The Wavelength-Based Inactivation Effects of a Light-Emitting Diode Module on Indoor Microorganisms

Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2022 Aug 5;19(15):9659. doi: 10.3390/ijerph19159659.


With the increased incidence of infectious disease outbreaks in recent years such as the COVID-19 pandemic, related research is being conducted on the need to prevent their spread; it is also necessary to develop more general physical-chemical control methods to manage them. Consequently, research has been carried out on light-emitting diodes (LEDs) as an effective means of light sterilization. In this study, the sterilization effects on four types of representative bacteria and mold that occur indoors, Bacillus subtilis, Escherichia coli, Penicillium chrysogenum, and Cladosporium cladosporidides, were confirmed using LED modules (with wavelengths of 275, 370, 385, and 405 nm). Additionally, power consumption was compared by calculating the time required for 99.9% sterilization of each microorganism. The results showed that the sterilization effect was high, in the order 275, 370, 385, and 405 nm. The sterilization effects at 385 and 405 nm were observed to be similar. Furthermore, when comparing the power consumption required for 99.9% sterilization of each microorganism, the 275 nm LED module required significantly less power than those of other wavelengths. However, at 405 nm, the power consumption required for 99.9% sterilization was less than that at 370 nm; that is, it was more efficient and similar to or less than that at 385 nm. Additionally, because 405 nm can be applied as general lighting, it was considered to have wider applicability and utility compared with UV wavelengths. Consequently, it should be possible to respond to infectious diseases in the environment using LEDs with visible light wavelengths.

Keywords: 370; 385; 405 nm); inactivation effect; light-emitting diode (LED); microorganisms; wavelength (275.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • COVID-19* / epidemiology
  • Disinfection / methods
  • Escherichia coli
  • Humans
  • Pandemics
  • Ultraviolet Rays
  • Water Purification* / methods

Grant support

This research was supported by a National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) grant funded by the Korean government (MIST) (NRF-2019R1A2C2084206).