A South African company has clinched a deal to distribute lighting technology able to suppress bacteria in the air and on surfaces using a narrow spectrum of visible light.

The licencing agreement for SpectraClean involves Johannesburg-based Genstar Emergency Lighting Solutions (GELS) and Hubbell Lighting, a lighting manufacturer headquartered in South Carolina.

GELS director Drew Donald explains that the SpectraClean technology cleans every area of a room, at different rates based on the distance from the light source and the time taken to disinfect the relevant area.

“Laboratory experiments and case studies show a more than 90% microbe reduction in treated environments in one day,” he says. “In actively used facilities SpectraClean continuously reduces microbes at all times and significantly reduces the frequency of manual chemical cleaning. Unlike UV-C, SpectraClean is harmless to humans, materials and surfaces.

“The ramifications are immense, both in term of hygiene, safety and cost savings.”

GELS’s licence agreement with Hubbell enables GELS to assemble the relevant control board in South Africa, with the 405nm chips being supplied exclusively by Hubbell. Accordingly, GELS has appointed a KwaZulu-Natal manufacturer to populate the board. Donald says such an arrangement contains positive ramifications for employment in particular and for the KZN economy in general.

Donald expects the initial agreement with Hubbell to yield many additional benefits to GELS owing to Hubbell’s position as the exclusive licensee to selected applications of Scotland’s University of Strathclyde lighting technology.

“Strathclyde’s high intensity narrow spectrum lighting technology boasts a world-class research team at the cutting edge of global innovation. Its close ties to Hubbell and our new association with the Americans bode well for prospective new horizons. Our licence allows us to link the technology back to the University of Strathclyde such that we will participate in any new research/developments.”

David Early, director at Hubbell Lighting Components, says: “With more than 130 years of experience illuminating and electrifying the world, Hubbell has a rich history of making product innovations that support customers in key markets and industries.”

The agreement with GELS covers all of southern Africa.