Comtech Research logo (tm) Ultraviolet-C Light: Lamp Comparison Charts
UV-C Lamps for Air Purification
The Original Air Probe Sanitizer UV-C air purifications system
All "UV-C Light" is NOT the same.


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Inferior "UV-C" Ultraviolet Lamps
used in cheap copies

This chart shows the weak, impure
ultraviolet spectrum of inferior "UV-C" lamps.

Chart - impure UV spectrum of ordinary germicidal ultraviolet lamps

Wasted energy,
Unwanted Ozone,
Dangerous UV-B radiation.



Genuine UV-C Ultraviolet Lamps
used in the Original Air Probe Sanitizer

This chart shows the Powerful, Pure UV-C spectrum of the Optimal
Original Air Probe Sanitizer lamps.

Chart - germicidal UV-C lamp spectrum of the probes used in the Air Probe Sanitizer

Nearly pure UV-C
Produces optimal results
and absolutely NO ozone.

  • Note the low power output of this inferior lamp at the 254 nm* germicidal wavelength.
     These lamps are
    inferior at zapping odors, dust, mold, etc.
     Only the 254 nm germicidal** wavelength above the red arrow is actually effective and produces purifying hydroxyl.
  • And note the unwanted ozone-producing energy above the green arrow. Ozone can damage air conditioner coils. Ozone can cause the aluminum fins in your air conditioner's cooling coil to corrode and separate from the copper refrigerant lines.
  • This impure UV light also generates dangerous (not to mention useless) UV-B radiation, which can blind if accidentally viewed even for a short time. Unlike UV-C, it can penetrate the lens of the eye and destroy the retina.
  • And there are many wasted energy 'spikes' (the vertical blue lines). That means less energy is available at the critical 254 nm germicidal wavelength.
* A Nanometer is 1 billionth of a meter.
** Does much more than kill germs.
  • Note that almost all the UV-C energy emitted by the Air Probe Sanitizer™ lamps is concentrated at the all-important 254 nm germicidal and hydroxyl-producing wavelength (above the red arrow).
  • The Air Probe Sanitizer™ produces ZERO ozone.
  • And there is almost no wasted energy in visible light, UV-A or UV-B emission, due to the superior lamp design. It is important to see this sharp vertical energy spike at this critical 253.7 wavelength (red arrow in above chart).
  • That means maximum UV energy is available purify the air and kill germs. This means that fewer UV lamps are needed. These lamps generate intense UV-C rays, 2500 times the amount of UVC that reaches the earth's surface on a sunny day.


View the Lamp Life chart below

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Air Probe Sanitizer Main page

View BrochureView PDF brochure on the Air Probe Santizer UV-C system

Long Ultraviolet-C Lamp Life

UV-C Output from the UVC Lamps, vs. Hours Operating Time


Air Probe Sanitizer UV-C lamps are still effective at over 20,000 hours of continuous service because of:

  1. Special synthetic quartz tubing
  2. A micro-thin coating on the inside

After over one year of continuous operation, the UV-C (Ultraviolet-C at the critical 254 nM UVC wavelength) output has decreased by less than 15%.

After this first year, the UV-C light output decreases only about 12 percent per year. They often have been run over three years (over 26,000 hours).

On the average, these ultraviolet lamps still emit 85% after 1 year, 73% after two years, and 61% UVC after three years of continuous service.

Low replacement cost.
8" UVC lamps (probes) are only $32.00 each (16" lamps are $55) to customers who have purchased an Air Probe Sanitizer from Comtech Research.


Air Probe Sanitizer (model E-200)
Model E-200 Air Probe Sanitizer with two UV-C lamps mounted downstream of the A-coil
Mounted above a central AC A-coil.
(Airflow direction is from bottom to top)



Longest Life UV-C Lamps Available

Most of the decrease in the first year (only 10%) is in the first 2500 hours.

Graph: UV-C light output verses hours operating time
 (9000 hours is over a year. As the text shows,
they can last two or even three years.)

