanitation approach, combining it with existing conventional cleaning methods during non-occupied hours.
#7: WHERE SHOULD KRYPTON™ LIGHTS BE USED?
It is appropriate to use Krypton lights in any occupied space. For example, hospitals, dental offices, nursing homes, defense applications, airport screening, transportation, shipping/logistics, personal/hand hygiene, daycare centers, retail, industrial equipment/conveyors, and more. We invite you to contact us to discuss your specific needs. Our team has far more applications development experience with 222nm Far UV than any other company and can help design safe and effective implementation for your applications.
#8: HOW MUCH AREA DOES ONE LIGHT DISINFECT? HOW MANY WILL I NEED BASED ON MY FLOOR PLAN?
The area of coverage depends on your room dimensions. We expect each light to cover about 50-100 square feet of surface area (assuming an average targeted surface height of around 30 inches - standard desk height) based on typical 8-10 foot ceiling heights. The higher the ceiling, the wider the coverage (but the weaker the light - think of shining a flashlight on a wall, and how the beam spreads and dissipates as you get further from the wall). The decreased intensity does not reduce efficacy as such, it just changes how long the light needs to be on to achieve the same effect. For broader coverage, equally spaced lamps would be installed around a room creating overlapping treatment zones, potentially providing even greater coverage or efficacy. Any certified electrician can install Krypton lighting. After reviewing your building dimensions, electrical, and mechanical floor plans, we or our strategic distributors, sales reps or installers will work with you to help determine how many, and where, Krypton lights should be placed in your facility. Please send us your dimensional and electrical floor plans to expedite the process along with your priority areas for Krypton protection (if known).
#9: ARE THERE DIFFERENT MODELS AVAILABLE?
Our initial product design is adapted to the most common expected use cases in overhead lighting. This allows us to produce an application-agnostic solution that can be easily installed in almost any setting for immediate use. The end product will resemble an oversized smoke detector, which can continually or intermittently (based on ceiling height and user preferences) disinfect a targeted space. With several years of applications development focusing on efficacy and safety data and testing, particularly surrounding the practical limitations associated with human error/use when targeting hard to detect microorganisms, we do not recommend tunnels, portals or wands at this time.
#10: CAN KRYPTON™ BULBS BE USED IN EXISTING FIXTURES?
Unfortunately, these are specialty lights and cannot be used with existing lighting fixtures at this time. Far UV Technologies has more experience than anyone in the design of safe, reliable, efficient and cost-effective Far UV products and given the high degree of know how needed to commercialize market ready products and the importance for us and our component providers to provide a safe and effective launch of this incredible innovation, we are not offering components for sale for integration into other products at this time.
#11: IS THE KRYPTON™ LIGHT ON ALL DAY?
The cumulative Krypton™ light sanitation capability will fall within the current ACGIH or IEC 62471 max 222nm UV exposure Threshold Limit Values (TLV). Within these guidelines we expect to provide different modes of operation depending on expected occupancy and applications. For example, we could provide disinfection cycles every 10 minutes, often collectively providing up to 3 log (99.9%) or more disinfection rate over an 8 hour period, depending on the air and surfaces available for treatment.
#12: HOW LONG WILL A KRYPTON™ LIGHT LAST?
A Krypton UV bulb will last 2500-3000 hours. You may see advertisements for UV bulbs that last significantly longer — the laws of chemistry and current technology dictate that these bulbs are either not 222nm UV, or the seller is being dishonest. Depending on the usage, those 3,000 hours of “on time” can provide an expected product life of between 1-15 years. As with any other light, you can extend the useful life in practice by simply turning it off whenever is not needed (either because the room is not occupied or no longer requires disinfection). When the useful life of a Krypton lamp has ended, much like other electronic hardware, it will be more economical to replace the entire fixture rather than try to replace components.
#13: WHEN WILL KRYPTON™ LIGHTS BE AVAILABLE?
We have been working hard with component suppliers and third-party fabricators around the clock to compress a typical new product timeline to market from 18 months to a few short months, with limited initial quantities already shipping in May. We have updated our website to begin taking advance orders now and are prioritizing product deliveries in either the order they are received and/or for larger higher profile installations.
#14: ARE VOLUME DISCOUNTS AVAILABLE?
We are working closely with our suppliers, distributors, and customers to optimize our pricing. Please contact us to discuss your specific needs.
#15: HOW MUCH DO KRYPTON™ LIGHTS COST?
