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[ Green: Lighting ]

Lighting upgrades offer end-users an easy win when it comes to reducing energy costs


ighting has come a long way since Swan and Edison battled to become the first to develop an incandescent lamp back in the 1870s. Yet, amazingly, modern variations of this old favourite still exist to this day in

the domestic sector, despite the best efforts of governments, lighting bodies and manufacturers to promote energy-efficient lighting practices in the UK and across the EU. Not for much longer, perhaps. A raft of directives and

standards, driven by the Kyoto Protocol, has been introduced to bring about a seismic shift in energy use, ushering in sustainable lighting products and installations in the process. Large energy consumers (more than 6,000 MWh per year) will have to fall in line with the Carbon Reduction Commitment (CRC) from April next year, and October 2010 sees the introduction of tougher energy targets in the Building Regulations (see box). And it’s not just clients that are affected; lighting products are being radically overhauled by manufacturers to comply with the Energy Related Products (ErP) Directive (see box). Clearly, opportunities abound for the wily contractor in terms of lighting upgrades.

Light touch Eddie Taylor is chief executive of trade body the Lighting Industry Federation (LIF). He comments: ‘There is a strong interest from users in energy efficiency and cost reduction, so the opportunity is there for all parties in the supply chain, including contractors, to sell higher value-added lighting solutions. Regulations such as ErP, the Building Regs, CRC etc provide encouragement to users to invest in these higher value-adding products/solutions in order to be compliant and reduce their costs and this is reinforced if the requirements are promoted to them throughout the supply chain.’ Paul Reeve, head of health, safety and environment at

the Electrical Contractors’ Association, argues that lighting is one of the key technology solutions for end users looking to reduce their energy requirements: ‘Lighting is a great place to start because it tends to deliver impressive paybacks for relatively low capital costs. Not only does it save energy, but it can also bring improved maintenance

ErP outlaws inefficient lighting

The Energy Related Products Directive (ErP) replaced the Energy Using Products Directive (EuP) in late November 2009. The legislation has been extended from household lighting products to industrial, street and office lighting. The target is to save 20m tonnes of CO2

per year by setting minimum efficacy

limits, plus minimum limits for lamp survival and lamp lumen maintenance, for ‘professional’ lamps, control gear, fittings and controls. Consequently, basic halophosphate T8 fluorescent tubes will be removed and T12 tubes phased out, followed by high-pressure mercury lamps in 2015. Inefficient high pressure sodium and metal halide lamps will be removed from the market in 2012. More significantly, from 2012 all new fluorescent luminaires must be sold with a high frequency electronic ballast capability and in 2017 switchstart (magnetic) ballasts will not be allowed, even as replacements in existing fittings. ‘Given the advantages electronic ballast luminaires offer – no flicker, 20 per cent less energy, and in some cases dimmable control – they should already be the contractor’s first choice in fluorescent lighting, adding value for the end user,’ says Thorn’s Hugh King. There are certainly plenty of opportunities, as around two thirds of current commercial and industrial lighting remains energy inefficient.

Autumn 2010 ECA Today 19


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