What does the EU halogen ban mean for your business?
We all use light bulbs in some shape or form every day, from lamps to spotlights to fairy lights. They are available in all shapes, colours and sizes, and can be tailored to a specific space and purpose. This extensive use does mean they can a big source of energy consumption, something the EU aims to reduce by imposing a ban on the energy wasting halogen light bulbs and encouraging businesses and homeowners alike to switch to more efficient solutions like LEDs.
With this ban coming into force on 1st September this year, now is the time to think about your lighting solutions and informing your customers.
What is the halogen ban?
The halogen ban means that from September onwards, retailers won’t be getting any more new halogen bulbs in stock. Customers will still be able to buy replacement bulbs if needed but once they are sold out, that’s it.
To avoid getting caught out, the transition should begin sooner rather than later, starting with priority areas that need effective and efficient lighting.
For those in the industry, there is a responsibility to inform customers who may not know that they won’t be able to buy replacement halogen bulbs for much longer, and what the alternative options available are.
The benefits of switching to LED
LED lights provide the perfect opportunity to reduce costs and save energy – 73% of UK homes have already fully switched and last year Sainsbury’s became the first British supermarket to switch to LED lights completely.
Maintaining good lighting in the workplace or the home is extremely important and shouldn’t be underestimated. An LED bulb can easily compete with a halogen lamp in terms of luminosity and is less maintenance-intensive. In fact 64% of employees in the UK say good lighting is very important, so much so that 89% of companies currently take action to ensure that lighting is suitable for their employees in the workplace.
Light quality is also more versatile. Did you know that sitting in the wrong light at your desk can cause headaches and impact your productivity levels? There’s been extensive research into working in the right type of white light and how different shades and tones can impact our moods and wellbeing, therefore it’s important to get it right. There’s also the simple need from a health and safety perspective to be able to see what you are doing if you’re working when it’s darker!
Top tips for switching to LED:
- Check the bulbs’ energy efficiency: Look out for the ‘EU Energy Efficiency’ label to see how much power each light bulb uses.
- For daytime light sources used frequently in places such as corridors, you should consider an LED with a high switching cycle LED, e.g. one with a value between 50,000 and 100,000 switching cycles.
- Ensure the LED bulb emits more light flux than a comparable incandescent light bulb.
- Consider where the light bulb is being used when deciding which colour light to buy:
- -For the office, a light bulb of 4,000 to 6,500 Kelvin is recommended.
- -For a workshop, garage or outside space LED products of 6,000 to 7,000 Kelvin are recommended.
- -Office spaces or work areas often use a neutral white light in a range of between 3,300 and 5,000 Kelvin.
- When choosing a light bulb with warm light, you should ensure that the colour spectrum has a high proportion of red. In contrast, a cool light should have high blue content.
- Switch early to start saving money faster.
The importance of being energy efficient
With an energy saving of up to 90% compared to filament bulbs, LED technology is the most efficient light source on the market. They boast an impressive lifespan of roughly 50,000 hours, versus filament bulbs at 1,000 hours and energy saving bulbs which last 6000 to 15,000 hours. Their lengthy life cycle is of obvious appeal as they require less frequent replacements, reducing the need for upfront spending on new bulbs.
Energy efficiency is the most important factor for British people when buying any light, according to research from reichelt. It’s already a big decision making factor with 37% of over 55s saying it influences their choice of lighting. Thanks to the ‘EU Energy Efficiency’ label, launched back on September 1st 2013, customers can easily identify how much power each light bulb uses to make informed choices.
Reduce energy bills
The preconception that LED lighting is too expensive is no longer the case thanks to technology advancements which have made LED bulbs much more affordable. Furthermore, the long-term cost savings vastly outweigh the upfront costs. In fact, they consume 80% less electricity than incandescent bulbs, drastically cutting electricity bills.
Of the companies that are currently using LED lighting (49% use LEDs in all office areas), 18% of respondents believe they are saving as much as 21-30% since switching from conventional lighting.
The ban on halogen lights provides a great opportunity for more environmentally friendly alternatives so there is no reason not to change. If the switch is made now, businesses and customers can start reaping the energy saving and cost benefits much sooner than those who choose to wait until stocks run out.