Fluorescent prices rise again as earth misery continues

Fluorescent lamp prices are still climbing as supplies of rare earths remain tight. With stock dwindling, more upheaval in the production on energy-efficient light sources is expected

In January Philips increased the prices of its fluorescent tubes by 20 per cent. On the same day Sylvania put the price of T12s up by 15 per cent. As pressure continues to pile on, Philips has announced further price increases set for 1 February of between five and 15 per cent.

The letter sent out to customers explaining the changes states: ‘It has been confirmed that the higher manufacturing costs that Philips was subject to in 2011 will continue throughout 2012. In order to maintain a sustainable lighting business, it is necessary for further price increases to be applied to our fluorescent-based products.

More price hikes are expected to hit over the coming months from other manufacturers, according to our source.

A report published by the US Department of Energy warned that, of the elements assessed, five rare earths have been classed will be in short supply until 2015 at least. These are: dysprosium, terbium, europium, neodymium and yttrium. Shortages of these elements are expected to affect the availability of fluorescent lighting over the next few years.

The report said: ‘As lighting energy efficiency standards are implemented globally, heavy rare earths used in lighting phosphors may be in short supply.’

For many manufacturers, CFLs are manufactured in China and exported while it is cheaper to ship over the raw materials for linear tubes and construct them at home. The report said: ‘This means that in a tight supply situation with increasing demand for the heavy rare earths contained in phosphors, domestic LFL manufacturers may have difficulty obtaining rare earth phosphors.’

Global attempts to prevent the sale of incandescent lamps are set to increase demand for fluorescents as well as a push towards other eco technologies. Fluorescent lamps contain phosphors made with europium, terbium and yttrium, three of the five heavily constrained materials.
The report states that the projected increase in demand for CFLs and energy-efficient linear fluorescent lamps suggests ‘upward price pressures for rare earth phosphors in the 2012-2014 timeframe’.

‘In the future, LEDs (which are highly efficient and have much lower rare earth content) are expected to play a growing role in the market, reducing the pressure on rare earth supplies.’

Halogen incandescents, LED and OLEDs use little or no rare earths. There is speculation that if the rare earth situation continues as expected it will force further development in other areas.

Megaman at River Island

Leading high street fashion retailer River Island, has chosen Megaman’s LED AR111 and Crown Silver lamps at the company’s London headquarters. Offering excellent light output and energy saving, the lamps along with the aesthetically designed luminaires, provide a warm but modern welcome throughout the reception, corridors, stairwells and office areas.

The company with over 60 years experience in the fashion industry have over 300 shops across the UK, Ireland and internationally.  The London office complex has recently gone through re-development with old warehouse areas being made into additional offices and refurbishment of existing office space.

Retail lighting design experts Prolight Design were asked to produce a lighting scheme to incorporate the triple head gimbal recessed downlighters that had already been chosen by River Island’s management team. With the delicate glass light fittings requiring a reflector type lamp, Prolight suggested using a mixture of Megaman’s 14W LED AR111 and 7W Crown Silver to provide excellent optical control and light output without the heat generation.

Offering 50,000 hours life, Megaman’s AR111 LED lamps use the company’s patented Thermal Conductive Highway™” (TCH)  technology.  They offer a direct replacement for halogen spots in terms of both colour temperature and intensity whilst providing energy saving of up to 80%.   Megaman’s LED Crown Silver, A60 shape lamps have a unique silver plated crown top with the rest of the lamp clear glass.  The aesthetic design, high colour temperature and high colour rendering make it ideal for any decorative or mirror lighting as it provides a non-glare, in-direct controlled light.  The lamp also has a life of 30,000 hours.

Following installation of the Megaman lamps at River Island, Prolight have calculated an energy saving of 25,584kw which equals 13,918 kg of CO2.


Venture Provide the Light for Hayes Garden World

Venture Lighting Europe has supplied lamps and dimming ballasts for interior lighting at Ambleside based Hayes Garden World. Supplied and specified by Hacel Lighting Ltd, the metal halide lighting scheme was chosen to ensure excellent colour rendering, whilst dramatically reducing the overall energy consumption on site.

Hayes Garden World is one of Europe’s leading garden centres with annual visitor numbers of over 1.25 million. The centre covers an area of 16 acres, and has 228,000 square feet of indoor display space as well as extensive outdoor areas. Hacel were contacted to review the existing scheme and suggest a more efficient, energy saving light source that would greatly improve the interior plant displays and general retail areas, which include books, CDs, clothing and seasonal displays.

Hacel’s Aspen Prismatic high bay luminaires were used throughout with Venture’s Uni-Form® 150w ceramic lamps. The precise optics of the Aspen Prismatic luminaire ensures effective light distribution with no glare, whilst the high performance design of the ceramic lamp eliminates cold spots for a more uniform light source. Operating with an electronic control gear they are designed to achieve the best possible performance, including longer life and better lumen maintenance.

