This Week's Herman Trend Alert

Leadership in Normal 2.0

  The Herman Trend Alert

April 1, 2020

Disinfecting with Light

With our current justifiable preoccupation with the COVID-19 virus, when I saw information about this breakthrough, I had to write about it. Though I was tempted to create an April Fool's Herman Trend Alert, this is not one. Not only does this technology exist, but it is in use.

Hotels for Hospitals
Once the current crisis has passed, those hotels that were used as hospital rooms will require deep disinfectant cleaning. For most properties, this extreme cleaning regimen will take weeks of work and lots of trained staff. Imagine if a germ-zapping robot could do the job in five minutes using light as opposed to chemicals? One hotel is already using this breakthrough technology and it is in Houston, Texas.

Westin Houston Medical Center Hotel: on the Leading Edge
Located in my home state of Texas, The Westin Houston Medical Center holds the honor of being the first and currently only hotel in the United States to use this high-tech solution employing virus-killing robots.

What are LightStrikeTM Germ-Zapping RobotsTM?
The robots use Xenon-gas-generated Ultraviolet (UV) light to kill germs wherever they are placed. The light treatment even disinfects bath amenities and coffee, offered to guests in sealed bags. Pearl Hospitality, the hotel's owner and operator uses the light to add another layer to their normal cleansing process.

The Hotel's Normal Regime
Though the 273-room hotel currently uses two of the germ-killing robots on the property to disinfect, all public areas and guest rooms are also cleansed using Ecolab's TB Disinfectant Cleaner. This effective product is a hospital-grade disinfectant. The robots are used to clean every guest room between stays. Moreover, the common spaces including the lobby, restaurant, café, bar, and meeting rooms are cleaned daily. These same enhanced disinfectant protocols have been used in over 500 hospitals across the globe, as well as the Mayo Clinic.

Developed by Researchers
Near the hotel, two scientists at the Houston Medical Center developed these cool germ-zapping robots. Since the hotel is on the property of the medical center, it only takes about eight minutes to walk from the hotel to the healthcare facility.

An Indication of Things to Come
Though Westin has no upcoming plans to expand use of the robots to other properties, their introduction is clearly part of a larger trend to make hotel rooms cleaner and safer for travelers.

A Reminder for All of Us
Disinfecting with Ultraviolet light reminds us the importance of protecting ourselves from the COVID-19 by washing our hands and if you have to go to the store, use hand sanitizer and if you can, wear gloves. Finally, wipe clean any potentially contaminated surfaces. After you take a delivery and put it away, be sure to wash your hands yet again.

Special thanks to for bringing this breakthrough to our attention. To see the video of the Lightstrike Germ Zapping Robot, use FireFox to visit There, you will also find the full text of their article about this fascinating new technology.

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