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UK Government set to expand halogen lighting ban

Jordan O'Brien

Jordan O'Brien

Contributing Editor
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Halogen Light Bulb

Inefficient lighting is finally about to get the nail in the coffin it deserves, as the UK is eyeing up a ban on the sale of halogen light bulbs. 

The European Union has steadily been phasing out the sale of halogen light bulbs, with now the UK set to follow suit. That means retailers will be unable to sell most remaining halogen bulbs, such as kitchen spotlights. 

According to the UK Government, the ban will cut 1.26 million tonnes of carbon emissions a year when it goes into effect in September.

A similar ban is planned for appliances that have non-removable bulbs, which quite honestly is also overdue. You should never have to throw out a whole oven just because the bulb went. The Government is also set to target fluorescent lighting, which is commonly used in offices, but that ban isn’t due until 2023. 

Confusion surrounding the ‘ban’

However, despite the proposed ban, the Lighting Industry Association has been forced to clarify the Government’s position, as many have been confused about what it actually entails. That’s why 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.

“Note: 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 1st 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

Note: there are several exemptions in the regulations for specialist lamps and applications.

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.

Why ban them now?

These bans are long overdue, with UK consumers still purchasing inefficient lighting which will remain a drain on our resources for years to come. Thankfully, these lighting solutions are no longer as popular as they once were, with two-thirds of lights now sold in the UK using LED technology. 

The electrical industry has been shouting from the rooftops for a while about the myriad of benefits that LED lighting technology offers. Not only are LED bulbs more efficient, but they also last longer and are available in a myriad of different options – whether it’s coloured or smart bulbs.

Anyone in the electrical industry still recommending old-fashioned, inefficient lights against LEDs should probably try out more modern LEDs. They’re not the same as the ones that were available when LEDs were in their infancy, and you’ll find your customers could save a ton of money if they make a switch. 

So, what are you waiting for? Either you move with the times, or you lose with the times. 

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