Tech

Signify plans production hike of UV light that breaks down coronavirus particles in seconds

Key Points
  • Signify says scientists at Boston University have validated the effectiveness of the company's UV lights when it comes to degrading the coronavirus. 
  • Scientists determined that 99.9999% of Covid-19 particles can be broken down in 25 seconds when exposed to a certain dosage of UV light. 
Евгений Харитонов

The CEO of lighting firm Signify highlighted plans for an eight-fold production increase of ultraviolet lights which can reportedly "degrade" coronavirus particles in seconds. 

Chief Executive Eric Rondolat told CNBC's "Squawk Box Europe" Friday that his company will launch 12 new families of the products by the end of the year. 

"We have laid down a plan to multiply by eight times our production capacity and that will come in two steps. One step in September and another step in December ... And we've acquired a small company that is specialized in (upper-room) air disinfection because these are products that we didn't have," he said. 

The world's biggest lighting maker said last month that it had tested its latest technology with researchers at Boston University and found that the exposure of the virus to UV light helps eradicate it. 

Signify said the university tested inoculated material with different doses of UV light emitted by the company's lights. They found that a dose of 5mJ/cm2 was able to eradicate 99% of SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes Covid-19) in six seconds, Signify said. Based on the results, the scientists determined that a dose of 22mJ/cmwill result in a reduction of 99.9999% in 25 seconds. 

The technology is targeted at the disinfection of surfaces in offices, schools and restrooms and Signify said that it plans to make its UV lights available to other lighting companies. 

"Given the potential of the technology to aid the fight against the coronavirus, Signify will not keep the technology for its exclusive use but make it available to other lighting companies," Rondolat said in a statement last month. 

Signify posted better-than-expected second-quarter results Friday, with net profit jumping 62% to 81 million euros ($94 million). The company, which was spun off from Philips in 2016, said sales fell 0.6% to 1.47 billion euros. 

Sales would have fallen by 23% were it not for Signify's $1.4 billion acquisition of Cooper Lighting in March. "We need to adapt worldwide as a company to an economy which is very complicated to deal with at this time," Rondolat told CNBC.