The Orb is a waterproof pair of antimicrobial UV light devices for use inside your stinky kicks, fruit drawer, coffee machine, backpack water reservoir or anywhere else you can fit a ping pong ball. The Orb’s UV-A Blue light aids in the prevention of bacteria & germs from growing. It can reduce odor without the use of chemicals or sprays inside things you might not want to spray disinfectant in.
In our coverage of Panasonic’s WhisperGreen exhaust fan we mentioned how water cleanses but water also creates mold. Mold and other bacteria can find its way into your home and eventually into your lungs if you leave it to spread and grow. The Orb uses low intensity blue 405nm UV-A light to kill and inhibit the growth of germs like fungus/mold, bacteria and algae.
UV blue light isn’t anything completely new, but it is becoming more accepted in different applications. You’ve seen UV Blue light used to disinfect your toothbrush, killing germs on your phone like Phonesoap, light therapy and even to brighten your teeth. The Rowenta HU5120 has a UV Blue light built right into the tank, but not all humidifiers have this feature. You can drop the Orbs into the water tank directly to discourage the growth of bacteria which can grow quickly in a humidifier.
It’s important to understand that there are variations in the spectrum of light that change the application of use. The Orb uses low intensity UV-A light, different from UV-C light that is used as a germicide but can be harmful to human exposure, UV-B is like the light from the sun that can cause you skin cancer.
“Medical studies have discovered something incredible about the 405nm light our Orb peaks at – it’s very effective at killing and inhibiting the growth of microbes, while still being safe for humans to use everyday.”
It is stated by the company that the Orb should not be used to try and sanitize raw (like from a river) water for consumption.
Specs & Design
The Orb UV light balls are designed to “kill algae, mold, fungus & bacteria” and each ball is indeed small and conveniently about the size of a ping pong ball. There are 13 blue light LEDs evenly spread out around the entire ball, 7 on top and 6 on bottom.
The unit comes with a charging and programming dock, USB wall plug and Type 2 USB cable. Total weight for the 2 Orbs with dock is less than 1 llb and measures 9″ × 4.5″ × 3″.
The dock uses magnetic charge points that marry to the power port of the UV balls easily for charging/storage. They’ll begin to blink as they charge, solid once they are fully charged. On the dock are touchscreen controls that allow you to change how frequently the UV light will illuminate in 1 hours time; setting one 2 min, setting two 4 min, setting three 6 min.
Once you’ve charged the Orb balls and selected 2min, 4min, 6min intervals the program button sends that schedule to the Orb ball(s) and you can place them where they need to do some disinfecting. A fast blink will tell you that the selected program is sent to the Orb.
“While UV-C light in the 100nm-280nm range is very effective at killing bacteria…415nm blue lights have been medically proven to kill acne-causing bacteria and have been used in this capacity by dermatologists for years. Our Orb uses a 405nm light which incorporates portions of the UV-A spectrum that has been proven to reduce mold, fungus, algae and bacteria.”
Our Tests Results & Experience
We’re not scientists or engineers and we don’t claim to be but we’ve done some testing around the home with the EnviroHygiene Orb Antimicrobial Light Ballsand here is what we found. We have used the Orb in three tests:
- in sneakers to reduce and kill any bad odors
- in the fruit drawer of the refrigerator
- in a confined space to kill visible black mold on fabric
Smelly Sneakers Test
Our favorite kicks have seen better days and like an old ripped flannel shirt we just keep wearing them, at least around the house. These sneakers don’t particularly breathe well so they’ve become a bit stinky. We placed the Orbs, 1 in each shoe overnight. Our results were inconclusive. Did they smell less? Sure they seemed to. Was it any more or less than just airing them out? Difficult to say since we have no way to definitively measure odor but they did seem to be a bit less smelly and without the scent of a shoe deodorizer which can be a little too much to deal with.
Fruit Drawer Test
One of the places where the Revive Light Therapy suggests to use the Orb UV product is in your fruit drawer. We’ve run this test twice each time with the same positive results. Typically you only get a few days with fresh strawberries. If you buy them on sale then you might be a little more pressed for time before they go bad. Often times we find mold on the strawberries if you don’t eat them fast enough even when you lower the humidity lever on the fruit drawer.
Two orbs strategically placed inside the full drawer (with various other fruits) and the 3 boxes of strawberries spread out such that we thought the UV light would be able to hit the bottoms of the typical strawberry containers that came from the supermarket.
With the Orbs in and actively toggling the blue light every hour on setting 1 we can honestly say that the strawberries seemed to last much longer. After a few days, no mold that we’d typically see by then. Remove the Orb and the next morning sure enough, white fuzzy mold on one of the Strawberries. We placed the Orbs back in and sure enough the next day, that white fuzzy mold was gone. After a couple more days still no mold but the strawberries started to deteriorate as they would normally from that amount of idle time. Round 2, another 3 boxes, repeating the process yielded the same results. It works!
Black Mold on Fabric Test
We tested a bathroom net that was built up with black mold, at the 6 min max setting 3, 15 hours in a white plastic bag for reflective properties to increase the effectiveness of the light theoretically. While there was a reduction in the black mold, the mass still remained. We believe that after a few more days it might have been possible to kill all the black mold but the fabric would still need to be washed thoroughly.
This isn’t a miracle UV disinfectant, it can kill bacteria however if you have mass built up, that mass will still remain. The UV-A light frequency used isn’t strong enough to pass a light over gunk and kill clumps of Black Mold, remember this has to remain in a safe spectrum for human exposure.
The product is still in it’s final stages of fine tuning and available for preorder at this time so there’s time for improvement yet. The Orb should not be used as a be all end all disinfectant but rather supplimental to discourage the growth of bacteria and also kill small amounts of bacteria before it starts to form and to maintain freshness.
The Orb Antimicrobial Light Ball is a UV-A spectrum light ball that safely uses blue/UV-A light to kill algae, mold, fungus and bacteria anywhere you can fit these ping pong ball sized devices. It’s easy to be skeptical about their effectiveness but they worked well for us to keep our strawberries fresher for a little longer. We’ll be using them in this capacity again and again. The Orb is ideal for humidifier tanks, personal water reservoir bladders and places where disinfectant sprays may not be the best idea.
Orb Antimicrobial UV Light Ball $129.00
pre-orders available now