Ikea to sell only energy-saving LED lightbulbs

Ikea will no longer sell halogen and ‘energy-saving’ compact fluorescent bulbs from September, when it switches all its lighting sold globally to super efficient light-emitting diodes (LEDs).

The move affects over 2.3 million bulbs sold by the Swedish furniture chain each year in the UK and an undisclosed number in its markets elsewhere in Europe, North America, Asia, Africa and Oceania.

The EU was expected to ban certain halogen bulbs from sale from September 2016 but earlier this year delayed the ban until 2018, saying LED technology would not be ready in time.

Steve Howard, Ikea’s chief sustainability officer, said that three years ago, shoppers experienced ‘price tag shock’ with LEDs, but now their quality and cost had reached a tipping point, and the time was right for the switch.

“If it’s right for the customer, it’ll be right for Ikea. If you can produce a product that can last 25-30 times longer and save you 85% of the energy and have fantastic light quality, then that’s the right thing for the customer.”

He said the company’s scale had enabled it to reduce the cost of the plastics and other components of the bulbs. It becomes the first retailer in the UK to sell only LEDs for lighting.

As well as using much less energy than halogens – around 85% – and even less than CFLs, LEDs last longer, with an average lifespan of around 25,000 hours. Ikea estimated that a household switching from 10 incandescent bulbs – which were banned from sale in Europe in 2012 – would save £300 a year on energy costs by switching to LEDs.

“If you can help customers save energy and help do something towards climate change, that’s the right thing to do,” Howard said.

He said that while households and businesses had to be engaged in tackling climate change, they could only do so much and that governments had to act too.

“We’ll keep going with our direction regardless. But we recognise not every business is responding [to climate change], so at a national level we need strong regulation.

Howard said it was important that government agreed a strong climate change deal at the later this year. “Business can do a lot, but we need good policy frameworks from governments, so Paris is important,” he said.

In June, Ikea said it would spend €1bn ($1.13bn) on renewable energy and measures to help poorer countries adapt to climate change. The company has said that it will generate all of the energy used in its shops and factories from clean sources by 2020.

Excerpt from The Guardian


LED bulbs gain on CFLs in lighting market

Consumer choices in light bulbs for their homes have changed significantly over the past few years, and they appear to be doing so again.

Compact fluorescent lamp bulbs, the market leader since most incandescent bulbs were phased out in 2014, are gradually giving way to LED lights, those semiconductor devices best known for their use in traffic signals and electronic appliances.

A new survey commissioned by the lighting product manufacturer Osram Sylvania shows LED light bulbs gaining on CFLs as consumers increasingly buy them and find them preferable.

“LED awareness and use is changing,” said the company’s seventh annual “Socket Survey,” which was conducted earlier this year by the firm KRC Research. “While in past surveys LEDs fell behind other types of bulbs, the 2015 survey reveals that now more are aware of LED light bulbs and purchasing them for their homes.”

CFLs remain the bulb of choice for most consumers, despite complaints about their light quality (they illuminate gradually) and the small amount of mercury that they contain.

Fifty-three percent of those polled reported having bought CFLs for their homes in the past year, compared to 41 percent who had purchased LED bulbs.

But survey results also indicate that CFLs may lose that lead in the not too distant future. The spiral lights were the preference for 37 percent of the respondents when they buy bulbs again, with LED lights were just behind, at 35 percent.

Among non-LED users, CFLs are the top choice for replacement bulbs (45 percent), with only 18 percent indicating they would purchase LED bulbs an alternative. However, among LED users, 44 percent would most likely buy LED bulbs again.

“This indicates a loyalty to LEDs once Americans are a user, but hesitation at initially switching,” the survey said. “One possible explanation for this hesitation to switch to LED bulbs could be price – nearly one of three of non-LED users do not think the initial cost of LED bulbs are worth it.”

Interest in LED lights is likely to grow even more as consumers look closer at the efficiency and expected lifetime of the bulbs compared to CFLs and those disappearing incandescent bulbs.

Government statistics put the annual cost of using a 60-watt-equivalent LED for three hours a day at $1.02, compared to $1.57 for a CFL and $7.23 for an incandescent bulb.

