Why doesn’t normal paint reflect UV?

FAQs, Updates

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.

Does Lumacept™ have good adhesion to surfaces?


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.

Is Lumacept™ available in colors?

FAQs, Product Info

One of the most common questions we get is “Does it only come in white?”. While Lumacept is made as a white base coating, it can be, and usually is, tinted. Customers typically want us to match a color that they are already using. For example, hospitals often buy paint from the local retail store of a large paint manufacturer and use one of their standard colors. We have the capability to match any of these colors. If you send us the color name and number, we’ll match it and send you a sample for approval.

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.

Can I use Lumacept™ with my “always on” upper room UVGI air disinfection system?


NO!  Upper air systems that disinfect by horizontal illumination of the upper air of an occupied room are common UVGI devices but they must NEVER be used in a room painted with Lumacept™.   These upper air devices depend on the ceiling and upper walls to be UV-C absorbing to keep people in the room from being exposed to UV-C.  Lumacept™ SHOULD ONLY BE USED in rooms where UV-C disinfection occurs while the room is UNOCCUPIED.

Does the UV reflectivity of Lumacept™ wear out over time?

FAQs, Product Info

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.