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Viewpoint


Lets Work Together


Energy efficient lighting policy must be matched by clear guidance and communication believes Simon Leggett, Managing Director at OCG Lighting.


Draft legislation drawn up by the European Commission suggests that low voltage halogens be banned from next year as part of the same Ecodesign legislation that led to the phasing out of incandescent bulbs. Under the proposals, some lamps that are widespread in retail, commercial and residential applications are drafted to be phased out from 2013 to make way for better-performing versions by 2016.


Government has a fundamental role to play in accelerating the widespread adoption of energy-efficient lighting solutions, but policy must be matched by clear guidance for users, and a better understanding of the benefits of new technology. There is a real possibility for government to work together with our industry’s innovators to prompt a radical rethink in our approach to lighting solutions. The way to achieve this is through proper communication and education around the overall value of product lifetime and reliability.


There are two alternatives to the 12V, 50W, halogen MR16; compact fluorescents (CFLs) and LEDs. CFLs operate at between 12-14W, but require the replacement of existing fittings due to their greater overall size. In contrast, LEDs can be directly retrofit into a halogen fitting and operate at a low 7W. LEDs also offer a considerable extended lifetime of up to 30,000 hours operation, compared to around 9,000 hours for CFLs or 2,500 for halogens.


The reality is that LEDs are more expensive as an initial purchase. It would be a mistake to try to produce LED lamps that are at a similar price point to halogens because the two technologies represent fundamentally different approaches to lighting. Price matching LED lamps would only result in poor quality light output and premature failure, which in turn would mean low-levels of customer satisfaction and acceptance.


Education is needed around the value of long-life, high efficiency solutions to avoid simple point-of-purchase price based decisions.


The fact is that there is a very good financial case for retrofitting with LEDs; they use less than a fifth of the energy consumed by halogens and boast a product lifetime up to 10 times longer. These factors result in significant savings in the longer term, on both energy bills and maintenance costs. Unfortunately, these savings are not yet fully understood by the majority of consumers, and until both government and the lighting industry get behind a shift in thinking towards long-terms solutions, product banning is likely to remain deeply unpopular.


Contact:


OCG Lighting T: +44 (0)844 2571 333 www.ocglighting.com


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www.a1lightingmagazine.com


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