With no existing large-scale manufacturing of 222nm Far UV products in the world, we are working with our fabrication partners to keep our initial product pricing at $2,499 even under dramatically accelerated production timelines. While our product cost is significantly less than the $125,000-$3,000,000 price tag often seen for autonomous UVC robots in hospital operating rooms, we are hoping with sizable near term orders to be able to further reduce the price for even more widespread adoption, including towards year end, when our current investments will enable larger production capacities to come online.
#16: DO KRYPTON™ LIGHTS COME WITH A WARRANTY?
The limited warranty set forth below is given by Far UV Technologies, Inc. and applies to the Far UV Technologies fixture only. The product when delivered to you in new condition in its original container is warranted against defects in materials and workmanship under normal use and service for a period of 6 months from the date of purchase. If the product is found to be defective during this warranty period Far UV Technologies will repair or exchange the unit for a new or refurbished unit as determined by Far UV Technologies.
#17: DOES KRYPTON™ DISINFECTION LIGHTING HAVE OR REQUIRE FDA APPROVAL?
Our Krypton disinfection lights are not medical devices and thus do not require FDA approval. If others are interested in using 222nm lighting in medical devices, those products may require FDA approval. Far UV Technologies is registered with the EPA to provide our products and complies with all labeling and other regulatory requirements.
#18: CAN I VISUALLY DISTINGUISH TRADITIONAL UV-C LIGHTING FROM KRYPTON™ FAR UV DISINFECTION LIGHTING?
It is unfortunately very difficult for an end-user without sophisticated equipment to visually tell the difference between 222nm Krypton disinfection lighting and traditional 254nm UV-C in operation. If it is not using krypton to generate 222nm or 207nm light, it is not Far UV. Current material limitations prohibit LEDs from efficiently being able to create UV much below 260nm so there is no such thing as a Far UV LED alternative.
Using the brand name Krypton™ will hopefully minimize confusion versus other “UVC” 254nm alternatives who have been more recently renaming themselves Far UVC and causing confusion among potential purchasers seeking a human-safe and effective solution for “occupied” space applications. We have seen advertisements for other systems claiming to be Far UVC or even 222nm systems that are not. We recommend purchasing Krypton disinfection lighting from reputable sources, including our growing distributor network.
#19: WOULD CONVENTIONAL GERMICIDAL UV (UV-C) ALTERNATIVES WORK AS WELL AS KRYPTON™ DISINFECTION LIGHTING?
It depends on the application. There are some very good applications for UV-C and others that are better suited for Krypton™ disinfection lighting. UV-C light can effectively deactivate bacteria and viruses. However, these organisms can often repair the DNA damage caused by UV-C light if they are exposed to light that includes UV-A or visible blue wavelengths in a process called photoreactivation. Less than 10 hours of exposure to the sun or fluorescent lights can rejuvenate the majority of exposed organisms in some cases. Less than an hour can even result in unacceptable conditions. Since both sunlight and fluorescent light include UV-A, UV-C lamps are not as effective in those environments. That said, a significant amount of municipal drinking water is treated successfully with UV-C. This works well as it is typically not exposed to UV-A light after treatment and/or it is consumed shortly after it is.
UV-C is also a carcinogenic safety risk for human exposure which prevents its use in occupied spaces, but it can be effective in spaces that are unoccupied. Unfortunately, it is during occupied hours when people are breathing, coughing, sneezing, speaking, etc, that the risk of disease spread is the greatest. Therefore, while UV disinfection at night may be effective in controlling pathogens that were deposited during the day, it does nothing to reduce the spread that occurs during the day when contamination events occur.
In contrast to UV-C, Krypton disinfection lighting is not subject to photoreactivation because the organisms have been structurally destroyed and are truly dead while maintaining all the advantages of residue-less functioning and is uniquely safe for human exposure. Krypton disinfection lighting kills organisms on surfaces, but also, in the air - meaning the small particulates that hang in the air for hours as a result of respiration, coughing, etc are disinfected just as the surfaces are. Thus, Krypton disinfection lighting is best used in spaces exposed to light and/or those that are occupied.
Some have also inquired about whether upper air UV-C disinfection systems might already be effective enough. Upper Air germicidal UV-C (254nm) systems are designed no to expose people to their harmful radiation. However, when a carrier contaminates a space either with a sneeze, cough, talking or breathing, gravity immediately begins to pull most of the pathogens towards the ground or other surfaces (such as desks, chairs, etc). As a result, while these upper air systems may also use air handling systems to try to fight gravity, they likely do not address most of the contaminated air and surfaces and may even keep pathogens airborne longer which could create more dangerous environments. Because Krypton lighting is safe for human exposure, it can kill from the ceiling to the floor, providing a much more comprehensive disinfection solution.
