Changes to EU Lamp Regulations

Posted March 19, 2015 // Tagged as Blog // 1 Comments ↓

If you thought the EU were done with lamp regulations I am sorry to disappoint you. I has ben a long time since I lsat blogged on this site however things are moving again and a new found of consultations is on the way.

Back in November 2013 I reported the discussions regarding the review of stage 6 of the original 2009 regulations on domestic lighting. The draft regulation has now been published and is open for comments via DECC in the UK or through your local equivalent government department. The brief result will be that mains voltage halogen lamps will be banned in September 2018. This takes away the majority of lamps that have become the preferred replacement for the original incandescent lamps. Incidentally this will remove the remaining bulk European domestic lamp manufacturing capacity so the EU becomes an economic hostage to China and the Far East for the provision of the vast majority of domestic lighting.

Other parts of the draft bring into line the wording of the “special lamps” exemptions with the reflector lamps regulation of 2012.

There is also a larger review of all the EcoDesign lighting regulations being carried on by VITO and VHK the two consultancies responsible for the original studies. They are inventing a new measure of lighting energy use called MELISSA. Unfortunately this is based largely on studies and information pre-dating the first stage of the domestic lamps regulations therefore it is extremely dubious as a measure of the effectiveness of the existing regulations and a very unreliable basis for future regulations.

As expected no one is doing the work necessary to really understand and measure the effects of the current regulations. This is vital and urgent work to ensure firstly that the existing regulations are meeting the expectations (highly unlikely!) and how to set targets effectively to achieve the aims of reducing both energy use across the EU and specifically reduce CO2 emissions. These are not the same thing. The CO2 depends entirely upon what generating capacity is available and used during the peak lighting hours. Obviously renewables such as Photo Voltaic are not available but more alarmingly the base load generating capacity in many EU countries remains coal fired and this is what has to stay in use at night. As I have mentioned in previous posts this issue will not be fixed by changing lamps but has to be dealt with as changes to infrastructure (expensive!) and through regulation of the generating companies (politically unpalatable.)

At any event please keep your eyes out for opportunities to become involved in consultations and take opportunities at election time to question your local politicians about there position on EcoDesign regulations.

One Response

  1. peter

    June 2nd, 2015 at 12:46

    Concerning the EU reviews and other matters relating to incandescent lighting and worldwide legislation also see Facebook group

    As Save the Bulb has also mentioned, it is particularly disappointing that no serious review effort has been made to measure the actual savings from these and other EU regulatory bans, which are simply regarded as “self-evident”.
    That this is not the case has, as per links, been shown by references relating to life cycle use, practical use (including greater number of more directional LEDs as substitutes), and power plant issues relating to the night time coal that is burned anyway on minimum operative levels, and other factors.

    Of course, few politicians or institutions want to support an analysis of their assumptions, regardless of policy, in case those assumptions turn out to be wrong!

    As always, the only ones to suffer are European and other citizens, assumed to be stupid in the choices they make,
    choices which on EU and other data are actually highly rational, such that even before the bans most households had some “energy saving” lamps, recognizing their money saving advantage in situations of great use, but which does not apply where little use takes place in typical 20 or more lighting point households, or described special use is desired including with simpler auto-switching, dimming and other designated control systems.

Leave a Reply