Lighting Industry

Industry debates the return of replaceable lamps

Two hands on a square LED luminaire
The UK’s much-delayed Environment Bill is set to incorporate the EU’s eco-design measures, which effectively bring back removable and replaceable light sources and control gear.

IS THE RETURN of replaceable light sources and control gear really the most sustainable route for luminaires?

That’s the question lighting professionals are beginning to ask themselves ahead of new regulations stipulating that light fittings must have interchangeable parts.

The UK’s much-delayed Environment Bill is set to incorporate the EU’s eco-design measures, which effectively brings back removable and replaceable light sources and control gear.

With the advent of LEDs over last two decades, the lighting industry has moved towards luminaires with integrated LED modules and electronics, which can’t be replaced when they fail. Instead, a whole new unit must be purchased.

The Environment Bill will force manufacturers to change their designs so that light sources and gear can be replaced by either the user or a qualified technician. 

However, some in the industry question the proposals and challenge the assumption that a return to replaceable light sources and gear will lead to extended luminaire life.

They point out that in practice few fittings are scrapped because the light levels from the LEDs have dropped to unacceptable levels. Instead, luminaires are most commonly removed as part of wider refurbishment.

The debate will come to the fore at an online forum featuring leading industry figures on 6 November. 

Lux Review editor Ray Molony will chair a panel including Ourania Georgoutsakou, secretary general of LightingEurope, John Gorse, technical solutions manager at Signify, Helen Loomes, business development director at Trilux Lighting, Dave Tilley, founder of Lightology, Kevan Shaw, design director at KSLD EFLA Lighting Design and Nigel Harvey, CEO at Recolight.

The online discussion follows on from the three webinars entitled Lighting and the Circular Economy hosted by Recolight this year. 

The discussion will tackle a key issue for sustainability in the lighting sector:

Is  the return of replaceable light sources, drivers, and other components the best route to a circular economy in the lighting industry?

The panel will explore the design of luminaires and lighting equipment, the upcoming Eco-design regulations, and a sustainable business model for manufacturers in a changing world

Commenting on the importance of this debate Georgoutsakou said:

‘Policies across Europe are looking to deliver a circular economy with the introduction of mandatory design, performance, and environmental requirements. 

‘Sustainability is one of four pillars of LightingEurope’s work, the lighting industry has acknowledged its potential to deliver value to people and for the industry – what we care about is getting it right, striking a balance between mandatory requirements, innovation and entrepreneurship to deliver products and solutions that people want, and a level playing field.’

Nigel Harvey, Recolight CEO added: ‘The pressure on producers to manufacture lighting equipment as sustainably as possible is inevitably going to increase.  

‘Pressure will come from new standards, legislation, and increasingly from customers and specifiers.  

‘That makes it so important that we understand what sustainability looks like in a lighting context.  

‘I very much look forward to hearing the contributions of the panellists.’

  • To register for the panel discussion, click HERE.
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