It all adds up, especially when you consider that LEDs are expected to last years longer than CFLs.

Excerpt from USA TODAY

Europe puts off halogen ban until 2018

The European Commission today agreed with conventional lighting industry arguments and voted to postpone a ban on halogen lamps until September 2018.

It did not, however, extend the ban until 2020, which lighting industry body LightingEurope had lobbied for. The decision is sure to rankle newer, LED specialist companies like Neonlite and its Megaman brand,who had argued against any extension.

The EC had set the 2016 date back in 2009, giving the industry seven years to prepare for it. Halogens are a form of incandescent lamp – the EC has already banned others – and are highly inefficient compared to newer LED and CFL energy-saving lamps.

But the industry lobbied hard in recent months to delay the ban, saying that seven years was not going to be long enough. It argued among other things that Europe would face a lamp shortage because there would not be enough quality LED lamps to meet general demand.

It also said the industry needed more time to develop LEDs with features to which consumers are accustomed, such as standard dimming, multi-directional light beams, and good colour rendering, at an affordable price.

‘Postponing the phase-out will bring more efficient products to the market, and give consumers the possibility to choose the best performing lamp for their needs,’ the EC said in a press release. It did not immediately clarify its logic – more efficient products like LED lamps are already coming into the market, and it’s unclear how the 2018 extension will change that.

‘Switching from an average halogen lamp to an energy-efficient LED will already save approximately €115 ($124) over the LED’s lifetime of up to 20 years, and pay back its cost within a year,’ the release stated. ‘This savings will increase further by 2018 with lower LED prices and a better LED performance.’

Applying the same logic, the EC claimed that sticking with a 2016 ban would have cost European consumers €1 billion ($1.1 billion) in energy savings which they will now get by waiting until 2018.

But it also pointed out that ‘halogen lamps are very inefficient (energy efficiency class “D”).’

It further noted that, ‘novel technologies, such as LEDs offer a high savings potential: the consumption of a halogen lamp is often more than five times higher than the one of an energy-efficient LED. As a result, member states agreed in 2009 that such inefficient “D”-class halogen lamps should be phased-out from 1 September 2016.’

Some industry observers suggest that the EC delayed the ban to allow traditional lighting companies like Philips and Osram more time to adjust and to deal with difficult job losses associated with abandoning halogen.

‘Everyone agrees that a maximum of around 6,800 job losses in halogen lamp production are inevitable and will happen irrespective of any policy intervention due to the arrival of LEDs,’ the EC said. ‘The phase-out of halogen lamps and faster market uptake of LEDs can help overcome some of these negative impacts by focusing on high value creation and employment opportunities in the EU. Deferring the phase-out to 1 September 2018 gives manufacturers the time to create replacement jobs in these areas, while supporting innovative companies in the EU providing novel lighting solutions based on LEDs.’

The ban does not apply to all halogens. It mainly covers pear-shaped bulbs that look like conventional incandescent lamps but contain a halogen component. It does not apply to spotlights or to many desk lamps.

LightingEurope Secretary General Diederik de Stoppelaar called the 2018 date an ‘acceptable compromise.’ He noted:

  • ‘The industry strongly supports — and has for years — the changeover to more energy-efficient lighting solutions. While 2020 was the ideal date for a phase-out of the popular domestic halogens, 2018 is an acceptable compromise. What consumers must realise, is that alternative developing technologies take time to be fully realised — and then to subsequently be widely available on the market.’

Osram to separate from lamps and focus on automotive

Germany’s Osram plans to transfer its 2 billion euro ($2.5 billion) general lamps business into an independent legal structure, paving the way for a possible spin-off or sale and allowing it to focus on automotive lighting and components.

The move to separate the declining business representing about 40 percent of its revenue, which follows a similar move by bigger Dutch rival Philips. lifted Osram shares more than 6 percent to an all-time high of 51.30 euros.

“The independent legal structure is to provide the basis for the further development of the business, while also considering partnerships,” Osram said on Tuesday.

The transfer will involve the bulk of Osram’s traditional lightbulb and LED general lamps units, leaving it with specialty lighting and components mainly for the automotive sector as well as project lighting.

