There are plenty of UV bulbs waiting in the supply chain. These could be used to make germicidal chambers. Grandma and Grandpa could throw a package in there, let the light shine on it for a while, and poof, no coronavirus. Beats having to wipe down every box from Amazon or food delivery with bleach if you're immunocompromised.
The problem is, all these UV bulbs come in odd sizes:
- F5, 1' tube
And they also take low voltages. Even if you get an E26 (standard) to E17 adapter, the bulb will blow the moment you plug it in. Most of these little germicidal bulbs only handle 3, 3.5 watts. What voltage their expecting, I haven't found documented. Presumably the lamps they go into already step down the voltage appropriately.
This seems like it should be a trivial solve. Home Depot carries a page of E17 bulbs. What lighting fixtures do they carry that those will go in? Ikea also has their own E17 bulb. Which lamp does it fit? I'm striking out on finding documentation for this.
I can't begin to guess how many germicidal bulbs are sitting in the supply chain, waiting to be put into service. Once the concept is proven in a DIY Sterilization Chamber for incoming packages, I'd like to take it further. I'd love to fasten a battery powered candelabra atop a roomba and let it bump around any grocery store that will have it overnight, taking a second pass at sterilizing all the surfaces that don't get wiped down or mopped at the end of the day: The cereal boxes that people touched and then put back on the shelves, and everything else like that.
Safety note: Do not expose yourself to a powered germicidal bulb. There's a reason these things are usually enclosed in ductwork, air purifiers, etc.. Hard UV light is bad for you, m'kay? If you're reading this and wanting to build your own, great. Just, enclose the light or set it loose on a roomba when no one is around, ok?