Aurora Lichtwerke and the town of Eichstätt have announced that they have launched a pilot project at St. Walburg Primary School using “Biovitae LED” technology. The aim is to actively combat viruses and bacteria using ambient lighting. The LED ceiling lights were installed in the classroom of what will be the 2nd grade just in time for the start of the school year. As well as lighting the classroom, these also provide effective germ reduction.
Handover of the protective LED lighting. From left to right: Sister Edith Franzke, class teacher; Bettina Funk, headmistress; Josef Grienberger, mayor of Eichstätt; Thomas Walentowski, Aurora Lichtwerke; Christine Bleitzhofer, chairwoman of the PTA
The LED light developed by Aurora Lichtwerke specialists uses “Biovitae” technology, which emits specific wavelengths on the visible light spectrum. These are proven to have an antiviral effect. The light can be used, for example, in offices, hospitals, medical practices, shops or even schools and kindergartens.
That will change by the early 2000s at the latest. Bulb and light production is changing: previously, a light was little more than a sheet metal box with a bulb in it. With the advent of LED technology, this has changed fundamentally. Roßkopf knows that the manufacture of LED bulbs and lights will require new skills and knowledge. The pressure in the industry has increased. New competitors have come into play. In Eichstätt, the times are becoming more unsettled, with many years of ups and downs: In 2016, the Osram company was finally hived off and initially sold to a Chinese consortium. Most recently, the sole owner was the Chinese LED producer MLS. They intended to develop the location into one of the group’s leading European plants for new lighting technologies. However, in March 2020, they made the surprise announcement that the plant would close at the end of the year. We were all astounded, says Roßkopf. It was immediately clear to us that we had to fight for our site and for our future.
Photobiological safety, even with continual lighting
What makes this disinfection technology so special is that it can be used continually and without risk for people in the room and is therefore significantly different from conventional UV-C disinfection technology, which is harmful to people who are directly exposed to it. The technology with the dual lighting and disinfection function uses the blue-violet spectrum of visible light, reducing viruses and bacteria whenever the light is switched on. Biovitae LED bulbs comply with the EU Standard IEC 62471 for photobiological safety. This means that the LED lights do not cause any potential health hazards. Biovitae LED bulbs meet this highest photobiological safety level and have been certified by TÜV. A number of independent scientific institutions have also confirmed the bulbs’ effectiveness against germs.
Special protection for our youngest
The pilot project with St. Walburg Primary School in Eichstätt fits in perfectly with the times we’re living in. With the uncertainty of an autumn of Covid and the hunt for protection – especially for our youngest – its use in the classroom is an additional, reliable protective measure. The LED lights were installed in the presence of the project partners.
Mayor Josef Grienberger was there on behalf of the town of Eichstätt. “The coronavirus pandemic has presented us all with huge challenges across many areas of life,” explains the mayor. “How we protect our students in the best possible way will require our special attention over the coming weeks and months. With this pilot project, which enables effective virus control using normal ambient light, we have another way of reliably ensuring this protection. The fact that we can rely on technology from local company Aurora Lichtwerke is once again testament to the innovative strength of Eichstätt. I am already looking forward to the results of the pilot project based on everyday school life and I am sure that if the outcome is positive, we will react with a rapid expansion of the lighting.”
“Working in close cooperation with the town of Eichstätt, St. Walburg Primary School and the PTA, we are pleased to be able to make a significant contribution to reducing the risk of infection in the classroom with our LED lights,” explains Thomas Walentowski, Head of the Light&Disinfection division at Aurora Lichtwerke during the project’s handover. “Of course we know that our light provides reliable protection. But now we need to look at how the LED bulb will actually prove itself in everyday use. We will immediately incorporate the findings from this into further development.”
As part of the pilot project, St. Walburg Primary School has started by fully converting one classroom to Biovitae lighting. A total of ten LED lights are used, which will provide long-term protection for the entire room when the lights are switched on, significantly reducing the risk to schoolchildren of infection with coronavirus or other viruses. It is obvious why the lights have been fitted into this first classroom at St. Walburg Primary School in Eichstätt: Aurora Lichtwerke has its headquarters in this Bavarian town near Ingolstadt. Further installations – including in other institutions and public facilities – will gradually follow.