UV-C disinfection: what you need to know

    December 14, 2020


    Keith Eagle sheds some light on UV-C Disinfection in the Today’s Grocer publication


    Indoor lighting can make all the difference to an appealing produce display or an inviting storefront. But another type of lighting is attracting a lot of attention at the moment for a more surprising application: it can actually help with disinfection and add a layer of protection to stores.

    The power of UV-C technology


    We've been involved in UV-C disinfection for 35 years, yet the technology has come of age in 2020 as retailers innovate to disinfect their spaces and reassure customers. UV-C, one part of what we call ultraviolet radiation along with the more familiar UV-A and UV-B), can be used to complement traditional disinfection methods. It's quick, efficient and incredibly powerful.


    UV-C is proven to effectively neutralize microorganisms, including bacteria, moulds and viruses, including the virus that causes COVID-19.

    Disinfection through innovation


    Signify has developed a range of specialized upper air luminaires and equipment to bring UV-C disinfection into stores when people are present. Upper air UV-C fixtures can be unobtrusively mounted on the ceiling or high on walls to treat air as it passes through a UV-C disinfection zone. The indirect light source is angled upwards from the fixture and installed away from shoppers and staff. This solution is ideal for placement above areas where customers congregate, such as the checkout line, pharmacy, and deli counters.


    Another way to help ensure proper disinfection in stores is through UV-C direct luminaires that can be controlled automatically to come on after operating hours when staff and shoppers are not present. People should not be directly exposed to the UV-C light source, as it’s harmful to the skin and eyes. This ceiling-mounted UV-C lamp fixture combination can help supplement existing overnight cleaning processes for shelves, counters and restrooms.

    UV-C direct luminaires

    UV-C disinfection can also be applied through an enclosed chamber that looks something like an industrial microwave oven.

    This method is ideal for small objects and shared devices like phones, self-scanners and other high-touch, portable equipment.

    Protect customers for the future

    In a recent webinar, Forrester warned that grocers must act fast to take advantage of the current window of profitability and secure the future of the industry. The research firm reports that more than a third (36%) of US consumers don’t want to go into stores as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, and 27% believe retailers can do more to protect shoppers at this time.
    Customer in a grocery store wearing a mask

    It's a testament to the resilience and ingenuity of the grocery trade that while overall retail revenue and profits decline, this sector has largely been able to buck the trend. But customers are telling us loud and clear that this is not a time to be complacent.


    Developing solutions that offset present and future threats needs a multi-layered approach. UV-C lighting can help play a part in that.

    About the author:

    Keith Eagle

    Keith Eagle


    Commercial Leader –I  Professional US

    For further information, please contact:

    Signify Global Integrated Communications
    Neil Pattie
    Tel: + 31 6 15 08 48 17

    About Signify


    Signify (Euronext: LIGHT) is the world leader in lighting for professionals, consumers and the Internet of Things. Our Philips products, Interact systems and data-enabled services, deliver business value and transform life in homes, buildings and public spaces. In 2023, we had sales of EUR 6.7 billion, approximately 32,000 employees and a presence in over 70 countries. We unlock the extraordinary potential of light for brighter lives and a better world. We have been in the Dow Jones Sustainability World Index since our IPO for seven consecutive years and have achieved the EcoVadis Platinum rating for four consecutive years, placing Signify in the top one percent of companies assessed. News from Signify can be found in the Newsroom, on X, LinkedIn and Instagram. Information for investors is located on the Investor Relations page.

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