Blog  /  UV LED Strip: What Is It and Why Is It Important?

UV LED Strip: What Is It and Why Is It Important?

Are you familiar with professional applications like reprography? If no is your answer, you may be puzzled about the UV LED strip.

Not to worry, this article will give you comprehensive details about the topic.

First, the UV LED strip is a flexible circuit board. And it usually has an adhesive backing with SMD LEDs (surface mounted light-emitting diodes). It also comes with other variables like constant voltage layout, driving voltage, color, etc.

Plus, the UV LED strip is useful for outdoor and indoor use (depending on its water-resistant abilities).

In this post, we shall elaborate more on the subject—alongside other aspects like the applications, different types of LED strip lights, etc.

If you're ready, let's begin!

 

What Is a UV LED Strip?

 

UV LED Strip

 

A UV LED strip is a new lighting form. Plus, it's a linear circuit board that's flexible—like we mentioned earlier. The LED tape strip has many single LED emitters on its narrow frame. And the standard UV LEDs have 5050 and 2835 SMD.

The UV LED strip's flexibility permits mounting and installation on different surfaces—whether uneven or curved. Furthermore, it has a cutline and adhesive backing. So, the cutline helps you cut the strip easily.

But that's not all.

The copper oval surrounding the cutline is the electrical connection point.

With this part, you can feed power through the LED strip. Also, the peel and stick adhesive at the back promote easy and quick installation. And it tells you the distance between LEDs.

That said, the UV LED strip is usually about 5 meters in length. Hence, the width ranges from 10 – 12mm. Also, the density of each LED on the strip determines the entire quality and light color. And, it helps you to know if there will be dark spots and hotspots between LED emitters.

How can you know the brightness of a UV LED strip?

Simple!

You can determine that with the metric lumens. However, the wattage rating isn't vital since UV LED strips have different levels of efficiency. In essence, a quality strip should have at least 1500 lumens per meter or 450 lumens per foot.

Also, three factors affect an LED strip's brightness:

  • The efficiency and light output per emitter.
  • The LED strip's power draw per foot.
  • And third is the number of LEDs per foot.

While you're at it, avoid UV LED strips without a brightness specification in lumens. Also, it's ideal to avoid low-cost strips that claim high brightness.

 

UV LED Lights

 

LED

 

Now, you have an idea of UV LED lights, let's dive into the types. There are three types of UV LED. And they all have different wavelengths and effectiveness.

They are:

 

UV-C LED Strip

 

UV-C LED is the most powerful amongst the other types of strips.

But that's not all.

It has a wavelength of (100-280 nm). And it can kill pathogens like viruses, mold, bacteria, etc., on surfaces, air, or water. Moreover, the UV-C attacks the DNA and RNA of microscopic organisms and pathogens.

Uracil and Thymine (the genetic makeup of the RNA and DNA, respectively) are quite sensitive at wavelengths of 250 nm or closer to 265 nm. But, when the wavelength is above or longer than 300 nm, absorption of the nucleic acid is almost impossible.

In summary, the UV-C LED has a high sterilization potential. But, to achieve success with the UV-C LED, it would be best to consider factors like:

 

Distance

 

You have to be particular about the area you intend to sterilize. Then, be clear about how close in proximity you need.

 

The UV-C LED's Angle

 

If you want to be most efficient with a powerful UV-C LED, it's ideal to choose optics that would help. That way, you'll easily focus the light on your target.

 

Power of light

 

It's essential to ensure that you have sufficient power to affect pathogens.

 

Duration of Exposure

 

How long do you plan on sterilizing the area? The answer will help you get the right UV-C LED to achieve the best results.

So, before you jump at any UV-C LED, double-check the accuracy of its specifications. This step is necessary to avoid false claims that will put you at risk—especially for sterilization.

 

UV-A LED Strip

 

This strip has the highest range of wavelength (315-400 nm). So, it means the UV-A LED strip has lower energy. Even though UV-A LED radiation is the weakest, it could be harmful under excessive exposure.

The UV-A LED strip is useful for lithography, printing, sensing, medical applications, curing, etc. Also, UV-A LED has a limited sterilization potential.

