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EC upholds decision to ban mains-voltage directional halogens

EU review found no reason to delay the ban on mains voltage directional halogen lamps

The European Commission has stuck with its decision to phase out mains-voltage halogen directional lamps from the European market in September 2016 following a review. The move has divided opinion among industry figures.

As part of the review of the lighting directive EC 1194/2012, four criteria needed to be assessed before a phase-out could be confirmed. Issues of affordability were under scrutiny, as well performance, equivalence to existing models and compatibility. The EU has confirmed that there is no reason to delay the ban on mains voltage directional halogen lamps, as all these areas have been sufficiently met.

“Earlier this year we saw an EU vote delaying the phase out of non-directional halogen lamps until 2018 and this threw into question which way the balance would swing for their mains-voltage directional cousins,” commented Fred Bass, managing director of Neonlite International, owner of Megaman. “However, common sense has ruled and these highly inefficient light sources will now be phased out within a year.”

LightingEurope, the trade association representing 31 European lighting manufacturers, national associations and materials producers, accepts but disagrees with the EC’s decision. It argues that the decision has been taken by the Commission against the opinion of a large number of European Member States.

According to LightingEurope, the technological arguments which led to the delay of the ban on non-directional halogen lamps are equally valid for mains-voltage directional halogen lamps. These arguments are specifically related to dimmability, affordability and dimensional compatibility.

“Although the European lighting industry is prepared, within today’s technical limits, this decision will cause confusion and restricts European consumer choice,” said Diederik de Stoppelaar, secretary general of LightingEurope. “LightingEurope has always been strongly supportive of the European Commission energy-saving strategy and will further contribute to all relevant regulations for lighting systems.”

 “This ruling brings us one step closer to the eventual removal of all high-energy consuming halogens and can only be a positive move for both consumers and the environment alike,” Bass told Lux. “I stand by what I said when commenting on the delay in banning non-directional halogens earlier in the year, I truly believe that market forces will begin to take over in Europe and LEDs will win through, no matter when all halogens are eventually banned. High quality LED lamps are out there already, they do save money and energy and consumers will begin to convert to them more and more as they realise the benefits.”