Like Philips, Osram is racing to keep pace with a rapid rise in Asian LED digital light makers, who can offer lower prices thanks to fewer overheads than legacy lighting makers in Europe or the United States.

Osram Chief Executive Olaf Berlien had been reviewing strategy since taking the helm in January and Chief Financial Officer Klaus Patzak told Reuters last month Osram could consider splitting off parts.

Osram said the move would be submitted to its supervisory board when it next meets on April 28.

Analyst Karsten Iltgen at Bankhaus Lampe said: “It certainly makes a lot of sense. It’s what we wanted from the company, to focus not only but especially on automotive, where they can definitely get more value.”

He said he would value the remaining parts of the business alone at about 50 euros per share and the parts to be separated at about 10 euros, compared with Osram’s price of 49.13 euros before Tuesday’s statement.

Philips is considering options for its lighting business and favors a separate stock exchange listing. It has also agreed to sell an 80 percent stake in its lighting components business for $2.8 billion to investment fund Go Scale Capital.

Osram, spun off from engineering group Siemens two years ago, is cutting capacity in traditional lighting and streamlining sales and distribution operations, axing nearly a quarter of its employees over three years.

Sales at Osram’s traditional lighting unit, CLB, fell 15 percent in fiscal 2014 to 1.96 billion euros, while the unit’s margin on EBITDA (earnings before interest, tax and amortization) was 4.6 percent, compared with 6.0 percent for the group.

Retailers avoid ban on traditional light bulbs

You may have noticed the recent articles on both the Telegraph and Daily Mail web-sites. “Retailers avoid ban on traditional light bulbs” by Edward Malnick and Daniel Martin. www.nlandc.co.uk are pleased to offer the largest and most competitively priced “rough service” “Tough lamps” of any of the online retailers.

The final phase of the European Union’s long ridiculous campaign to ban traditional light bulbs will take place from 1st September 2012 with the ban on 40w light bulbs.

The 100w version were the first to go, then the 60w. Now, from this week 1st September 2012 the 40w bulb will be phased out!

For everyone that still prefers the warm incandescent bulbs that have no warm up time and give a bright instant light that we have used since Thomas Edison first invented it in 1879, there are still some companies like National Lamps and Components that can help.

The European Union directive banning standard incandescent lamps refers only to those meant for “household lamps”, meaning retailers can continue to supply bulbs intended for “industrial use”.

At least two British lamp importers are now selling thousands of “rough service” or so called “Tough lamps” which are available in a variety of cap types which look identical to and work exactly the same way as-the bulbs that will be outlawed by the European Union directive.

These bulbs are not being sold by major supermarkets most of which have voluntarily stopped selling incandescent bulbs, but they will continue to be available from specialist lighting and lamp shops, as well as online retailers like www.nlandc.co.uk, www.lamps2udirect.co.uk and www.enviro-lights.co.uk.

These bulbs are usually manufactured with an extra filament support and a thicker filament making them less likely to be broken by shock or vibration.

The cartons are usually marked “rough service” or “Tough lamp” and have double the life of a standard household lamp.

One large manufacturer, Bell, recently sent lamp distributors like www.nlandc.co.uk a list of incandescent “Tough lamps” which said “don’t panic – All incandescent Tough lamps will be available from stock in September, candle shape, golf ball shape and standard household GLS shape.

Now the National Measurement Office, the Government agency responsible for enforcing the ban on traditional bulbs, have warned householders against buying rough-service bulbs, saying “consideration should be given to the terms and conditions of any household insurance policy if such lamps are used for illuminating your home.”

“We don’t live in a nanny state at all do we”!

David Gradley

Managing Director

All public lighting should go LED by 2020, says green NGO

Environmental NGO The Climate Group has called on governments around the world to upgrade all lighting in streets and public buildings to LED by 2020.
The challenge comes on the back of a major trial in nine cities around the world, which concluded that LED technology is already mature enough for ‘most outdoor applications’ and can offer dramatic energy savings.


The two-and-a-half-year trial, organised by The Climate Group and sponsored by Philips Lighting, saw city lighting managers test more than 500 LED luminaires, representing 27 different products.

