Coming later this year, the Lifx Clean full-color smart bulb includes high-energy violet light diodes that can kill bacteria on objects and surfaces.
The company tells CNET it’s preparing to release a new Lifx Clean LED in North America later this year, billing it as "the world’s first antibacterial, germicidal smart light that works as a disinfectant".
"We’d been considering using germicidal light in a smart bulb before March, but the onset of COVID bubbled it up to the surface fast," said Lifx CEO David McLauchlan.
Tests for antiviral efficacy — including tests against SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19 — are up next for the Lifx Clean LED, but the company doesn’t expect to have those results until after the bulb hits store shelves sometime in the fourth quarter of 2020.
That HEV light — which Lifx claims is certified safe for people, pets and plants — is capable of killing certain kinds of germs and bacteria, including pathogens like E. coli and staphylococcus aureus.
When HEV mode is activated, the Lifx Clean LED will emit soft, bluish light capable of killing bacteria.
The Lifx Clean LED uses HEV light to kill bacteria like staph, strep and salmonella.
The Lifx Clean LED arrives amid a global pandemic, and interest in germicidal light is surging.
When it isn’t zapping bacterium, the Lifx Clean LED can put out light in any color or any shade of white you like.
Much of that interest has centered on ultraviolet UVC light, which functions as a natural and long-established antiviral disinfectant, but comes with significant safety concerns, since even a few moments of direct exposure can be hazardous to the eyes and skin.
"It’s a Lifx A19 (white and color), but with this extra thing, rather than just a weird blue light," explains Lifx Global Marketing Director Sam Moore.
Screw the bulb into a bathroom vanity, for instance, and you could program it to bathe the space in HEV light each night as you sleep, killing bacteria in the area around your shower, toilet and sink.
"Products that use UV light (under 400 nm) can be very effective in killing (or eliminating the reproducibility of) cells, but those wavelengths of light are not safe for unprotected human eyes or skin," McLauchlan says.
The newest Lifx smart bulb is a germ-killing bacteria-buster https://t.co/u4Safj5mHX— CNET News (@CNETNews) September 2, 2020