If energy needs to be saved, there are good ways to do it.
                                                               Government product regulation is not one of them

Thursday, November 21, 2013

EU Commission Light Bulb Ban Review 3:
LightingEurope Industry Statement

Continuing the series on the EU Light Bulb Ban Review.

The first post covered the details of the review of the 2009 light bulb regulations that has been started by the EU (European) Commission, and the Commission's proposed 2 year delay on the stage 6 phase out of halogen replacements.

The second post covered the lighting industry position ahead of the EU proposal, mainly that of the major LightingEurope stakeholder (Philips, Osram etc), where they advocated a 3 year delay.
As seen, the representatives were unhappy about cheap lower quality LED imports, hoping for stricter rules in the meantime, rather than being particularly keen to maintain a halogen (let alone standard incandescent) choice for consumers.
My comments criticized this accordingly.

Of course, a few representatives do not necessarily speak for the whole association.
In any case, as per the subsequent released official position of LightingEurope on the issue, they advocate abolition of the stage 6 phase out, and are certainly supportive of halogen lighting alternatives.

An outsider would consider this completely normal:
After all, what manufacturer normally welcomes a ban on what they can or can't make?
Yet, as the history of regulation shows, the major manufacturers have hitherto done just that, on the basis of forced switchovers to more profitable alternatives. A cynical view is that allowing halogens is a magnanimous meaningless gesture to the manufacturer profit bottom line (halogen replacements being far more expensive than regular incandescent bulbs for marginal usage savings, and they were unpopular as a mains voltage choice while regular incandescents still existed). But at least it maintains more choice for consumers.

Should be seen below as a scrollable PDF document:
LightingEurope position on the review of the Stage 6 Requirements of Commission Regulation (EC) No 244/2009

Commenting follows below.



LightingEurope welcomes Commission’s proposal to postpone the entry into force of the stage 6 requirements. Nevertheless, the LightingEurope recommends the abolishment of Stage 6 requirements, allowing LED technology
to mature further and to grow to a level of market penetration that made it a viably alternative for all EU citizens after having reached an optimal point in terms of monetary and energy savings, without compromising jobs.

Clearly welcome.
Interestingly, as seen LightingEurope is also critical of the Commission suggestion to ban special R7 and G9 halogen types, and to enforce LED compatibility on new fixtures - as covered in the updated first post in this series.

The main argumentation, extracts, inserted comments in italics:

Impact on European Consumers
Each technology produces light with a different distribution pattern.
Halogen lamps are omni-directional point sources,
CFL lamps are omni-directional diffuse sources,
LED chips are directional point sources.

[All lighting forms have their own advantages..indeed]

Luminaires designed for halogen lamps are generally designed for omni-directional point sources.
Other lamp types may or may not function properly in a luminaire in a specific application.
[Note the implied criticism of the EU proposal to enforce LED compatible fixtures]

It is up to the user to determine whether or not a CFL or LED replacement lamp is acceptable.
[An extraordinary statement, for anyone who has read their past communications]

In many applications they are acceptable, but in many other applications they are not.
It needs to be pointed out in this context that learnings from the phase out of incandescent lamps that started in 2009 should be taken into account when determining stage 6 requirements. Upholding these requirements or even postponing them to only 2018 would lead to a factual and unintended phase-out of well established and demanded products on the European lighting market. [Implied objection to EU regulatory rule - again extraordinary - hopefully the authors of this don't get sent to Siberia or whatever the equivalent EU punishment is... and it continues:]
It is to be expected that the consumer’s outrage might be comparable to the one in 2009.
In some applications, a halogen lamp is required for the luminaire to function properly in terms of light emission, quantity of light, light distribution, dimmability, heat management and quality of emission.
If no halogen lamp is available anymore, the only other option is to completely replace the luminaire which would have a severe negative economic impact on the consumer.

Reasonable estimations from industry side indicate that more than 200 million luminaires [fittings etc] in European households would factually become unusable under implementation of stage 6 requirements.
Given this, also a transition period until 2018 would give only five years to European consumers to replace their luminaires.
In the end (costs minus savings) until 2025 consumer would have costs for replacing luminaires of 1.9bn€!
Together with the additional costs €3.1 to €4.6bn caused by a ban as calculated in Table 19 of the review study (p. 40) the overall costs for the keeping stage 6 becomes: €5 to 6.5bn until 2025.

