• The Philips UV-C Disinfection System helps disinfect items brought into the house from outside
  • It uses UV-C radiation to inactivate germs, including Coronavirus
  • It’s available in three sizes, with prices ranging from Rs 7,990 to Rs 11,990

The pandemic has impacted our lives in many different ways, and with no signs of the virus going away anytime soon, all of us need to adjust to the so-called new normal. It’s clear that social distancing and masks are here to stay for a while, and we’d need to continue taking precautions to keep ourselves free of COVID-19. For most households, sanitising and disinfecting packages and other stuff that enters the house has become part of daily routine. To tackle this, quite a few brands have come up with disinfection systems and sanitisation devices that can help. Most of these, in fact, use UV-C to inactivate germs on objects. And one such device is the Philips UV-C Disinfection System from Signify Innovations India. Let’s take a closer look.

UV-C is short wavelength ultaviolet radiation that breaks down the DNA of pathogens, so they can’t replicate and cause infection. It’s by no means a new technology, and has been in use since a long time, especially in hospitals and other facilities where sterile environments are required. Thanks to COVID though, UV-C is now finding use in these sanitisation boxes designed for home use, such as the one I have here. Do note that exposure to such light is harmful for the skin and eyes. However, the door on the Philips UV-C Disinfection System is said to be made of special glass that doesn’t let harmful radiation pass through, and the device also features automatic cut off in case the door is opened while it’s in operation. The box itself is said to be safe for regular use inside the house, and you can be in close vicinity even when it’s in operation, without any risk. As a testimonial to the efficacy of the device, Signify has partnered with Boston University for tests that confirm that the former’s UV technology does inactivate SARS-COV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.

The Philips UV-C Disinfection System is a simple box that closely resembles a home microwave, with a glass door in front, and an array of buttons on the panel towards the right. There are separate buttons marked “Stop” and “Start”, and they do just that. A separate pair of buttons marked “-” and “+” decrease and increase the timer, respectively, and there are three more buttons which work as time presets for 2, 5 and 8 minutes. A small digital display indicates the set timer that starts counting down to zero when you hit the Start button. And when the timer hits zero, the device beeps to indicate it’s done, and the UV-C lamps inside power off.

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There’s a handy guide for choosing the appropriate timer settings for disinfecting objects of different sizes, pasted in the form of colourful stickers on the glass door. These indicate that small objects should be bathed in UV-C light for 2 minutes, medium items for 3 minutes, multiple medium items for 5 minutes and large items for 8 minutes… to ensure proper sanitisation. The timer on the device does up to a maximum of 10 minutes.

Inside, it’s basically an empty metal box, with UV-C lamps on two sides. A metal tray is provided, on top of which you’re supposed to keep the items you want to disinfect. Since the sanitisation process happens using light, the Philips UV-C Disinfection System doesn’t affect or alter anything you place inside. That means you can sanitise everything from fruits and vegetables, milk packets, gadgets like mobile phones and laptops, car / house keys, small packages – basically anything that you want to disinfect and can fit inside the box. Objects can only be effectively sanitised if the UV-C light falls on all surfaces properly, which is why you shouldn’t cram the box with stuff or stack items on top of each other inside. Philips sells these boxes in three different sizes – 10 litres, 20 litres, and 30 litres, of which I have the largest one to try out. These are priced at Rs 7,990, Rs 9,990 and Rs 11,990 respectively.

Despite having the biggest size though, I did find it a chore to disinfect my BigBasket order of monthly groceries, and it took about 8 to 10 cycles to sanitise the entire lot in batches. That said, the Philips UV-C Disinfection System works great for daily use, for sanitising milk packets, fruits, vegetables, packed bread, Amazon shopping deliveries, car keys, phones etc. I also used the Philips box to sanitise smartphone review units that I keep getting on a regular basis. I can’t vouch for its efficacy, but I can definitely say that the Philips UV-C Disinfection System is a convenient device that could offer peace of mind if you’re concerned about staying safe from the virus. And that is a big deal, especially in the times we live in these days.