As part of the retail section is contained under a bespoke curved glass vaulted ceiling, Hacel suggested using Venture’s Ventronic dimming ballasts specifically for this area. This allowed the system to automatically assess the amount of natural light available and dim down accordingly, thus saving energy and keeping the light at a constant, even level. Venture’s Low Wattage Ventronic has universal lamp compatibility and can be used with 20W to 150W lamps. Silent in operation, the system is “kind” to electrodes which means that switching frequency will not affect lamp life. The system is also unaffected by unstable voltage because, by regulating the power to the lamp, it achieves optimum lamp performance whilst, in the event of an interruption to the mains supply, the lamp remains fully stable.

The use of a metal halide lighting solution has helped to reduce the overall energy consumption on the Hayes Garden World site by 45% and has addressed the problem faced by many garden centres, namely how to show the plants and produce at their best. General manager Richard Hayes commented “We are extremely pleased with the quality of the new lighting scheme and the advice and support given by Hacel, as well as the energy savings they have helped us to achieve. Staff and customers have commented on the enhanced general ambience that the new lighting has created”.

Your Guide To Energy Saving Light Bulbs

LED lamps are hugely popular at the moment as they are energy efficient, long lasting and versatile. They are available in various shapes, intensities, beam angles and colours. Their small dimensions and easy connectivity make them popular in applications where creativity needs to combine with easy to install lighting effects. LED lamps give you a lot of light for your energy and they can be more than four times as efficient as their incandescent counterparts. Also, unlike some other types of energy saving lamps, LEDs can produce instant warm, soothing light the moment you switch them on. LED’s are the most expensive energy saving option but offer a very long life up to 50,000 hours, with savings made over a period of time LED lamps will easily pay for themselves many times over.

They are the result of traditional fluorescent lamp making skills which have created a range of retrofit lamps that will directly replace incandescent mains voltage lamps. CFLs are available in a wide range of shapes and formats to meet the growing need for compact, energy efficient performance. They offer a comprehensive range of light source solutions giving long life, high colour rendering and constant light output throughout their life. Compact fluorescent bulbs use only about 25% of the electricity an incandescent bulb, but they cannot reach full brightness immediately it may take up two minutes to reach their maximum output.

Halogen lamps are known for excellent colour rendering and a cool crisp white light. This makes them the preferred light source for decorative, accent and general lighting. Mains voltage halogen lamps operate without the need for a transformer, and can be dimmed: making them quick and easy to install, simple to operate with a subsequent lowering of installation and user costs, up to 30% with some lamps. Low voltage halogen lamps operate on step-down transformers, to lower mains voltage to approximately 12V and are also dimmable. High light intensity and long life make them an ideal lamp for accent lighting, task lighting and spotlight applications. Halogen lamps offer around 30% energy saving compared to standard GLS light bulbs and last about 2,000 hours.

Philips blames lightbulbs for profits warning

Philips, the Dutch Electronics Company, has warned that its fourth-quarter profits were worse than expected, This was caused by weak European market that made it difficult to charge customers as much as it wanted to for lightbulbs.

Philips did not release profit or loss figures but said free cash flow would be 1 billion Euro’s (£826million) compared with 1.2 billion Euro’s a year ago. The company added that sales grew by a “mid single digit” amount, but margins fell.

Operating profits in the fourth quarter were around 500m at a margin of at least 7pc of sales, Philips said. In the same period a year ago, operating profit was 662 million Euro’s at a margin of 9.1pc. Frans van Houten, chief executive of Philips, said: “Our expected fourth-quarter financial results have been affected by the weakness in Europe, which has impacted our healthcare business, as well as pricing in our consumer lighting business.

Philips say they have taken measures to address their inventory situation in the lighting business, which also had an impact the earnings for the quarter.

The world’s largest lighting maker will report full earnings on January 30.

Megaman is LDA 2012 Finalist with New R9 PAR 38 LED Lamp

Megaman’s new R9 PAR 38 LED lamp has been selected as a finalist for the 2012 Lighting Design Awards (LDA). The annual event organised by Emap (publishers of Lighting Magazine) celebrates and rewards the hard work and dedication to lighting design and attracts over 800 guests each year.

The judging panel is made up of well-known industry figures and the awards will take place on 21st March at The Hilton Hotel, Park Lane, London.

Megaman’s R9 PAR38 LED lamp made its debut at LuxLive in November 2011 and was developed following request from the company’s retail customers. The lamp offers a high red colour rendition as well as other “saturated” colours making it ideal for the display of food and other products with a rich red content.

Traditionally food products have been lit with special fluorescent lamps or high pressure sodium lamps and metal halide lighting has been widely used for other display purposes but has low colour rendition at this end of the spectrum. Megaman’s LED lighting offers significant advantages over these alternative light sources which includes low energy consumption (20W replaces 25W metal halide) as well as 50,000 hours life, which extends re-lamping schedules. Furthermore, LED light sources provide full light output as soon as they are switched on, avoiding the delay when discharge lamps are switched on.

LED lighting also offers a wider range of control options, including dimming, providing a more flexible and adaptable solution for a range of applications. This is particularly important in a retail environment where merchandising layouts may change regularly.

Megaman’s R9 PAR 38 LED lamp also addresses the situation facing many retails that are keen to reduce their lighting electrical load and associated carbon emissions without compromising on the effectiveness of their display lighting. The R9 delivers significant benefits to its users; addressing their commercial, sustainability and cost of ownership imperatives.

Click the following link to see a full range of Megaman LED bulbs