How policy and cost savings are helping to drive the uptake of low-energy, retrofit LED Lamps

Photonic Abyss“The traditional GLS lamp is dead!” Well it may not be quite dead but legislation, environmental issues and cost-saving are forcing businesses’ to re-evaluate the real costs of lighting.

Traditional lamps including GLS, Halogen, Tungsten and Discharge are being replaced by low-energy retrofit products such as LED. The Light Emitting Diode was first discovered in the early 20th century however it was not until the 1960s that there was an application for patent of infrared LED and the development of the LED happened through the “father of LED” Nick Holonyak of GE. In the 21st century the development of retrofit products increased with MGC Lighting being an early adopter and promoter of LED cluster MR16 retrofit lamps. Early LED products offered some energy savings however they were used due to the improved reliability of the product. LED can now offer energy savings of between 50 and 90%.

The EU directives of Energy using Products (EuP) and later the Eco-Design (ErP) have brought about the prohibition of some inefficient lamps. A phase-out of lamps started in 2009 and will
continue until 2016 to include not only consumer products but also those used in highway, office and industrial lighting applications. Similar directives around the world have been implemented forcing other regions to legally to make changes. Governments around the world have also increased awareness and uptake of low energy retrofit lamps through low cost loans to pay for upgrades that can be repaid through energy companies from the energy savings such as the Green Deal in UK.

Environmental awareness has increased in the last 25 years where green credentials are used as a key part of marketing and promoting companies. Energy savings can be directly related to a
reduction in carbon usage though organizations such as the Carbon Trust.

The great energy savings have allowed retrofit lamp suppliers such as MGC to show a return on investment on certain products within 2 years and with the expected life of some products at more
than 5 years this can offer a large saving on energy costs alone. LED needs less replacing than a traditional product therefore there is a cost saving in labour, platforms, ladders or hoists (if required) and less disruption alongside the energy savings.

Ten years ago LED retrofit products seemed prohibitive due to cost, reliability and effectiveness however now products are now cost effective, reliable and can be true alternatives to the traditional lamp. LED is not liked by all, however legislation is forcing change, environmental awareness is giving concern and cost savings shows a monetary reason to change to low energy retrofit LED lamps. Brands such as Philips, GE, Osram, Megaman, Sylvania, Impact and EYE are all producing respected reliable products and all of these brands are available from MGC Lighting Group.

This article has been created by David Jackson, International Sales Manager at MGC Lighting Group, one of the leading LED lighting suppliers in Europe.