In Expert Team Publication


  • Evaluated UV-C LED inactivation of E. coli, MS2, Adenovirus 2 and B. pumilus spores.
  • Compared UV-C LEDs to LP and MP UV lamps for inactivation and energy efficiency.
  • Confirmed absence of dual-wavelength synergy for inactivation and DNA/RNA damage.
  • UV-C LEDs will require efficiencies of 25–39% to match performance of LP UV lamps.

A dual-wavelength UV-C LED unit, emitting at peaks of 260 nm, 280 nm, and the combination of 260|280 nm together was evaluated for its inactivation efficacy and energy efficiency at disinfecting Escherichia coli, MS2 coliphage, human adenovirus type 2 (HAdV2), and Bacillus pumilus spores, compared to conventional low-pressure and medium-pressure UV mercury vapor lamps. The dual-wavelength unit was also used to measure potential synergistic effects of multiple wavelengths on bacterial and viral inactivation and DNA and RNA damage.

All five UV sources demonstrated similar inactivation of E. coli. For MS2, the 260 nm LED was most effective. For HAdV2 and B. pumilus, the MP UV lamp was most effective. When measuring electrical energy per order of reduction, the LP UV lamp was most efficient for inactivating E. coli and MS2; the LP UV and MP UV mercury lamps were equally efficient for HAdV2 and B. pumilus spores. Among the UV-C LEDs, there was no statistical difference in electrical efficiency for inactivating MS2, HAdV2, and B. pumilus spores. The 260 nm and 260|280 nm LEDs had a statistical energy advantage for E. coli inactivation.

For UV-C LEDs to match the electrical efficiency per order of log reduction of conventional LP UV sources, they must reach efficiencies of 25–39% or be improved on by smart reactor design. No dual wavelength synergies were detected for bacterial and viral inactivation nor for DNA and RNA damage.

Graphical abstract

Graphical abstract



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