When Groupe Renault hosted a global hackathon to scout out disinfection solutions for automobiles, the Israel regional winner was the lighting company Juganu.
Juganu (Hindi for “firefly”) is in discussions with Groupe Renault about how its J.Protect LED lighting fixtures could inactivate pathogens, including SARS-CoV-2, in car cabins.
This is a perfect example of a company whose technology unexpectedly took a new market direction due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Juganu began with a novel streetlight system that doubles as a public Wi-Fi network.
“We created a totally new LED light and a platform on which data of all types can be transferred between the lights,” Chief Marketing Officer Eyal Lewin tells ISRAEL21c.
“Most neighborhoods have streetlights every 20 or 30 meters, giving us the opportunity to create a wireless platform on top of those light poles, not as an antenna but actually in the lights.”
Founded in 2011, Juganu has installed its connected streetlights in about 20 cities in Israel, Europe and the Americas, including Kalamata in Greece, Villa Nueva in Guatemala and the bridge between Brazil and Paraguay.
Or Yehuda, where the company is headquartered, also has Juganu streetlights – which is only fitting, as the name of the city translates to “Light of Judah.”
Juganu’s connected lighting system in a shoppers’ parking lot in Serbia. Photo courtesy of Juganu
Germ-inactivating UV light
Where does disinfection come into the picture?
Lewin explains that Juganu’s indoor LED platform easily combines with indoor planar (overhead) lighting systems for retail and office spaces.
Here the special twist is blending wavelengths to mimic the gradations of sunlight from dawn to dusk in one smart flexible fixture controlled by a mobile app.
“We blended not only the seen light but also invisible light such as UV,” says Lewin.
Ultraviolet rays – UVA, UVB and UVC — neutralize bacteria and viruses including SARS-CoV-2, as a recent Tel Aviv University study proved again.
Tests in commercial labs and at Bar-Ilan and Technion universities in Israel showed 90-99.9 percent pathogen-neutralizing effectiveness of UV rays in Juganu fixtures.
UVA, the safest part of UV, is activated continuously. UVC, which is even more effective against pathogens but hazardous to people, is manually activated by application at times when the space is vacant.
“There are safety measures connected to movement detectors and you set the time that the accelerated mode is active. It can be only a few minutes and after that it stops,” says Lewin.
This is J.Protect. Juganu began development in March, as the Covid-19 pandemic spread worldwide, and launched it in October.
The product can be used in hospitals, hotels, malls, spas, restaurants, schools and airports to suppress both aerosol- and surface-attached pathogens.