A novel whole ceiling upper-room ultraviolet germicidal irradiation (UVGI) system [eggcrate ultraviolet (UV)] has been developed that incorporates open-cell ‘eggcrate’-suspended ceiling panels and bare UV lamps with a ceiling fan. Upper-room UVGI is more effective for air disinfection than mechanical ventilation at much lower installation and operating costs. Conventional upper-room UVGI fixtures employ multiple tightly spaced horizontal louvers to confine UV to the upper-room. These louvered fixtures protect occupants in the lower-room from UV-induced eye and skin irritation, but at a major cost to fixture efficiency. Using a lamp and ballast from a conventional upper-room UVGI fixture in the eggcrate UV system, the germicidal efficacy was markedly improved even though the UV radiation emitted by the lamp was unchanged. This fundamental change in the application of upper-room UVGI air disinfection should permit wider, more effective application of UVGI globally to reduce the spread of airborne infection.