#20: WHY IS KRYPTON™ DISINFECTION LIGHTING SUDDENLY ATTRACTING SUCH INTEREST?
While it has long been a question of when, and not if, a global pandemic would occur, the recent rapid spread of COVID-19 in our increasingly interconnected world has caused global socio-economic and political unrest at an unprecedented scale. The economic cost is expected to be several trillion dollars with unemployment rates potentially not seen since the great depression. The reality of COVID-19, and fear of inevitable future outbreaks, have significantly heightened demand for new technologies for mitigating the spread of dangerous pathogens.
Krypton™ disinfection lighting (222nm far ultraviolet light wavelengths) can autonomously and continuously disinfect viruses, bacteria and fungi in occupied spaces, which is essential for containing and mitigating the emerging threat of the coronavirus and similar outbreaks where potentially infected human carriers in occupied locations are often not distinguishable from the non-carriers. While each human or animal has a different immune system response and vulnerability to either an initial infection (which can often be asymptomatic in the case of COVID-19) or subsequent infection to COVID-19 or any other infectious disease (when the body is weakened), Krypton disinfection lighting can be thought of as providing synthetic antibodies for everyone wherever it is used to fight the pathogens before our bodies even encounter them. Together, with better sanitation as part of a multi-pronged approach, we can reduce the spread of any existing or emerging infectious disease and provide UNIVERSAL INFECTIOUS DISEASE MITIGATION.
#21: WHY WAS KRYPTON™ DISINFECTION LIGHTING NOT COMMERCIALIZED SOONER?
UV lighting capable of reliably reproducing a narrow band around 222nm has, until relatively recently, simply not been technically or commercially available, which prevented data from being captured and evaluated for potential applications. In addition, in the pre-COVID-19 era, demand for disinfection of occupied spaces was low, as traditional sanitation practices were, with some notable exceptions such as hospital acquired infections and food borne illness, able to either effectively mitigate the spread of illness or people had just accepted the risks, even if better solutions were available. Further, most people alive today have not faced a global pandemic, and with short memories, attitudes have become relaxed around disease spread.
Today, Columbia University Medical Center and other reputable academic medical research institutions and corporations are actively confirming efficacy and safety of far UV, and it is rapidly becoming the next breakthrough in disinfection technology.
#22: WHAT IS THE PROSPECTIVE IMPACT OF THIS NEW TECHNOLOGY?
The coronavirus and other recent contagious diseases such as SARS, MERS, Ebola and others have proven in an increasingly interconnected world that there are no real borders when it comes to infectious disease. Current estimates are that approximately 70% or more of the global population across almost every country and/or demographic may eventually be infected by COVID-19 alone and that as many as 1% or more of those may eventually succumb to the disease, which would by far be the greatest loss of human life in history. Expediting the containment or mitigation of infectious disease will not only save countless lives but provide significant economic, societal and political benefits.
The impact of Krypton™ disinfection lighting will be profound. The New England Journal of Medicine as well as several other research organizations have published data suggesting that COVID-19 can be spread via contaminated surfaces where the disease can remain a threat for up to 3 days, and in the air where it may be found active for as long as 3 hours after a cough or sneeze. With a current estimated basic reproduction number (R0) transmission rate of 2.2, this implies that every case that can be avoided could in theory minimize the spread of the disease by over 1,000 new cases over 9 cycles of infection and up to 7 million people over 20 cycles of infection.
While the best current alternative for sanitation in occupied spaces requires workers to constantly wipe down chairs, counters and any other surface between contact with each individual, it is not practical in practice, puts those workers at risk, and is subject to human error, like missing spots. Not to mention, wiping surfaces down does not address the airborne threat at all. With the emergence of COVID-19, we are seeing the status quo in the sanitation of medical facilities rapidly change. While daily and/or even more frequent conventional cleaning is still recommended whenever spaces are not occupied, Krypton disinfection lighting provides the first practical and effective countermeasure for infectious disease and pathogens when those space ARE occupied as part of a comprehensive around the clock multi-pronged approach to better protect healthcare workers and their patients.
#23: WHY HAVE OTHER LARGER COMPANIES NOT DONE THIS BEFORE AND WHY HAVE YOU NOT PREVIOUSLY RAISED SIGNIFICANT VENTURE CAPITAL FOR THIS VENTURE?