Air Probe Sanitizer Specifications (partial list):

    The U-shaped ultraviolet-c lamps (UV-C probes) provided with the Air Probe Sanitizers are very high quality and optimized for this application.
    Superior ultraviolet-C lamps, High-purity special synthetic quartz glass envelope, specific coated internally, sealed gas. Easy tilt-in locking 4-pin socket mounting. A clear protective coating on the inside limits the depreciation of the useful UV-C radiation output (called "solarization").
    253.7 Nanometers (nm; Germicidal). Almost all of the energy is concentrated at this wavelength, so there is almost no wasted energy (such as useless and highly dangerous UV-B radiation) produced.
  • NON-OZONE-PRODUCING: The special quartz glass filters out the 185 nm ozone- forming wavelength.
  • ACTUAL UV-C POWER OUTPUT from the lamps:
    11 watts (11,000,000 uW) @ 253.7 nm.
    22 watts (22,000,000 uW) for 16" lamps). Output virtually unaffected by the cold temperatures typically found inside an air conditioner.
  • UV-C POWER INTENSITY in microwatts per square centimeter, PER LAMP:
    5378 uW per sq. cm @ 6" from each 8" lamp.
    10756 uW per sq. @ 6" from each 16" lamp.


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  • The lamp probes are about 8" long, but because they are actually two lamps side-by side, The effective length (gas arc discharge path) is about 16".
  • Cost of probe (lamp) replacement is only $32 per 8" probe (and only $55 per 16" probe) to our Air Probe Sanitizer customers.
  • LONG LIFE Lamp probes
    The UV-C output decreases about 12 to 15 percent per year. They often can go three years (approaching 30,000 hours. See above)

  • POWER REQUIREMENTS for the standard 8" lamp Air Probe Sanitizer units:
    Any voltage between 108 volts and 300 volts AC 50-60 Hz. Intellivolt ballasts automatically sense the input voltage and adjust the input power line current as required.
    18 watts per 8" lamp (single phase).
    Each unit is fuse protected and switched.
    Solid-state Intellivolt electronic programmed-start ballasts, with lamp end-of-life sensor, now with 5-year limited warranty (8" lamps).
    A few FME-200L 16" lamp units that MAY still  be in stock have 120 volt magnetic ballasts. Please specify when ordering if you need to run an FME-200L on 240 volts, or otherwise require an FME-200L with the electronic ballasts.
  • UL Classified for use inside heating, ventilating, and air conditioning systems.
  • Safe. (See below)

View BrochureView PDF brochure on the Air Probe Santizer UV-C system



Are these ultraviolet lamp probes Safe?
Do they contain any mercury?


All fluorescent lamps contain a tiny amount of mercury. You very likely already have several in your home or office.

They are safe, even though they contain VERY small amounts.
Such small amounts, that they are installed in places where mercury contamination would be a serious safety issue *.

How much mercury?
The special 18 and 36 watt UV-C lamps that we offer contain, at most, only a few milligrams of mercury. Less than 5 milligrams. (A milligram is a thousandth of a gram, and a gram is .035 ounces.)

Perhaps even less than 1 milligram. The amount for individual lamp wattages are not stated because < 5 mg is such a tiny amount in the first place.

But it appears that these smaller lamps contain considerably less than than the 100+ watt lamps of this type. (all rated at < 5 mg Hg) that are crafted in the same facility as our lamps.
 (Those big lamps contain less than 5 milligrams (mg) of mercury. They not available from us, and kindly do not inquire about them)

Using these hot-cathode mercury arc plasma discharge lamps is the only way to emit a useful amount of 254 nM UV-C, among many other considerations. For one thing, cold-cathode UV lamps have to be HUGE to produce the same UV-C power as a hot-cathode lamp. And in continuous use, Our lamps last much longer.

Lamp breakage during handling or use is almost unheard of. And even when that happened (during shipping before we changed the lamp packaging), the tiny beads of mercury that can sometimes be seen just did not have enough mass to break their adhesion from the clear synthetic quartz lamp envelope and come loose.

(Of course, as with any lamp with a glass or quartz envelope, you have to be careful)

These lamps emit short-wave ultraviolet radiation (UV-C) to kill or de-activate bacteria, viruses and other primitive organisms, even if the organisms have become immune to other disinfection methods.

* They are used for air, water and surface disinfection in equipment for hospitals, bacteriological research and pharmaceutical institutions, food processing industries such as dairies, breweries and bakeries, and also for disinfecting drinking and waste water, swimming pools, air conditioning systems, cold storage rooms, packing material etc.

Click here for a Lamp Technology brochure that contains answers to the following questions (opens in new window):

  • Why do lamps need mercury?
  • How much mercury do lamps contain?
  • Environmental Concerns
  • What are the energy and environmental benefits of fluorescent lamps?
  • How do generators (users) dispose of spent lamps?
  • How much mercury is released to the atmosphere from fluorescent lamp disposal?

More info:


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Comtech Research, LLC, Air Purifying & Cleaning Systems & Equipment, South Greenfield, MO

In Business Since 1989

"Air Probe Sanitizer" and "Intellivolt" are trademarks.