What to know before buying UV light products to disinfect your phone, other items

Products promising to sanitize and disinfect are out there, but how do you know if they work or are safe to use?

“You get what you pay for,” said Mark Beeston with VioGuard, a leader in UVC medical grade products.

Beeston said there are a lot of products out there that promise to kill viruses and bacteria quickly. You can find them all over the internet ranging from $30 to more than $100. Beeston said the most important thing to look out for is that the UVC light be enclosed.

In late August, Georgia Tech engineers showed us a UVC Light Box they constructed which enclosed the light in the box to not cause damage to skin or eyes.


“There’s so many things that you think about, that you touch all the time, but you never disinfect,” Beeston stated, like cellphones, keyboards, keys or even just the space around you.

Beeston said exposed UVC light products, like a wand, raise cause for concern. If they indeed are germ killing they may require PPE to use safely.  

“I’d be very leery about that type of a product because it’s not going to put enough energy out to even be useful,” Beeston warned.

Time and distance of the UVC energy on the item is what will kill the germ. Beeston said you want the nanometer range to be around the 254 range to make sure it’s effective.

Beeston said there are medical grade products out there that are safe and effective for the general public to purchase and use, but don’t expect them to be cheap.