Giving It the Green Light:

New Regulations on Directional Lighting

In 2013, new regulations came into force about the ecological regulation of directional lamps. These regulations, drafted at the tail-end of 2012, have been refined to take into consideration representations from many manufacturers. These new regulations that enforce stricter limits, will also have their minimum requirements raised in two subsequent updates due in September 2014 and September 2015, until a final review in late 2015. It is hoped that advances in technology will aid the achievement of these goals. Peter Hunt, joint chief executive of the Lighting Industry Association (LIA), has supporting this fact saying “a lot will depend on how far LED technology improves.”

Shedding Light on the Regulations

These regulations complete a plan aimed at reducing the energy consumed by lighting. It started with non-directional lighting before moving to independent lighting and external control systems. With directional lighting now covered in the regulations, it only leaves specialist lighting such as emergency lighting exempt from the regulations. The result of these regulations is expected to achieve savings of 25TWh by the year 2020 (equivalent to an entire years worth of energy used by Ireland) based on what would have been used if no measures taken.

As the regulations are imposed the industry is expected to see the end of non efficient halogen lamps in stage one, and nearly all halogen lamps by the final stage. This is of course if there are no serious developments in halogen technology.

Right now, many industry professionals are confused as to which lights actually comply with these regulations, as it is currently down to data that the manufacturers provide. Many of which are finding the measurement scale overly complex and complicated compared to the the measurement of non-directional lighting. The new measurement scale, known as the Energy Efficiency Index (EEI) is still being toiled with by the manufacturers meaning the data has not yet been fully computed. This means that it’s anyone’s guess as to which directional lamps will be removed first. Hunt has suggested that the first lamps to disappear will include mains-voltage and higher-wattage incandescent reflector lamps (such as the R50, R63 and R880). He also suspects that the most inefficient GU10s are also likely to go as there are more up-to-date and efficient replacements around.

The Future’s Bright

Manufacturers and lighting designers are already trying to point their customers to products that they believe fit the new regulations, but ultimately, both designers and clients want a certain quality and style of light. Sadly, the more efficient lamps do come with a higher price tag.

Phil Riley, Director at The Light Lab says: “In an ideal world we want the energy savings of an LED lamp with the light and power of a halogen light”. As development in this area continues, designers and manufacturers will strive to balance efficiency and cost. Over the next few years the lighting industry is poised to see leaps in both efficiency and technology as manufacturers tackle green lighting.

Author The Light Lab