Only six of them failed in the first 6,000 hours – a rate of just one per cent.

The trials took place in nine cities that are members of the Climate Group’s LightSavers consortium, including London, New York, Sydney, Hong Kong and Kolkata. They were conducted in 2009-2012, with each test lasting between about nine and 23 months.

The Climate Group’s report, launched yesterday at the UN’s Rio+20 sustainability conference, revealed that the LED products tested achieved 50 to 70 per cent savings, and up to 80 per cent when combined with controls.

The report said that many products showed ‘behaviour consistent with claimed lifespans of 50,000 to 100,000 hours’ (although they weren’t able to test them for that long) and that the LED products generally showed ‘very little change in colour’. In surveys of people living in the areas where LED lighting was tested, the vast majority said they preferred it to what was there previously, and would support the use of LEDs for all city streetlights.

The Climate Group’s CEO Mark Kenber said: ‘This report clearly highlights that LEDs are ready to be scaled up in towns and cities across the globe. We are now calling on governments to remove policy obstacles and enable a rapid transition to low-carbon lighting.

‘All new public lighting – both streetlighting and in public buildings – should be LED by 2015, with the aim of all public lighting being LED by 2020. We will be working to recruit a leadership group of city, state and national governments to adopt this and report on progress on an annual basis over the next three years.’

The report predicted that LEDs will soon ‘reach far beyond any competing technology and become the technology of choice for most applications’, with energy savings reaching up to 90 per cent compared to conventional technologies. Companies that invest in LED now will benefit most, it said, from a market predicted to be worth as much as $90 billion by 2020.

The Climate Group called on local and national governments to become early adopters of LEDs and use economic policies to help other lighting owners overcome the uncertainty and upfront cost associated with moving to the new technology. Governments should adopt economic models that account for the long-term savings and other benefits provided by LEDs, the report said, such as asset leasing and public-private partnerships.

With lighting responsible for 19% of global electricity use, cutting energy usage represents a huge opportunity to reduce carbon emissions and increase global prosperity, the organisation said.

Harlow business growth strongest in UK, research shows

The boss of an expanding Harlow firm has said a key reason for it being one of the strongest areas for business growth in the UK is its location.

Research by Experian, commissioned by the BBC, has shown the Essex town had the biggest business growth rates between July 2010 and February 2012.

In that time the number of businesses grew by 478, the 6.2% average yearly increase being the highest in the UK.

Ross Curtis, of Objects In Glass, said: “I can’t imagine a better place to be.”

He added: “Obviously you’ve got the benefits of London being close by, but it’s a cheaper place to set up near that big market.

“The business networking is fantastic, if you need to get something made you generally can in Harlow.

“Everything seems to be close by and it’s just an easy place to do businesses.”

According to the Experian research, the number of businesses in the town increased from 3,782 to 4,260 between 2010 and 2012.

It also saw a 23.5% increase in the number of business start-ups.


Osram lamps are Which? best buys

Osram’s LED and energy-saving lamps have performed well in the latest bulb test by Which?, the independent consumer organisation. Which? carried out in-depth tests on 40 products from six manufacturers

Areas tested included durability, with three samples of each lamp left on for 5,000 hours and switched on and off 30,000 times. With the best performing bulbs, all three samples survived testing, while the worst failed at just 6,000 switches.

Other test areas included brightness across a 100-hour period and speed to light.

Of the 15 products picked out as ‘best buys’ by Which?, nine were from Osram, four from Sylvania, one from GE and one from Philips.

Osram’s Duluxstar Mini Twist 11W came top of the list as the ideal replacement for the traditional 60W lamp. Although Sylvania’s ToLEDo GLS A60 performed better, its typical price is almost six times more than the Osram bulb.

The Which? test report said: ‘The Mini Twist from Osram does many things excellently. Its performance is good as it gets for a CFL light bulb.’

The GE Electronic 12W also performed strongly, particularly for light output, efficiency and durability. The Osram Duluxstar 21W and Dulux Superstar 30W were recommended as replacements for traditional 100W lamps.

Osram’s LED lamps scored well in the durability tests and only took three seconds to reach full brightness. The Osram Parathom Pro Classic A60 and the Osram Parathom Classic A40 were also picked out as best buys.

