LIA issues response to UK Government’s proposed lighting regulations

10th June 2021

(UK) – The UK Government this week issued a press release outlining the impact of upcoming new lighting regulations that, it claims, would see the sale of halogen light sources banned from September, with fluorescent lights to follow.

The ban is part of a move to boost energy savings, and it is estimated that it will cut 1.26 million tonnes of carbon emissions a year, the release stated.

Under EU-wide rules, the UK began phasing out the sale of higher-energy halogen lamps in 2018, and it is thought that the plan will help continue the shift towards lower-energy LED sources, which currently account for around two-thirds of lights now sold. Officials said that it is expected that LEDs will account for 85% of all sources sold in the UK by 2030.

However, the news has been met with confusion among suppliers and consumers alike, with the Lighting Industry Association (LIA) claiming that the official release contains “a number of errors”.

In an attempt to clarify the situation, the LIA released the following statement:

“The UK legislation, due for publication in the summer, mirrors that also applying in the EU and relates to the “placing on the market” of products, this allows products in stock at manufacturers, retailers, etc. to continue to be sold until stocks are exhausted. It is not an instant sales ban. There is a legal definition of “placing on the market” which may mean that certain goods in suppliers’ warehouses are already considered as such.

“The proposed UK legislation, which applies from 1 September, is expected to have a one-month transition allowance.

The following lamps cannot be placed on the market after 1st October 2021:

  • Self-ballasted Compact Fluorescent retrofit lamps (caps B22, E27 etc)
  • Linear Halogen R7s lamps over 2,700 lumens
  • 12V Halogen reflectors lamps (MR11/GU4, MR16/GU5.3 etc)
  • Lower performing LED lamps

The following lamps cannot be placed on the market after 1st September 2023:

  • Linear fluorescent lamps T8 2 foot, 4 foot, 5 foot
  • Mains voltage Halogen capsules with G9 cap
  • 12V Halogen capsules with G4/GY6.35 cap

Lighting fixtures/fittings (luminaires) with non-replaceable/fixed lamps are not banned but this type of design is being discouraged in the future with a technical justification being required for these designs.”

The LIA has highlighted the following errors within the Government’s official release, which it believes is leading to the confusion:

Halogen light bulbs to be banned from this September – with fluorescent light bulbs to follow suit
“This suggests that all halogen lamps are banned from this September – this is not the case, some will continue until 2023. Those lamps that are banned from 1 September may still be available for sale if they were first placed on the market before that date,” the LIA state.

Legislation being brought forward this month will also include the removal of fluorescent lights from shelves from September 2023.
“This is also not the case, only some lengths of T8 fluorescent lamps will be banned from September 2023, other types of fluorescent lamps will still be available.”

The new legislation would mean retailers will no longer be able to sell the majority of halogen bulbs for general household use in the UK from 1 September.
The LIA responded: “This is incorrect, retailers will be able to sell through existing stocks and any products placed on the market before 1 September may also be sold. Some types will continue to be allowed after 1 September (as above).”

The plans also include a ban from September on the sale of lighting fixtures with fixed bulbs that can’t be replaced – meaning the fixtures have to be thrown away.
“This is misleading – new measures have been introduced which encourage the design of light fittings which can be repaired, or the light source and control gear replaced. There is not a blanket ban on lighting products where these components cannot be replaced if the manufacturer provides a technical justification for this case such as safety, water ingress or other reason.”

The LIA has communicated these errors to the Government department responsible for the press release.

Pic: Jukka Niittymaa, courtesy of Pixabay