The Halogen Ban

For some time now it has been known that Halogen lamps will be phased out of our stores, originally the European Commission (EC) came to the decision that from 2016 onward halogen lamps would no longer be available. Recently though there has been talk of postponing the ban even further.

In the next few weeks yet another vote will be cast within the EC on whether the ban should be postponed until 2018 or possibly 2020. There are a number of arguments  on why to postpone the ban coming into effect as well as counter arguments on why the ban should be coming into effect in 2016.

Halogen bulbs have been seen as having ‘eco’ benefits but compared to traditional filament lamps, but these differences are only slight, on the other hand if you were to compare halogen lamps  to Compact Florescent (CFL) or LED they are nowhere near as efficient. In 2009 the EC originally said that the ban of halogen lamps would come into effect in 2016 but if the vote cast over the next few weeks sees a postponement it could become as late as 2020.

One company who works within Europe is against the ban coming into effect next year, they feel that CFL and LEDs are not yet up to the job of replacing halogen in terms of price and the lifespan of the lamp, they also feel that the changes needed would not be ready by 2016 and possibly not ready by 2018 either. One final issue that was flagged up was the availability of replacements for halogen bulbs as CFL and LED lamps don’t always provide a direct replacement or one that looks the same as halogen, because of this customers no longer know if lamps will fit in existing fittings.

On the other hand there are those who think that CFL and LED lamps are more than capable of taking up the challenge of replacing halogen lamps. It is claimed by newer companies who have never dealt with halogen that companies who sell halogen bulbs that they are trying to keep a percentage of the market if not only for nostalgias sake as most of these companies do actually produce LED or CFL lamps. It is also said that though a lamp may not last the 20 years many LED manufacturers claim that they will last, even if they were to survive for only ten years this is still better than the lifespan of halogen lamp.

The Ease of LED Recycling

LED lighting hasn’t always been easy to recycle but with new changes in the way that LEDs are recycled it should become easier for everyone to do.

The Environments Agency published new guidelines in December 2014, the changes to these guidelines mean that when recycling LEDs they will now be classes as ‘lighting equipment’ rather than having the classification of ‘lamp and lighting source’ which they have previously held. Because of these changes less material will be classes ans being hazardous which in turn makes recycling easier.

The Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) directive have stated that those who produce lighting and lighting equipment  must declare the weight of their products to the recycling authorities for those products that are on the market. these guidelines apply to commercial lighting while residential lighting is not yet part of this requirement.


Retail Lighting and its Challenges

Lighting within retail is just one of the many existing areas of lighting that faces many challenges, some of the biggest challenges include getting the correct product for you as well as warranty periods and longevity of the product.

Within the lighting industry there are yet to be official standards set regarding LED lighting and getting the best specifications at the best price. Within the UK to deal with this issue the Lighting Industry Association have created an independent verification program for LED products.

Retail units also wont upgrade their lighting for savings alone, if there was evidence backing the idea that sales increased more retail stores could be willing to upgrade their lighting, but with this comes the issue of weather the lighting would change the atmosphere of the store that a brand puts time and money into creating.

Finally LED has a longer lifespan than that of a halogen or energy saving bulb which is beneficial for a long term investment but many retail units only have a short leasehold period meaning that the lifespan outlasts that of the lease so the investment is not seen as being as significant. Related to this, concerns over warranty periods and the lifespan of the product are seen as important, if a product fails before the predicted lifespan given retail need to be able to contact the company who provided the lighting but as lighting is an ever changing environment companies disband and expand making it harder to get replacements and repairs where necessary.

Christmas Opening Hours

The UKLED office will be closing today at 5pm and reopening at 8am on Monday 5th January 2015. We look forward to hearing from you in the new year.

From everybody at UKLED we wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.


Supermarkets welcoming LEDs with open arms

Across the UK supermarkets are starting to adopt a more energy efficient approach towards lighting, with the installation of LED lighting.Marks & Spencer Food Halls and sainsbury’s supermarkets are aiming to eventually replace all their old lighting with LED.

Over the next two years all food halls within Marks & Spencer will be replaced with LEDs aiming to reduce carbon emissions and reduce lighting costs of up to 35% by the year 2020 alongside government legislation.

Sainsbury’s are another supermarket who are embracing energy efficiency and opened their first all LED Store in 2013 and have built a further five stores since as well as retrofitting 100 more supermarkets, these new all LED stores costs a fraction of the normal price to run and have so far saved an estimated 35% on lighting costs. as with Marks & Spencer Sainsbury’s are also trying to meet the target set with regards to reductions in carbon emissions.

Bank Loans Available for LED Street Lighting

The UK government are putting money aside for LED streetlight Projects. The Green Investment Bank was set up to help fund energy efficiency and renewable power sources, the loans that are available for as long as 30 years. The bank was set up to help meet the requirements on reducing carbon emissions by 80% by 2050.

The loans have currently been focused towards offshore wind farms and bio waste, but now want investment into LED street lighting. LED street lights would help create the foundation of smart cities of the future, along side this if street lighting across the UK became LED it would be the equivalent of taking one third of a million cars off the road.

Glasgow City Council have been one of the councils and municipalities to use the loans available to switch their streetlights over to LED replacing 10,000 of its 70,000 streetlights.

Lux Live 19-20th November

This week everyone at UKLED is excited to once again be exhibiting at Lux Live in London’s Excel,

We can be found on stand E6 today 19th November between 9am and 9pm and tomorrow 20th November between 9am and 5pm. We can show you our range of Filament technology as well as many other products we manufacture and sell. If you have any questions or enquiries we will be more than willing to help and offer guidance and advice.

From everyone at UKLED we look forward to seeing you over the next two days.

Safer Railways through LEDs

Gatwick Airport have made a bold move converting the lights in their train station to blue LED lights. This station is considered one of the worst station in the South East of England for people choosing to attempt or commit suicide and suggestions have been made that blue light can help to reduce the number of suicides as well as littering, anti-social behaviour. Train Stations in Japan have switched to blue lighting in a bid to reduce the number of suicides on the railways as there is a high rate of suicides in Japan and on their railways, since the installation of the blue lighting suicides have reduced by 85% on the railways. Network Rail want to be able to imitate these effects as well as reducing anti-social behaviour and littering making British railways safer and more efficient. Scientific evidence is not yet able to explain why blue lighting has such an effect on our behaviour but over time studies would be able to confirm or deny the supposed effects of blue light.

Price over Quality?

A recent Survey carried out within Screwfix and Homebase stores by the lighting company TCP have found that many consumers are sacrificing the quality of LED products over the price preferring to opt for the cheaper products that were of a lesser quality in terms of colour temperature and longevity of the bulb. Retailers are being held partially responsible for this as those who buy the cheaper bulbs and have bad experiences with them are reluctant to try them again as they are viewed as being of the same quality across the board when in fact this is not true as a general consensus that quality products cost more than lower quality products. Thomas Luecke of TCP says ’You don’t need a high spec LED product, you need a decent product that does what it says on the tin. But most buyers don’t look at it that way.’

For the original article click here.

Wirral Council U-Turn on Streetlight Blackouts

For the past year the Wirral council have been switching off streetlights in several key areas across the borough including non-residential roads, industrial access roads and pedestrian only sites in a bid to save money and reduce the cost of lighting. This move came with a huge uproar from resident’s drivers and also the police force calling into question the safety of the public.

As an alternative the council are looking at switching street lighting to LEDs with an estimated cost of £4.3 million to replace all of the 6,943 street lights. Wirral Council want to save around £504,000 between 2014-2017. The decision will be made whether to go ahead with the project in a council meeting in the coming week.

click here for the full article.