Lamp and luminaire labelling to be overhauled

The labelling of lighting products in Europe is to be overhauled with two new top tiers of energy-efficiency, lumens replacing watts as a measure of output, and labelling for luminaires as well as lamps.

The new labelling scheme will add A+ and A++ ratings to the existing A-E scale of lamp efficiency. The A++ category makes room for today’s best performing products and new ones as they become available. To get the top rating a non-directional lamp must have an energy-efficiency index of 0.11 or below, while a non-directional lamp must have 0.13 for below.

The changes are set out in proposed European legislation that aims to increase transparency and boost efficiency. The energy labelling scheme is credited with a 10 per cent improvement in energy efficiency between 1998 and 2008, but at the moment it doesn’t cover professional, directional or extra low-voltage lamps, and as more and more efficient lamps have appeared, its categories have become outdated.

Another change will see watts replaced by lumens as a measure of lamp output. John Gorse, technical marketing manager at Philips, told Lux: ‘It is very important as we go forward that people start to understand that the measure of a light source’s efficiency, particularly in the domestic or consumer sector, in watts is no longer appropriate if the intention is to make that comparison against traditional light sources, in particular tungsten filament.

‘The education process is quite a task and manufacturers, retailers and distributors need to work collaboratively to effectively deliver the message about energy saving, while at the same time understanding how light is delivered into a space.’

Luminaires will also be labelled to show what light sources they contain or are compatible with, ensuring customers understand what they are buying.

Gorse said the system ‘is designed to give consumers and users of lighting in domestic and commercial installations far greater transparency of the efficiency of their lighting choices.’