Future energy efficiency classes T

By Fabian Fligge, product specialist, TÜV SÜD

he market for luminaires and light sources has changed fundamentally in recent years. LED technology has replaced the classic light

bulb in most cases. Energy efficiency has improved; smart and connected technologies are becoming the new standard. In response, the EU has now published harmonised regulations focusing on the Ecodesign Directive and a new energy-efficiency label.

On the basis of Regulations (EU) 2019/2015

“Energy Labelling of Light Sources” and (EU) 2019/2020 “Ecodesign Requirements for Light Sources and Separate Control Gears”, which will apply from 1 September 2021 onwards, the EU will begin phasing out its energy-efficiency ratings A++ to E, replacing them by the new efficiency labels A to G. Both regulations apply to all light sources irrespective of their technology. The new Ecodesign Regulation (EU) 2019/2020 repeals Regulations (EC) 244/2009, (EC) 245/2009 and (EU) 1194/2012. Their harmonisation and updating has been made necessary by technological change.


Regulation (EU) 2019/2015 governs energy consumption labelling and repeals Regulation (EU) 874/2012. It specifies calculation of the ratio of luminous flux to on-mode power. For some types of light sources, the result is multiplied by a specific factor. Light sources must have an efficacy of at least 210 lumen per watt to be rated in class A. Classes B to G follow in increments of 25 lumen per watt. Industry experts expect only a few light sources to qualify for energy classes A and B at first.

Regulation (EU) 2019/2015 not only governs

determination of the energy class; it also details the label to be printed on the packaging of the product. The regulation specifies minimum size, colour and design, but also the label’s position on the packaging: If the label is not printed on the front of the packaging, an arrow containing the letter of the energy class must be displayed. If the light source is part of a containing product (e.g. luminaire), no separate label is required. It is sufficient to print a note such as "This product contains a light source of energy efficiency class G" on the containing products packaging. Under the new regulation, the packaging of light sources must also include information about the standby power (e.g. graphics, drawings, or symbols). Since early 2019, devices subject to mandatory

energy labelling in the EU have had to be registered in the EPREL database. In the future, this will also apply to light sources that are part of a containing product. Annex V to Regulation (EU) 2019/2015 includes a list of the information required, including the type of light source, whether it is directional or non-directional, its energy consumption, useful luminous flux and power in on mode. For LEDs and OLEDs, the colour-rendering index and lumen maintenance factor also need to be entered.


These new obligations necessitate changes in the endurance tests used to measure lumen maintenance. So far, light sources have been tested over a period of 6,000 hours of operation. In the future this test period will be almost halved. The test itself will be a combination of endurance and switching cycle test, involving 1,200 complete uninterrupted cycles in which the light source is in


on mode for 150 minutes at full power and then in off mode for 30 minutes. This adds up to a total test time of 3,600 hours, throughout which the light source’s lifetime of 3,000 operating hours is documented. After the test, the luminous flux of those light sources that survived the test is measured again and the result used to calculate the lumen maintenance factor, which must comply with defined threshold values. In addition, nine out of ten light sources must remain functional after endurance testing and certain criteria pertaining to colour rendering and flicker must be fulfilled.


According to the requirements and specifications of TÜV SÜD Product Service, the German company Opsira has developed a variant of a "robogonio" - a fully automated inspection robot equipped with a photometer and a spectrometer. This worldwide unique measurement system can use up to 8,000 sockets in endurance testing without having to remove the light sources after each test cycle – a huge advantage. Using this equipment, manufacturers can collect information on luminous intensity and light spectrum that enables them to describe their products with precision and implement optimisation measures at any time. The two new regulations will apply from

September 2021 onwards, harmonising the requirements for light sources. Given this, the market must prepare for new and up-to-date labels and energy efficiency classes. Manufacturers, distributors, and marketers will benefit from automated test methods like those offered by the TÜV SÜD laboratory in Garching near Munich.


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