Case Study

Lighting Solutions for Sampdoria FC

How our Biovitae lights reduce the bacterial load of the changing rooms of the junior Sampdoria FA football team.

Our lights continuously sanitise without sterilising, therefore reducing the risk of infection whilst making them completely safe for humans and animals. They are effective against bacteria and viruses in the air and on surfaces, making the areas they are used in considerably healthier. The following case study explores the effect of the lights in the real life of a football training ground and changing rooms.

Environment

The changing rooms of the junior Sampdoria FA team are in Bogliasco (Genova, Italy), close to one of the three football pitches of the Sampdoria training site. The locker rooms are located into a reinforced concrete small building, with north-facing windows that are new, but not perfectly sealed. On the north side of the changing rooms, there are three football pitches. Because spring winds are mainly from the north and northeast, as well as the non-perfect sealing of the windows, this results in a continuous provision of environmental microbes and yeast from the northern fields. Therefore, in these rooms, Biovitae lights were installed and tested.

W i n d o w Changing Room (north side) Changing Room (south side) S h ow er A r e a C o rr idor W ash Basin T oilet Mass a ge A r e a W i n d o w W i n d o w W i n d o w No r th

Background

The changing rooms were divided into different zones and sampling zones were identified together with the medical staff of the football team zones. Then, samplings were performed in 24 hours, starting from Monday 9.00 am to Tuesday 9.00 am, then from Tuesday 9.00 am to Wednesday 9.00 am. Thus, the reference period (lights off) consisted of 24 hours where telluric bacterial flora and yeasts were measured. The test period (lights on) consisted of a 24-hour period where inhibition of the proliferation of the telluric flora by Biovitae lights was controlled in the same experimental conditions. To enumerate the colonies on agar plates (namely, blood agar for gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria and Sabureau agar for yeasts from Biomerieux), agar Petri dishes were opened and left to lay on the ceiling. After 24 hours, plates were collected, sealed and incubated at 37°C for 24-48 hours. Next, the number of colonies was counted by two different technicians and experts in the field. For yeasts, the colonies were counted after another 48 hours at room temperature. The counts were performed visually. During the whole period of the test, locker rooms were closed and no one was admitted inside. Thus, tests were performed in very basal conditions, avoiding the effects of the presence of athletes. In addition, because locker rooms were closed to athletes for the test, the whole experiment was performed only once in the very short period when workouts were suspended due to the COVID-19 epidemic. 

W i n d o w Changing Room (north side) Changing Room (south side) S h ow er A r e a C o rr idor W ash Basin T oilet Mass a ge A r e a W i n d o w W i n d o w W i n d o w No r th

Results

Table 1 – Bacteria colony count 

Area

Day 1

Day 2

% of inhibition

Biovitae lights

Massage

17

3

82.4

On

Area

Day 1

Day 2

% of inhibition

Biovitae lights

Locker (north)

22

3

86.4

On

Area

Day 1

Day 2

% of inhibition

Biovitae lights

Locker (south)

32

6

81.3

On

Area

Day 1

Day 2

% of inhibition

Biovitae lights

Showers

216

168

22.2

Off

Area

Day 1

Day 2

% of inhibition

Biovitae lights

Wash Basin

23

3

87.0

Indirect

Area

Day 1

Day 2

% of inhibition

Biovitae lights

Toilet

28

6

78.6

Indirect

Area

Day 1

Day 2

% of inhibition

Biovitae lights

Corridor

30

7

76.7

On

PositionDescriptionDay 1Day 2% of inhibitionBiovitae lights
1Massage area17382,4ON
2Changing room (north side)22386,4ON
3Changing room (south side)32681,3ON
4Showers area21616822,2OFF
5Wash basin23387,0INDIRECT
6Toilet28678,6INDIRECT
7Corridor30776,7ON

Table 2 – Yeast colony count 

Area

Day 1

Day 2

% of inhibition

Biovitae lights

Massage

20

3

85

On

Area

Day 1

Day 2

% of inhibition

Biovitae lights

Locker (north)

31

3

90.3

On

Area

Day 1

Day 2

% of inhibition

Biovitae lights

Locker (south)

32

6

81.3

On

Area

Day 1

Day 2

% of inhibition

Biovitae lights

Showers

150

4

97.5

Off

Area

Day 1

Day 2

% of inhibition

Biovitae lights

Wash Basin

32

3

90.6

Indirect

Area

Day 1

Day 2

% of inhibition

Biovitae lights

Toilet

29

6

79.3

Indirect

Area

Day 1

Day 2

% of inhibition

Biovitae lights

Corridor

24

7

70.9On

PositionDescriptionDay 1Day 2% of inhibitionBiovitae lights
1Massage area20385,0ON
2Changing room (north side)31390,3ON
3Changing room (south side)32681,3ON
4Showers area160497,5OFF
5Wash basin32390,6INDIRECT
6Toilet29679,3INDIRECT
7Corridor24770,8ON

Findings

Data collected in the small but interesting test performed on Biovitae lights positioned in the changing rooms of a football team indicates that both bacteria and yeast are inhibited. This result is in line with what has already been observed in a more controlled “laboratory” setting by using standard strains of microbes. Added values of this experimental setting can be identified. Indeed, the results observed were obtained in real-life conditions, with real changing rooms, real windows, real microbes and yeast. In addition, Biovitae lights were installed as “normal” lights under the ceilings. Unfortunately, in the shower area, due to technical reasons, lights were switched off and a worse inhibition was observed. In the same context, other points should be considered. First, inhibition of the proliferation of bacteria and yeast was not strictly related to the presence of “direct” irradiation on the surface, but also by diffusion and reflection of the light. This was evident in positions (such as the toilet, where the light was diffused and/or reflected by the corridor lamp). But even more interestingly, despite the shower light was off, the diffusion of the corridor light weakly inhibited bacteria (-20%) but strongly (and surprisingly) inhibited yeasts.

Nevertheless, statistics should be used in the context of a well-performed (and repeated) experimental setting. In the present conditions, an average 80% inhibition of the number of colonies is probably already suggestive of the activity of the lights. Despite the above-mentioned warnings, the whole experiment was indicative of the capacity of Biovitae light to inhibit bacterial and yeast proliferation in a real-life setting. Overall, this finding supports the use of the Biovitae lights in other environments where the control of microbiological contamination could be indicated.

So why not talk to us about our solutions for lighting as part of our Healthy Buildings range.

If you’d like to find out more about our approach and experience in creating healthy buildings please do get in touch.