Introduction: Large UVC Light Sanitizer Box
This is a tutorial with a build time of 2.5 hours. When completed, you'll have a good sized UVC light sanitization box. It's an intermediate beginner tutorial and expects you have basic soldering and wiring experience.
Please note. This is a quick rough draft as I've had many requests for this)
Build Cost(Approx. $160 CDN )
- The UV lights should not be handled with bare skin. The lights do NOT appreciate skin oil and it causes burn out quicker. I typically use 70% Isopropyl to clean the bulbs just before I install them, and wear gloves to handle and install the lights.
- The UV lights should be wiped once a month to clear residue. The 70% Isopropyl solution works for this.
- These are UVC lights. They are NOT good for your skin or eyes. You in no way should expose any living thing to these lights for ANY length of time. For real. Unless you're idea of fun is skin cancer.
- The lights typically burn out after about 8-9 months. Sometimes they still work, but will have less output, which you won't be able to determine unless you have specialized equipment that is way more expensive than it is to purchase new bulbs every 9 months just to make sure.
- Drill bits needed for:
- Size: (17/64) - Drilling hole in crate big enough for power cord coming in
- Size: ((13/64) - Drilling holes in crate for screws to hold ballasts and lights
- Size: (1/16) - Drilling holes in crate to wire in the loose wires as well as the wire shelf
- Storage tote - preferably one with hinged top. Ones without attached lids are prone to ripping the wires from the light socket, as it get attached to the lid so the light comes from both above and below. In this build I used a GSC Heavy Duty Flip Tote (45 L) - 54.9cm x 39.3 cm x 32 cm
- Electrical tape ($1.59)
- 2 x magnetic ballasts - Etlin Daniels - CAT# CF-1322T-CC-TP - https://etlin-daniels.com/product/cf-1322t-cc-tp-... ($15 ea)
- 2 x UVC lights - OSRAM - Puritec HNS S 9W UVC - GCF9DS - G23 Base ($35 ea). If you find a good distributer you can get this price down to about $13 ish.
- Note- The ballast is rated for 13-22 watt bulbs, but in this build I'm indicating a 9 watt bulb. This is because that was all I could get my hands on at the time. This is perfectly fine for the build, but may cause the light lifetime to shorten slightly because it is being driven slightly harder. If you find an equivalent bulb in the range of 13-22 it should work as well. Make sure it is in the 254 nm wavelength, is UVC and fits the G23 base and you should be safe.
- 2 x G23 Base Socket ($3.50 ea)
- 8 screws and bolts - 1/2" - ($1.5)
- Wire to hold in the wire shelf you are making ($3.99)
- Wire mesh to be used as the shelf you place items on. I used one with 3/4" spacing in the grid - ($11.99)
- [Optional] Glue gun glue (7.69)
- [Optional] Tin foil
- 60/40 roisin core wire solder ($20.99)
- Grounded plug in cable - 120V ($11.32)
- Braided strand wire so that you have a flexible wire going to the lid of the tote that will be open and closed many times ($3.00)
- Solid core wire, won't need as much of this. The G23 bases have these tiny pinholes you have to insert your wire into, strand wire won't be able to be pushed into these holes, so we'll need some solid core to solder to the other wire ($1.50)
Step 1: Line the Bottom of Your Box With Tin Foil
Line the bottom of your box with tin foil and use the glue gun to attach the tin foil. This is more to protect the plastic closest to the UVC light, as it is known that UVC light slowly decomposes plastics. Also figure out where you are placing the top light fixture (as you are placing one socket on top and one on the bottom), and glue some tin foil under the area where that socket will exist. If you don't do this, possibly the plastic in your tote box will become brittle. This may take many years of use before this occurs though, so don't fret if you want to skip this step.
Using glue gun to apply tin foil to whole box to make it more reflective and potentially better to distribute the light. If you are going to tin foil the whole box, do the sides and the lid now, and only place the bottom tin foil down to get placement for the laps. Later on you can hide the wires under the bottom layer of tinfoil which will help protect the wires plastic sheaths from the UV light. Again, not super necessary.
Step 2: Socket and Ballast Placement
- Figure out where you are placing the light sockets in your box as well, use a pen to mark out the holes you need to secure your light socket as well.
- Figure out where you are placing both your ballasts. I find it best to place one on each side of your box to make it feel more balanced. Place the ballasts in a way such that both top lines and bottom lines match. Use a pen to mark the holes you need to drill to secure your ballasts.
- Drill the holes and secure your light sockets and ballasts using the screws
Step 3: Size the Wire Shelf and Drill Holes for It
- The objects you are sanitizing need to sit on top of a mesh shelf that you'll be cutting to size so it fits approximately 1/3 way from the bottom so as to give more room for the top of the box to close. Drill 3 - 4 sets of holes around the side of the box. You will be using the 1/16 drill bit. The hole sets will be used to run a wire through to twist-tie the wire shelf in place. Do as many as you feel you need to do to support the weight objects you'll be placing on this wire shelf.
- When you are sizing up the wire shelf, make sure to leave a gap at one of the ends, so that you can easily enough reach down to change the bottom bulb should you need to (or to collect anything that falls below the wire shelf. See the finished example for an idea of the wire basket. Use the wire cutters and approximate what you need, then cut further down to size as you try it out in the box you picked.
Don't place the wire shelf in yet, just get the holes ready for now
Step 4: Time to Wire It Up
Wire up your unit as per this diagram. This is far away from an electrical diagram, just the sketching of a mildly mad scientist ;)
- Make sure you solder the connections and use electrical tape to wrap them. Please see other tutorials on how to solder two wires together if this process isn't known to you.
- You'll be left with a small mess of wires. Use electrical tape or other mechanism to organize your wires. I also drilled some additional twist tie wire holes in my box and tied my wires to the side of the box to hold them in place
Step 5: Install the Wire Shelf
- Once all your wiring is in, it is now time to place in your wire shelf and use the holes you drilled earlier to loop in the twist tie type wire to secure the shelf with.
- Once you are done, it should look like the images. Below is a version of the box I did with tin foil all around. I secured it with 4 ties on the long sides and 3 on the short sides. I use the box now to sanitize items like masks, phones, remote controls and much of the items I purchase from the store. Produce, boxes of pasta. I also use the device to sanitize incoming mail / packages before opening. Works well.
2 years ago
Nice job putting this setup together :)
Reply 2 years ago
Thank you :)