 

UV-B LED Strip

 

The UV-B LED strip or fluorescent backlight has a wavelength of (280-315 nm). Considering the wavelength of UV-B, it's stronger than UV-A.

Hence, it can cause skin cancer and sunburn. Regardless of the UV-B LED strength, it has a limitation with sterilizing and inactivating viruses. Plus, it has a short lifespan, and it doesn't work with low power.

Asides from the wavelength ranges listed above, other wavelength LEDs like 405 nm, 365 nm, and 310 nm are available.

 

UV LED Lights Applications

 

UV LED lights are useful in different applications. But the UV-A stands out—amongst the three UV-LEDs.

So, UV LED lamps are helpful in the following applications:

  • Medical devices (phototherapy, drug discovery, protein analysis)
  • Sterilizing units (cosmetic sterilization)
  • Fume purification equipment
  • Light-curing systems (polymer and ink printing)
  • Exhaust gas treatment
  • counterfeit devices
  • Gemological devices
  • Herpetology
  • Plant factory devices
  • Forensic, bodily fluid detection, and analysis
  • Magnetic surface analysis
  • Lithography
  • Dye penetrant inspection
  • Optical sensors and instrumentation
  • Barcodes and UV ID verification

 

Are the UV LEDs Dangerous?

With the numerous benefits and applications of UV LEDs, it's necessary to know if it has cons.

The short answer is Yes.

The UV LEDs could be dangerous if you handle them carelessly. So, it would be best if you took precautions while using the UV LEDs.

Here are two safety measures that will help.

First, when the UV LED is in operation, it produces intense radiation. So, it's best to avoid looking directly into it, even briefly—because it could harm your eyes.

Second, if you must look at the UV LED directly, use suitable eyewear (e.g., goggles or UV filtered glasses).

 

How Can I Connect the High Power UV LED?

 

When you connect a high-power UV LED to a current source, it will try to expend a lot of power. And this can lead to damage.

So, the best approach is to control the amount of current flowing with resistors.

Why?

It's simple. Resistors are effective in limiting the flow of electrons. Plus, it stops the UV LED from drawing excess current. So, you can use the formula below to know the best resistor value to use.

Resistor = (battery voltage – LED voltage)/ Preferred LED current

 

UV LED Brands

 

Buying a UV LED with false claims comes with a lot of risks.

So, here are some examples of brands you can trust.

 

Phobya UV LED Strip

 

The Phobya UV strip is an ideal option if you want your PC to have a "light lift." In essence, you can rely on this product for a modding highlight. And thanks to its flexible strip, it's possible to add more LEDs.

This brand also allows you to use a PSU connector as it comes with a 4-pin Molex extension. And the extension loops through the needed energy. Plus, it's easy to mount this LED strip in any position—because of its pre-applied adhesive tape.

But there's more.

The strips consume low power. Plus, it has little heat dissipation, and the strip is watertight. So, you can explore its possibilities with a cooling water system.

 

Nichia UV LED

 

The Nichia UV LED (365-370 nm) generates true longwave light. And the light comes from 5 Nichia LEDs. So, you can use this UV light as a vital tool for customs, medical forensics, postal inspections, and law enforcement.

This brand is also useful for authenticating documents, detecting minerals, and forgery. But, it's ideal to use eye protection when the Nichia UV LED is in operation.

 

Cree Ultraviolet LED

 

Cree UV LED is yet another brand on this list that is user-friendly and top-notch. This brand is useful for different lightings ranging from portable lighting, outdoor lighting, automobile lighting to indoor lighting.

Another striking feature of the Cree UV LED is its 370 lumens of light. Plus, it's energy-saving—which translates to a great return on your investment.

 

Wrapping Up

 

UV LED strip is a technology that has come to stay. And it's useful in various sectors of society.

No doubt, it comes with its risks. The best way to handle the UV LED strip is by taking note of the precautions in this article.

Also, we can't overemphasize that it's crucial to avoid UV LEDs with false claims—as it increases the risk of damage.

Are you ready to take up a project with a UV LED strip? Or you still have safety concerns? Feel free to contact us.