Smart light manufacturer Buddy Technologies (BUD: ASX) has declared that its new antibacterial light product, LIFX Clean, had successfully passed efficacy and safety testing and would soon be launched in several territories around the world.
The company unveiled LIFX Clean as a brand-new lighting product and the “world’s first disinfecting anti-bacterial smart light”, capable of disinfecting surfaces and surrounding air.
Buddy’s consumer business unit, LIFX, said its new LIFX Clean light successfully passed its last set of tests and was now set to launch an entirely new category of smart lighting – an enhanced light that not only illuminates a particular area but can also eradicate harmful bacteria.
According to its official marketing material, LIFX Clean is expected to be priced at $99.99 as part of an imminent pre-sales launch on LIFX.com and likely to be available at retail locations in Q4 2020.
Importantly, the LIFX Clean light will fit directly into Buddy’s existing light solutions range, built as an extension of its multi-patented LIFX A19/A60 1200 lumen smart light platform, thereby offering a fully functional white and colour light including supplementary mobile app control, internet connectivity and native integration with voice and automation services such as Amazon Alexa, Apple HomeKit and Hey Google.
Addressing the current market need for antiseptic and antibacterial products in response to COVID-19, Buddy said LIFX Clean includes “specially designed LEDs” that emit visible light at a germicidal wavelength of 405 nanometres – a specific wavelength in the high energy visible range at which light has a disinfecting effect called “porphyrin excitation”, on bacterial microbes on surfaces and in the surrounding air.
While the use of UV-C light has a much quicker antimicrobial effect, HEV lighting is safe for use in the presence of humans, pets and plants and unlike UV-C requires no protective measures.
LIFX Clean will initially be sold as a standalone light bulb, with the smart lighting company declaring that it plans to offer a “specially designed desk or counter-top fixture” that will include a tray to hold items like keys, mobile phones and wallets that tend to attract the most bacteria.
With its new product developed and readied for market launch, Buddy confirmed that as an antibacterial product, LIFX Clean has successfully attained regulatory requirements to be sold in Australia, New Zealand, the UK and the EU.
However, the US and Canadian markets are subject to different regulatory requirements which means LIFX Clean will not be sold in North America at launch.
The US and Canada are considered to be highly lucrative markets given their relatively higher disposable incomes and greater demand for lighting products compared to other countries.
Furthermore, LIFX Clean has met the IEC 62471 standard for photobiological safety of lamps after testing conducted at UL Verification Services in Guangzhou, China – a recognised and accredited certification and testing laboratory.
To dispel any safety concerns, Buddy said the battery of tests in both China and as part of its own research and development, had shown there are no risks from skin exposure and exposure to the eyes, including cornea, conjunctiva and lens function.
In terms of efficacy, Buddy claims LIFX Clean, which is being marketed as a typical desk lamp fixture, has efficacy of greater than 80% in two hours, and more than 99.99% in overnight tests which include placing a light 40cm away from the target object for eight hours.
In comparison to existing lighting solutions, Buddy said currently available disinfecting lights used in hospital operating theatres and recovery room bathrooms have a typical efficacy of 70% of bacteria killed in two hours of light exposure.
One of the key features of LIFX Clean is the ability to interchange light functionality to better suit desired conditions.
According to Buddy, LIFX Clean can be used as a normal white or colour smart light, and can also be configured to activate its antibacterial function during specific periods of the day ie at night or another time specified by the user through an app.
The product can be scheduled to work overnight or can simply be left in continuous “cleaning mode” with LIFX Clean emitting a light-blue light to differentiate operability.
“LIFX Clean is a ground-breaking product that we believe will help create a whole new category of smart lighting, one that we intend to lead with a combination of innovation and relentless pace,” LIFX chief executive officer David McLauchlan said.
“This might be our most important step yet towards making every space smarter,” he added.
Mr McLauchlan explained that LIFX set about developing its new clean light at the start of the pandemic in early 2020 and was seeking a more efficacious way of eradicating harmful bacteria than having to wipe down all surfaces at regular intervals.
The solution, as envisaged by LIFX, is to use light as an antiseptic tool by eradiating surfaces at regular intervals, via an automatically scheduled process that unburdens users.
However, while LIFX Clean has been tested for safety and efficacy in an anti-bacterial capacity, it has not been tested for any antiviral impact, including impact on COVID-19.
With its antibacterial efficacy largely established, Buddy said LIFX Clean was “in the queue to be tested” for its antiviral properties.