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Spotlight on LEDs

With halogen lamps on the way out, we examine what the future of lighting could now look like

The ban on halogen lamps first implemented by the European Commission in 2018 and more recently announced by the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) will put LEDs well and truly in the spotlight as they become the new normal for lighting. Moving to LED lamps could result in significant savings for the end user on their energy bills. Signify UK&I data also shows that a complete switch to LED lighting across the UK over five years would help reduce the UK’s carbon footprint by equivalent to one of our four coal power plants, 636 thousand cars, or nearly half a million (496,000) households.

LED lamps currently account for around 60% of all lamps sold in the UK, with this figure set to grow to about 85%, in line with the new regulation.

As of September 2021 for EU and October 2021 for UK, the UK will implement two updated regulations – the Ecodesign Regulation and the Energy Labelling Regulation. Both have the goal of further expanding the lighting industry’s leadership in sustainability by delivering significant energy savings for lighting products and systems.

The goal of the Ecodesign Regulation is that manufacturers of energy-using products (EuP) will, at the design stage, be obliged to reduce the energy consumption and other negative environmental impacts of products. This is done for better product sustainability and efficiency. Products that fail to meet the regulation requirements will be phased out.

At Signify, we welcome this move from the government and feel this is a step in the right direction for progress in achieving net-zero by 2050. Indeed, our CEO Stephen Rouatt said: “We welcome the UK Government’s next step in the transition towards more sustainable lighting products. Using energy-efficient LED equivalents for halogen, and fluorescent lighting on an even broader scale will significantly help the UK on its journey to decarbonisation, as well as lowering the annual electricity bills for consumers.”

Halogen sales

From 1 September 2021, retailers in the UK will no longer sell most halogen lamps for general household use, although retailers can continue to sell old stock till it is cleared.

Under legislation brought forward recently, sales of fluorescent lamps will also be banned from September 2023.

Currently, around two-thirds of lamps sold in Britain are LED and that makes a considerable impact in improving the energy efficiency of the country’s buildings.

Energy labels

To help make the switch, BEIS has also announced that from September, all lamps will feature new energy efficiency advice via ‘rescaled’ energy labels on their boxes.

The labels will simplify the way energy efficiency is displayed on a new scale from A-G, doing away with the A+ and A++ ratings. The new labels will raise the bar for each class, meaning very few lamps will now be classified as A, therefore helping consumers choose the most energy-efficient lamps.

Just as they have already done with household appliances, the government is rescaling the energy efficiency labels on lamps to make it harder for lamps to achieve an A-rating. This will empower buyers to make the right choices driven by clearer information.

LED use is set to grow after halogen ban

What this means for the industry

From 1 September, relevant product characteristics will be needed in the newly documented EPREL2 database (European Product Database for Energy Labelling). It will be the manufacturer’s responsibility to upload their product information onto the database. If a product is not registered on the EPREL2 database, the product cannot be sold in the EU and will also not be CE marked.

In addition, a QR code on the energy label, clearly displayed on the packaging of the product, will direct consumers to detailed product specifications within the EPREL database, which was not available prior. This QR code provides a user-friendly link.

The Ecodesign and Energy Labelling Regulations for lighting products also take into account the impact on human safety and comfort. In line with this, manufacturers will also need to update EPREL 2 on the stroboscopic visibility measures and flicker (Pst LM). These need to be in line with harmonised standards (SVM <0.9 from 1 September 2021, SVM < 0.4 from 1 September 2023) as flicker can cause visual discomfort and in extreme cases, can also cause migraines and even epileptic seizures.

What this means for the UK

For the UK, a similar regulation will come into force on 1 October, with a few small differences, such as there being no requirement to use an EPREL style database as long as the data is documented in a publicly accessible web page. For simplicity, many manufacturers, Signify included, may well choose to utilise the EPREL2 database.

This regulation will be a key component in UKCA compliance.

Between now and September 2021, manufacturers can continue to put products that don’t meet the new standards on the market, but these must be sold by March 2023.

The measures are estimated to save customers £75 a year on their energy bills due to LED lamps having a far longer lifetime, while stronger labelling across the board will enable customers to choose more energy efficient lamps and appliances by making better informed choices.

In conclusion

The ban by the UK Government on halogen lamps is taking a step in the right direction to ensure that only exceptional quality products can enter the market and consumers are provided with all information at the time of purchase.

The changes and regulations will impact every manufacturer and are in line with sustainability goals that are pushing for more efficient lighting practices and circular products.

These are beneficial for the global economy and put human health and comfort first while also furthering the UK’s journey to reaching net-zero.

Signify is the world leader in lighting for professionals, consumers and the Internet of Things, with around 38,000 employees and a presence in more than 70 countries. For further details, go to


Switch-off for halogen

The sale of mains voltage halogen non-directional lamps was banned in the UK on 1 September 2018, meaning low voltage non-directional halogen lamps could continue, as long as they comply with eco-design requirements.

The new regulations will phase out most remaining halogen lamps from September 2021 and the traditional fluorescent tube lighting, which is common in offices, from September 2023 onwards.

HL R7 halogens will remain available on the market, and some fluorescents such as T5s.

Exemptions will be in place for lamps designed and marketed specifically for scene-lighting use in film studios, TV studios, and photographic studios, or for stage-lighting use in theatres or other entertainment events.

The wider package of energy efficiency measures includes the right to repair, new energy labels and higher energy efficiency standards for white goods, TVs and other electrical appliances.

UK Energy Minister, Anne-Marie Trevelyan, said: “We’re phasing out old inefficient halogen bulbs for good, so we can move more quickly to longer lasting LED bulbs, meaning less waste and a brighter and cleaner future for the UK.

“By helping ensure electrical appliances use less energy but perform just as well, we’re saving households money on their bills and helping tackle climate change.”



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