Frequently Asked Questions about Lumacept
Does the paint look like normal paint to us?
Lumacept™ looks like normal white or tinted paint, whether in the can and on the wall. Those painting Lumacept will not notice a difference from paint they typically use. Hospital staff and patients will not notice anything different as well. The durability of Lumacept is the same as most other interior water-based paints.
Just as a tinted paint in your house looks less bright to your eyes than pure white, the addition of color to Lumacept™ also naturally reduces the level of UV-C reflectivity. However, this is normally not a problem since colors used in hospitals tend to be pastels and off-whites. Darker, more saturated colors are usually not recommended. We can work with you to determine how much UV-C reflectivity is present in custom tints.
A word of caution: We use a set of color concentrates that we’ve carefully tested. Lumacept™ MUST NOT be mixed with other paints to achieve a desired color. Even a very small amount of normal paint mixed in with Lumacept™ will destroy UV-C reflectivity.
Most of the ingredients in normal paints (binders, additives and pigments) absorb the deeper ultraviolet wavelengths in UV-C simply due to their molecular structure. UV-C is a very short wavelength of light that is absorbed by many types of molecules including many carbon bonds present in living things and in polymers and paints. The germicidal properties of UV-C are due to UV-C being absorbed by DNA’s molecular structure, which leads to bond-breaking and DNA errors that render microbes unable to replicate. A typical paint or plastic material will absorb about 95% of light at 254 nanometers (the most common germicidal UV-C wavelength). To develop patent pending Lumacept™ we had to essentially re-write the book on coating formulation, to provide interior latex coatings with high UV-C reflectivity.
Isn't fluorescent white paint the same thing?
No. Fluorescent paint which looks bright under a black light is not the same thing as UV-reflecting paint. Fluorescent paint absorbs the UV portion of light and re-emits it at another wavelength – one that can be seen by humans. This is why it appears bright to us. Optical brighteners that are used in fabrics and detergents are based on this same effect. UV reflective surfaces are different. They simply reflect the UV wavelengths rather than absorb them. Since the wavelength is not affected by reflection, we are still unable to see them and the surfaces do not look any different to us.
Can't a normal black light be used to test for UV reflection?
A normal blacklight does emit UV but our eyes can't see it. Black lights also emit a small amount of visible light near the lower end of our wavelength range. This is the violet light we see when a black light is on. You’d need UV imaging equipment to see the UV light coming off a black light.
When you see T-shirts or other object glow under a black light, we are not seeing UV reflection. Objects that glow under a black light are fluorescent - they absorb the UV and re-emit it as visible light. That's why a white t-shirt seems so bright under a black light- it takes the invisible UV and converts it to visible.
Some people mistakenly call fluorescent paint "UV paint" but it isn't. If an object glows brightly under a black light, it is absorbing UV.
Not normally. The components of Lumacept responsible for UV reflectivity are inert and do not significantly decay, wear out, get used up, or leach out over time. Of course, we can’t control what happens in your facility, but during typical use there will be no noticeable change in the reflectivity or appearance of Lumacept over its normal lifetime. Most likely, you’ll repaint the room for other reasons (normal wear and tear, remodeling, etc.) long before any changes are detected in the paint itself. Further, we’ve tested cleaners such as dilute bleach and quaternary ammonia and have found that they have no noticeable effect on the UV-reflective properties of the coating.
Keep in mind that dust, dirt, and other contaminants typically absorb UV, so keeping the walls clean is important for maximizing UV reflectivity.
The toughness of Lumacept™ is comparable to most commercial interior paints. As with most paints, hitting the wall with equipment will scuff it. Touch it up as needed. Expect a lifetime comparable to standard paint, which will of course be dependent on the accumulation of normal wear and tear.
Can the paint be applied the same way as regular paint?
Lumacept contains proprietary pigments and a unique formulation, but it is still paint. It behaves the same way that you would expect any other interior latex paint to behave. There are no special techniques that need to be used to apply our paint.
Lumacept™ is intended for standard primed drywall interior walls and generally adheres like most interior latexes. If you apply Lumacept™ to non-standard surfaces you must keep in mind that proper adhesion depends on several factors. Some surfaces are relative easy to achieve good adhesion and some are notoriously difficult. There is no latex coating that will stick well to Teflon, for instance. Adhesion to smooth metals, glass surfaces and plastics is also challenging. Surfaces should be clean of oils and other contaminants and primers should be used whenever possible. Applying Lumacept™ over primers or other interior latexes is generally easy, but always use good painting practices, use primers compatible with latexes, and apply a small test area if there is any doubt. Painting over plastic surfaces like existing vinyl wall coverings is difficult and a good primer is essential.
Generally speaking Lumacept™ is applied over normal walls already painted with standard latex. Every available paintable surface on the walls and ceiling of a room is a candidate for Lumacept™. The more surfaces that are coated with Lumacept™ the greater the UV-C intensity in the room. Don’t paint the floors unless for some reason you don’t expect to walk on them as floor coatings are designed for far more abuse than interior wall latex paint. It’s not usually practical to paint over a window and it might not be aesthetically pleasing to paint a stained door with a white or pastel color. Some patient rooms have lots of essential objects on the walls that cover the paintable surfaces too, but just remember the more surfaces you cover with Lumacept™ the better the results. Remember that you can apply Lumacept™ thin to be cost effective, which means you should first pre-paint the surface with a tint-matched standard latex (and primer for difficult surfaces) so you don’t have to apply Lumacept™ to a thickness needed for visible hide. Painting over already painted walls or new constructions drywall is pretty straightforward, but if you want to cover surfaces like vinyl wallcoverings take care to make sure you find a primer that has good adhesion first. Lumacept™ is not intended to be applied directly over hard to paint surfaces like bare brick, cement, metal, plastic etc. We do not guarantee adhesion. Primers compatible with interior latexes are strongly recommended when applying over difficult surfaces.
Can I spray the paint?
Yes, Lumacept can be sprayed using conventional spraying equipment.
Can I thin the paint?
Yes, it can be thinned using water.
Are there any special precautions that need to be taken?
Lumacept technology does not pose any special safety or environmental risks. Of course, you should take all of the normal precautions when dealing with water based paints..
Can I buy Lumacept in stores?
If you live in the Pacific Northwest, you can buy Lumacept through Miller Paint, which has over 50 retail locations. We will gradually be adding more retail partners. If you are interested in becoming a dealer, please contact us.
How long will it take to receive my order?
Orders placed online are normally shipped within 48 hours. You will be notified if there are any delays for your order.