Spot Lamps Improved – NOT Banned! Say the EU

Incorrect reports in the UK media have given the impression that the Commission will remove low-voltage halogen lamps from the UK market without provision for proper replacements. These reports will of course have caused undue concern to UK consumers and manufacturers and we therefore wish to clarify the issue.

Low voltage halogen reflector lamps (the halogen spotlights commonly used in household kitchens and bathrooms) are not banned in the draft Commission Regulation under the Ecodesign Directive, neither in 2013 nor in 2016.

In fact, the regulation seeks to make reflector lamps more efficient with long-term benefits for both the consumer and the environment. Existing reflector lamps formats can meet the requirements by simply changing their filling gas to xenon (an inert gas). The draft Regulation will not lead to any noticeable difference in terms of quality of light or lamp design for low voltage halogen reflector lamps.

The requirements have been developed through a public consultation process involving the lamp industry, lighting designers, consumer organisations and green NGOs. The European lighting industry and lighting designers are not “concerned” about the level or requirements for low voltage halogen lamps, on the contrary they have been involved in the consultation process and support it as it does not involve phasing out any of the currently prevailing halogen lamp types. It only improves the lamps’ energy efficiency.

How much electricity and money will consumers save?

By using an improved halogen reflector lamp, consumers will save 20 to 25% electricity (8-15 kWh / year / lamp), corresponding to a saving of up to £1.60 per year per lamp, even taking into account the purchase price of the lamps.  This means that in spite of a higher purchase price of the lamp, a significant decrease is to be expected for the consumers, thanks to the electricity savings.

How and when will the Regulation be adopted? Is there going to be further consultation?

The process still has many checks taking into account industry and national concerns. The Commission is currently completing an internal consultation process within its services. Following this, the World Trade Organisation will be consulted on the draft regulation, a committee of experts from the EU Member States governments will vote on it, and the European Parliament and the Council of Ministers from the Member States will have the ultimate opportunity to stop its adoption if they consider the draft regulation inappropriate. If the regulation passes all these procedures it could be adopted by the Commission in early autumn 2012.

ELC tries to allay fears over MR16 phase out

The European Lamp Companies Federation (ELC) has released a statement trying to reassure the market that low voltage halogen lamps will not be phased out in 2016.

The statement, which refers to ‘recent media reporting regarding the phase out of MR16 low voltage halogen lamps’, was released in response to stories which have recently appeared in the lighting press.

“The European Lamp Companies Federation (ELC) understands that quality halogen reflector lamps will remain on the market so there will be no visible change in the design and compatibility of these lamps. The ELC understands that it is the intention of the European Commission to phase out in a period between 2013 and 2016 only the least performing and least efficient low voltage halogen lamp types.”

Lighting posted the story after speaking to industry sources and seeing an explanatory note to the draft legislation which stated that: ‘poor conventional low voltage halogens’ would be phased out in 2013 and that ‘quality conventional low voltage halogens’ would be phased out in two stages between 2013 and 2014. Our article explained that ‘better performing versions’ of low voltage halogens, including those with infra-red coatings, would be included under the latter definition. The statement from the ELC now contends that this will not be the case, although figures close to the consultation process remain sceptical:

Kevan Shaw of KSLD, who has taken an active part in discussions about the phase out said: “Notwithstanding the ELC statement, the wording in the draft legislation is clear in the intent to remove all non IRC coated low voltage reflector lamps from the market in September 2013, along with many mains voltage incandescent reflector lamps. The new metric created in the legislation requires measurements of reflector lamps that are not available in catalogues and datasheets. It is impossible at this point to know what lamps may meet the requirements to remain in the market beyond September 2013. We urgently need the industry to provide the relevant data to answer this question.”

The statement from the ELC went on to explain that it is: “awaiting an official draft proposal of the legislation and recognizes that this is an on-going process. The ELC and its members remain committed to providing suitable choice and to maintaining high consumer satisfaction.”

It finished by saying: “As an industry we are confident that in the future there will remain an adequate choice of high quality, low voltage lamps to satisfy different consumer budgets and needs.”