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 Lighting Legislation

Attribution: Title: Justice | Author: Succo | Licence: CC0 Public Domain

The growing concern of global warming worldwide has led to targets being set for the reduction of carbon dioxide emission and energy use globally. Hence the UK Government and the European Commission took up this issue in the form of The Climate Change Act 2009, The Energy Act 2009 and through new lighting legislation.

Following the guidelines of the two Acts, The Institution of Lighting Professionals explains that,

Legally within the UK we now have a national requirement to reduce emissions by 80% by 2050 and in order to aid this, an interim target of 60% reduction by 2030.

Lighting legislation is becoming more stringent with new laws and regulations. These regulations are not based on banning existing lighting products but demand newer improved products that meets certain performance requirements which includes the lifespan, maximum wattage and minimum per watt requirements.

According to Allan Howard, Technical Director ILP,

If you are responsible for the specification, design, installation or maintenance of interior and exterior lighting then I cannot stress how important it is for you to understand the implication of the current and forthcoming legislation which is aimed at reducing energy and carbon use.

The timetable for the Domestic Lighting Legislation Measures.

Clear Lamps

StageDatePhasing- OutReplacements
101 Sept 2009All clear lamps > 950lm ( ~80w GLS)Energy Class C
201 Sept 2010All clear lamps > 725lm ( ~65w GLS)Energy Class C
301 Sept 2011All clear lamps > 450lm ( ~45w GLS)Energy Class C
401 Sept 2012All clear lamps > 60lm ( ~12w GLS)Energy Class C
501 Sept 2013Increased quality requirementsEnergy Class C
Review2014-/--/-
601 Sept 2016All clear lamps >60lmEnergy Class B_

Non Clear Lamps

StageDatePhasing-outReplacements
101 Sept 2009All non-clear lampsEnergy Class A

To help end consumers understand the efficiency of light bulbs and lighting legislation, The Federal Trade Commission changed its labelling requirements for incandescent, halogen, LED and compact florescent bulbs. Apart from providing the lumens (brightness) and energy efficiency information on the packaging, manufacturers under the Ecodesign Directive is also required to include the following:

  • New lighting legislation packaging requirements (pictograms) as of Sept 2010 (one year extension as per industry’s wish was accepted).
  • Requirement for mercury content to be added to packaging Energy saving claim for Class A only under new lighting legislation rules.
On PackagingOn Free Access Website
Nominal luminous flux (2x size of W)All information required on packaging
Nominal Lifetime – Rated Lifetime (h)Rated power ( 0.1W precision)
Number of switching cyclesRated luminous flux
Colour temperature (as value in Kelvin)Rated lamp life time
Warm up time until 60% is reached, if < 1s = > “instant full light”Power factor
Warning if lamp cannot be dimmed or only on specific dimmersLumen maintenance factor at the end of the nominal lifetime
Information if not designed for std conditionsStarting time (x.x s)
Lamp dimensions (mm)Colour rendering
If equivalent GLS is mentioned, minimum values need to be fulfilledFor Hg containing lamps cleaning instructions in case of breakage
“energy saving” term only for class A lamps for Hg containing lampsInformation on lamp disposal at end of life time
For Hg containing lamps lamp mercury content (x.x mg)
Website for instructions in case of breakage

The Lighting Industry Association reports that,

As Lighting contributes circa 20% of energy usage with the European Union (EU) member states, there has been considerable emphasis on introducing Directives which will reduce and control the energy consumption of lighting within commercial and residential applications.

EU Energy Performance of Buildings Directive laid out the following objective-

Promote the improvement of energy performance of buildings within the Community taking into account outdoor climatic and local conditions, as well as indoor climate requirements and cost-effectiveness.

The way in which we light, heat and use our 25 million buildings contributes to almost 50 per cent of the total energy consumption and carbon emissions in the UK. It is vital that we make our buildings more energy efficient.

Even minor improvements to the energy performance of our buildings could have a considerable effect on our fuel bills and carbon emissions. Light sources consume a considerable proportion of the energy utilised within a building.

In England and Wales, the new building regulation rules states that for,

Efficient lighting, reasonable provision should be made to enable effective control and use of efficient lamps. Either, lamp capacity does not exceed 150 Watts per light fitting and the lighting automatically switches off when there is enough daylight and when it is not required at night or the lighting fittings have sockets that can only be used with lamps having an efficacy greater than 40 lumens per circuit-Watt.


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