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Phasing out of inefficient lamps - EC regulations

With the phasing out of inefficient lamps, there’s never been a better time to investigate next-generation lighting

April 2017 saw the introduction of the latest phase of EC regulations intended to increase lighting efficiency, with the consequence that a significant number of older lamp types will no longer be placed onto the market. All of which means that now is the time for building and facilities managers to think carefully about next generation lighting, says Tamlite Lighting’s Head of Sales, Marketing & Product Development, Colin Lawson.

Stage by stage, the lights are going out all over for Europe when it comes to inefficient illumination. A wave of EC regulations – notably 245/2009 affecting fluorescent and other older lamp types – have sought to minimise the energy consumption of lighting for business and for home, and have led to a wave of public and private initiatives geared towards the replacement of legacy systems with high-efficiency, next-generation solutions.
April 2017 saw the implementation of the third phase of the 245/2009 regulation, as a result of which it is no longer possible to place low-performing metal halide lamps with E27, E40 and PGZ12 caps (<405W), or compact fluorescent lamps with two pins and an integral starter switch, onto the market for the first time. These lamp types have historically been widespread in industrial and office applications, respectively.

With a few exceptions, companies are still allowed to stock and sell these lamps, but they can no longer be manufactured. Here at Tamlite Lighting we estimate that there is somewhere in the re-gion of two years’ worth of stock of both types out in the market, so there is certainly no need to panic about the availability of replacement fixtures just yet.

Rising maintenance costs
However, the laws of supply and demand mean that with no new such systems being placed onto the market, customers are bound to see an increase in unit price for the older types. Maintenance costs are also destined to rise as the replacement of these lamps becomes more problematic and requires more extensive sourcing efforts.

In a broader context, the impact of regulatory changes and the abundance of publicity about major corporations who have shifted towards high efficiency – most commonly LED-based – lighting, means that the writing is surely on the wall for fluorescent lighting in the majority of large-scale ap-plications. Further initiatives at a Europe-wide or individual government level are pretty much guar-anteed, so those who have not moved away from old-style lamps may ultimately have no choice but to do so.

It’s no wonder, then, that so many people in the industry agree that there has never been a better – or more astute time – to pause, look around, and carefully evaluate your company’s use of lighting technology.

Consider overall upgrades
These changes may prompt facilities managers to carry out ‘spot’ replacements with LEDs as each older lamp type fails. However, at Tamlite we strongly advise against spot replacements, as the mixing of magnetic and electronic ballasts on the same switched circuit could cause damaging high voltage peaks. We strongly advise replacing all existing magnetic ballasts with electronic ones.

All of this means that – rather than undertake the shift away from older lamps in a piecemeal fash-ion – the smart move is to approach upgrades with a comprehensive strategy in place. Indeed, at Tamlite (and doubtless at many other leading lighting specialists), we are encountering companies who need little convincing about the value of implementing site-wide lighting programmes on a daily basis.

The fact is that LED lighting is now overwhelmingly established as the light source of choice for those looking to both reduce energy and save money. On a fundamental level, the energy savings can be measured in high double-digit percentages, with Tamlite figures – based on a replacement of legacy lamp types with an equal number of LED replacements – indicating that reductions of 63% (retail applications), 65% (office) and 85% (both industrial and domestic) are now achieved routinely.

Then there is the fact that LED luminaires commonly offer a lifetime of more than 30,000 hours, which even on the basis of 24/7 operation means that they can up and running for at least three years – double the lifespan of some conventional lamp types. And fewer replacements translates to reduced maintenance costs and interruptions to the normal working practices of a building.

The improved lighting quality of the latest LED-based solutions has also been well-documented in many reports, with managers in schools, offices and industrial facilities attesting to the positive im-pact this can have on the performance and well-being of their employees – and themselves.

With the new regulations taking effect, it is an eminently logical move to speak to a leading lighting specialist about the impact of the changes now taking place and your access to supplies over the next few years. But those who wish to work on a longer-term basis and enjoy the dramatic cost and energy savings that can be delivered by LED lighting, it also makes sense to seek their advice about a comprehensive shift to next-generation systems – sooner rather than later.

Facilities Management World