A review of LED regs

May 28, 2012 | Lighting

As part of the ongoing mission to reduce carbon costs, many organisations are turning to LED lighting to provide a sustainable option for their buildings. And, as Darren Rose of CAM Specialist Support explains, there are a number of regulations and standards encouraging organisations to consider implementing this energy saving solution.

Measures to phase out incandescent light bulbs for general lighting are being implemented all over the world in order to promote the use and technological development of more energy efficient lighting alternatives, such as LEDs.

The EU’s withdrawal of traditional light bulbs started in August 2009 – a move aimed at introducing new energy efficient lighting technologies into more widespread use to meet a 2020 CO2 reduction target of one million tonnes per annum.

At the end of 2008, the Eco Design of Energy-using Products Directive was passed. This, in the short term, limited construction and foreign sales of incandescent light bulbs, which has led up to a total ban from this year.

The EU Commission has also put through a regulation on office, industry and street lighting, which covers the following:

2010: Phase out of T8 halo phosphate fluorescent tubes (through minimum efficiency requirements).

2012: Phase out of T12 fluorescent (FL) tubes.

2012: Phase out of high pressure sodium (HPS) standard quality lamps (only E27/ E40/ PGZ12 affected).

2012: Phase out of less efficient metal halide (MH) lamps (only E27/E40/PGZ12 affected).

2014: Review of the regulations by the EU Commission.

2015: Phase out of high pressure mercury (HPM) lamps.

2015: Phase out of plug-in/retro-fit high pressure sodium lamps (= direct replacement for HPM). Plug-in lamps must correspond to Super/Plus HPS level – almost all plug-in/retro-fit lamps will be banned.

2017: Phase out of poor performing metal halide (MH) lamps – (only E27/E40/PGZ12 affected).

The key benefit of LED lighting is that it generally uses one tenth of the energy required to power other lighting sources. This reduces electricity costs by up to 70%, significantly reducing CO2 emissions and energy bills. LED lighting is now available which can be used at 60% consumption after midnight to help reduce energy even further.

Several standards encourage the use of LEDs, including the CRC Energy Efficiency Scheme which came into force in April 2010. This scheme (previously known as the Carbon Reduction Commitment) is a mandatory carbon emissions reporting and pricing scheme to cover all organisations using more than 6,000MWh per year of electricity (equivalent to an annual electricity bill of about £500,000).

Savings can be made by choosing a company that is a Carbon Trust approved supplier. If companies want to reduce costs and save energy, unsecured interest-free loans are available.

Building related regulations

Since 1st October 2008 public buildings in the UK over 1,000m2 must show a Display Energy Certificate (DEC) prominently at all times. Display Energy Certificates were introduced by the British government in response to the EU Energy Performance of Buildings Directive which all EU member states must have implemented by January 2009.

DECs are designed to promote the improvement of the energy performance of buildings, and are based upon actual energy usage of a building. The certificate uses an A to G scale for energy efficiency with A being the most efficient and G the least. The certificate is valid for one year and is accompanied by an Advisory Report (AR) which is valid for seven years. The advisory report is designed to help building owners to improve the energy efficiency of their buildings. DECs and ARs must be undertaken by an accredited energy assessor using government approved software.

Commissioning of lighting is now an integral part of the requirements for new buildings and major refurbishments under Building Regulations Part L2. The Chartered Institute of Building Services Engineers (CIBSE) has produced a code dedicated to the commissioning of lighting. The code recognises that many key decisions relating to the construction process are taken at the very early stages of a project. The code therefore gives the strongest encouragement to designers and clients to consider commissioning at the earliest stages, and to seek specialist input early in the life of the project.

Conservation of fuel and energy is addressed in Part L of the Building Regulations, which includes lighting efficiency and carbon emissions targets for buildings.

Safety standards

It is important to use a supplier that uses quality LED lighting. Internal lighting should meet CE standards and standards for the Restriction of the Use of Certain Hazardous Substances in Electrical and Electronic Equipment (RoHS). Lighting should also be manufactured to ISO and TÜV accreditation.

It is also important to choose a company which is able to consult about the various lighting options available and which would be the most appropriate option for business requirements. Always choose a reputable company whose staff are trained and experienced in building maintenance.

Substantial investment is required to maintain traditional lighting schemes, as they have to be changed regularly and, if the lighting is in hard to reach areas, specialist equipment may be required, adding to maintenance costs. In contrast, LED lighting life is up to 100,000 hours. In a typical UK night time burning situation, this equates to approximately 25 years. No routine maintenance is required to ensure continued performance, thus costs are reduced and the possibility of missed maintenance is avoided.

CAM Specialist Support


T: 0203 411 7210