Case Study: Hands-free light switches

Illinois hospital installs touchless automatic door switches from Larco for added infection control in new surgical suite.


The Larco U-WAV hands-free light switchSPRING VALLEY, Illinois – St. Margaret’s Health, the premier provider of healthcare services in the Illinois Valley, recently completed a brand-new surgical suite consisting of three major surgery rooms and two cystoscopy rooms as part of St. Margaret’s Hospital. In this suite, surgical patients benefit from the latest technology including the C-Arm, fiber-optic scope and computerized anesthesia units. The new enclosed suite was also designed to be a highly sterile environment—so the doctors, administrators and facility managers at St. Margaret’s wanted to find an automatic door solution that would keep incoming germs to a minimum.

Greg Rowley, a veteran service technician who works at Advanced Door Control Solutions Inc., has installed and serviced most of the automatic doors at St. Margaret’s. After testing a new product sample from Larco and comparing it to competitive products, Greg ordered and installed the U-WAV touchless sensor to activate the main access doors to this surgical area.

Ideal for sterile environments such as operating rooms or clean rooms, the U-WAV sensor switch provides a complete hygienic solution for many different applications, including activation of automatic doors, lighting controls or call points. The switch works by sensing motion—the wave of a person’s hand—at a selectable detection range from 4 to 20 inches.

According to Rowley, the Larco U-WAV is an ideal solution for St. Margaret’s surgery suite because it allows doctors and nurses to enter and exit the surgery suite without touching any door handles or activation switches. He says, “In a sterilized surgery area, doctors don’t want to touch anything they don’t have to.” In addition to great performance, Greg says the U-WAV “looks great” in the state-of-the-art facility, with a low-profile and sleek design that blends into its surroundings.

U-WAV touchless sensor switches are part of the automatic door products line from Larco. Larco, a division of ATEK Products, provides a wide range of sensor products for automatic doors, industrial safety and other applications. For more information about the hygienic and safety benefits of the U-WAV Touchless Switch from Larco, visit the Web site at