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Technology trends – low-energy lighting

Andrew Brister 15 September 2010

The lighting equipment sector is changing rapidly as legislation designed to reduce energy consumption across Europe takes hold. Lighting supplier Osram looks at some of the likely outcomes.

EU’s ErP legislation
Over the next few years, the most inefficient lighting products will be phased out as part of the EU’s Energy-Related Products (ErP) Directive, which has been created as part of its climate protection programme. Artificial light accounts for around 19% of global energy consumption so there is huge scope to reduce carbon emissions by enforcing a switch to more efficient lamps and lighting controls.

The legislation covers household lighting products as well as lighting in the non-domestic sector (street, office and industry). By enforcing the regulation, EU citizens and businesses will save close to 40 TWh (roughly the electricity consumption of Romania) and this will lead to a reduction of about 15 million tons of CO2 emission per year.

Efficient alternatives
Traditional GLS lamps will be removed from the market by 2012 as they convert only 5% of the energy they consume into light. The main alternatives to GLS lamps are compact fluorescent, efficient halogen, and LED retrofit lamps.

Compact fluorescent lamps provide energy savings of 80% while lasting up to 20 times longer. These lamps are available in a range of colour temperatures and feature fast start-up times overcoming the misconceptions that have existed about these in the past.

Efficient halogen lamps provide 30% energy savings and benefit from being fully dimmable. These products have excellent quality of light, high luminous efficacy and exceptional colour consistency over their whole life. Low voltage reflector lamps can be replaced with energy-efficient halogen lamps which combine economy and bright light with optimum quality and a long lifetime of up to 5,000 hours.

LED retrofit lamps
LED retrofit lamps are also emerging as highly efficient replacements for incandescent lamps. Osram’s first LED retrofit lamp suitable for general illumination was launched onto the market in September 2009 and there are now a wide range of direct replacement lamps for conventional GLS lamps (such as Osram’s Parathom, pictured top), PAR lamps in hotels and restaurants, for example, and MR16 replacements for hospitality, shop, museum and residential illumination.

LED luminaires
As well as retrofit lamps, there are now highly efficient LED luminaires available for general illumination.

Osram has now launched its Ledvance (pictured, left) LED luminaires onto the UK market. With an efficiency of at least 50lm/W, high light output, a lifetime of up to 50,000 hours, corresponding savings in energy costs, and a short payback period of 1.5 years, such luminaires set new trends in lighting design.


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