The Founders of Far UV Technologies have significant experience founding new companies based on innovative technologies, raising hundreds of millions of dollars of venture and other capital that have resulted in IPOs and acquisitions. While the initial impetus to starting this venture was to create large important markets with the technological innovations, our customer discovery efforts suggested that without a public sense of urgency driving demand or a regulatory framework insisting upon more sanitary environments to prohibit the spread of infectious disease, end-users had been reluctant to adopt the new solutions without a compelling Return On Investment (ROI) and large companies and venture capital had been reluctant to invest in solutions without a clear path to market. At the end of the day, if a company’s competitors were willing to accept the risks and costs of Hospital Acquired Infections or other infectious disease, than most of those companies figured they could too.
As a result, most of the researchers focusing on this technology have been hoping our efforts over the past several years would at least lead to marketable solutions to reduce or eliminate costly hospital acquired infections and simply make the world a better place knowing that something like the coronavirus would inevitably occur and the world would really need this solution.
Everything changed in late February when the CDC and others confirmed that the coronavirus was quickly evolving into a pandemic with global consequences. We do not believe this experience will be easily forgotten and that end-users, corporations and investors will all be compelled to get involved not only now but going forward as the world will prefer to not let this happen again and it can now be prevented. Due to significant demand, we may consider investments of greater than $100,000 from accredited investors (>$1M net worth or $200K income in each of the last 2 years) from time to time. Please contact us if you are eligible and interested.
#24: HAVE YOU BEEN COORDINATING WITH THE WHITE HOUSE TASK FORCE OR OTHER GOVERNMENT AGENCIES TO FIGHT THE IMMEDIATE THREAT OF THE CORONAVIRUS?
We have been providing information on our solutions to the Government as fast as we can through the channels most familiar to us. We are continuing our outreach efforts and are making significant progress at all levels. That said, we acknowledge that we are likely not familiar with many and likely most of the potential channels that we could be utilizing to expedite and expand the awareness and prospective use of our solution, including how to best contact the White House task force, World Health Organization (WHO), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Gates Foundation and/or other potential leading and influential responding agencies during this crisis and suspect they have their hands as full as we do.
That said, with this pandemic potentially lasting well over a year, we need to focus on what comes next, whether it be two weeks, two months, two quarters, two years or even more from now. We will likely be living with COVID-19, other existing pathogens and even new diseases for the foreseeable future. If you believe you have important access to these or other important channels/connections, please spread the word and/or contact us at your earliest convenience for potential introductions. Please share our website, contact information and/or story via whatever medium you think most appropriate. Awareness is often half of the battle. We very much appreciate any help you can provide in overcoming this pandemic and future ones together with us.
Krypton lights are made in the USA.
#25: I INQUIRED FOR MORE INFORMATION THROUGH YOUR WEBSITE. WHY HAVE YOU NOT RESPONDED TO ME?
We are trying as best we can to be as responsive as possible to all incoming requests. We are a small business and are working hard to coordinate everything else that is required to get our game-changing Krypton™ disinfection lighting solutions produced and into the hands of as many people as possible.
While we have effectively done no marketing and have literally no social media presence to date, our phone has been ringing off the hook and our emails have been flooded since the CDC acknowledged the threat to the US population along with the ensuing impact of both information on the pandemic and regulatory containment strategies.
Please be patient with us while we try to scale our resources as fast as possible to address the challenges and opportunities in front of us and improve our customer service.
In the meantime, we will try to answer as many of the most Frequently Asked Questions as quickly as possible through these FAQs so please revisit our website often for updates.
#26: HOW CAN I HELP? DO YOU HAVE EMPLOYMENT, DISTRIBUTION, SALES REPRESENTATIVE, INSTALLATION OR INTERNSHIP OPPORTUNITIES?
We would love your help! The easiest and most impactful thing you can immediately do is help us raise awareness on the opportunity for Krypton™ disinfection lighting to be part of the solution to the current crisis as well as a future solution to help reduce or eliminate disease outbreaks. This could be with domestic or global end-users, channel partners, influencers, media, investors or employment candidates.
If you think you can help play a meaningful role, please send a cover letter and resume or your thoughts to firstname.lastname@example.org. We are currently considering job candidates for a senior electronics/software engineer, manufacturing engineer, supply chain manager, HR/office manager, product assembly technicians, electrical contractors for installation and customer service in the Kansas City area. We are also establishing a global network of strategic partners for distribution, sales representation and installation services. If you are a distributor or electrical contractor and would like to carry or install our product, please inquire at email@example.com.