Frequently Asked Questions

Is the LightboxDIY™ guaranteed to kill the SARS-CoV-2?

NO! The Lightbox DIY is not a medical device, nor do we guarantee any outcomes. The Lightbox DIY project is merely a set of instructions for makers to build a machine that meets the standards set forth by the FDA to kill the Coronavirus. We’ve tried dozens of iterations to determine the most accessible, efficient and cost-effective way possible to acheive the correct temperature and time required using off-the-shelf materials. Build and use at your own risk.

Why dry heat?

Multiple scientific studies have shown that the dry heat is an effective way to sanitize masks. Dry heat disinfection (heating at 70°C for 30 minutes) has been proven effective and had the least effect on damaging the filtering mechanism of masks, with a filtering effect that can be maintained above 95%. Sources:

What kind of light bulb do I need?

Incandescent light bulbs are used because they turn about 95% of the input power into heat. Only about 5% is turned into visible light.

Can I use a CFL or LED bulb instead?

No, these types of bulbs generate very little heat. They are very efficient in generating light, but that is not our goal in this design.

Why lightbulbs and not other heating sources?

Incandescent light bulbs are safer than most other heat sources, readily available, and inexpensive.

What technical skills do I need to build your machine?

You will need some basic woodworking skills to cut the plywood, assemble the box with screws and glue, add hinges and latches and add insulation. You will also need a basic knowledge of wiring AC circuits. Tutorials can be found online.

What tools will I need?

The plywood will need to be cut with one of the following: table saw, circular saw or hand saw. Measurements are made with a tape measure or steel ruler of adequate length. Box assembly will require a drill, drill bits, screwdriver bits, screwdrivers, pliers, wirestrippers, scissors or boxcutter and a pencil.

Is it important to have a temperature controller and fan in the system?

Yes. The system needs to hold a temperature for a specified period of time. The fan is required in order to keep consistent temperatures throughout the chamber. Research shows that masks will become deformed and less effective when overheated.

Once the system is built, what is the protocol for disinfecting my mask?

See the tab about how to use the LightboxDIY.