A ban of mains-voltage halogen lamps could have a negative effect on future savings...if consumers are
forced to use CFLi / LED as early as 2016, sockets will be blocked to further improvements of energy efficiency for the next 10/25 years

Savings in 2020 Abolishing stage 6 vs keeping stage 6 and moving to LED: 18.6-9.2= 9,4TWh
Savings in 2020 Abolishing stage 6 vs keeping stage 6 and moving to stage 6 MV-HL: 18.6-14.1= 4,5TWh
Savings until 2060 abolishing stage 6 vs keeping stage 6 and moving to LED: 252,9-218,4= 34,5TWh
Savings until 2060 Abolishing stage 6 vs keeping stage 6 and moving to stage 6 MV-HL: 221,9-218,4= 3,5TWh

They understandably still welcome LED development of course...
LightingEurope is convinced that the increasing “ledification” of light and the related disruptive changes to the entire lighting sector should be seen as opportunities for the European lighting industry.

As a critical aside, to what is obviously otherwise a surprisingly positive statement:
To the extent a push for LEDs might be backed by campaigns, subsidies and maintained existing regulations as on regular incandescents, one might ask if that means a ledification....or leadification of the light bulb sector
Both literally and metaphorically.

Literally in the lead content of LEDs
Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science, University of California, USA analysis:
Excessive levels of copper (up to 3892 mg/kg; allowable limit: 2500), Pb (up to 8103 mg/kg; limit: 1000), nickel (up to 4797 mg/kg; limit: 2000), or silver (up to 721 mg/kg; limit: 500), rendering all except low-intensity yellow LEDs hazardous....

Metaphorically, in dulling down a lighting industry, by decreasing rather than increasing choice and competition between different technologies (also by focused subventions on LEDs to the exclusion of alternatives) leaving the LEDs as some sort of sole saviour of humanity.

Bluish LED light forms are already taking over as car headlights, bicycle lamps, torches (flashlights), and at this time, Christmas lights - and not always with a pleasant or even useful light quality.

LED development, in overcoming some of its disadvantages, is welcome and useful - but not to the exclusion of all else.
All lighting has advantages and disadvantages.
It is good and welcome that Philips, Osram and others are beginning to recognize this.
If they haven't quite "seen the light", they have at least shown some "illuminating" development.

any continued allowance of halogen lighting should include frosted, softer tone (EU term "non-clear") light bulbs, needlessly banned along with all other such incandescent bulbs. They were by far the most popular bulbs before the ban, with less point source glare.
It might be said that stage 6 only deals with already specified halogens. But - as from the EU Commission's own proposal ("extending the stage 6 requirements to halogen lamps with G9 and R7s socket") this does not hold up: the Commission themselves already added clauses, in terms of banning GP and R7s socket bulbs, and in mandating LED compatibility of new fixtures.
So clearly (or non-clearly!) they could move to alter stage 6 requirements to allow such halogen light bulbs.

Even in the underlying research report, the point is made by one of the consultants behind it that such light bulbs are often more - not less - energy efficient than the clear transparent bulbs
Paul van Tichelen replies that we have to make distinction between clear and frosted equivalent.
A clear lamp is always in the lower lumen output.
The lamps we found with above 800 lumen output were for frosted lamps (higher lumen output than clear lamps).
[Note: "(higher lumen output than clear lamps)" albeit emphasized, is the original quote, it is not a comment addition]

Clear LED lamps as referred to more commonly have lower brightness than clear incandescents in comparison with their respective non-clear alternatives, but the overall point remains.
Frosted brightness will depend on luminescence and thickness of coating in being more or less energy efficient. Overall, it is a marginal issue, as also acknowledged by the EU Commission:
The original ban argument that "people can buy CFLs/LEDs if they want non-clear lamps" obviously ignores all the other reasons why particular lighting is chosen.
The EU legislators often say they are not the only ones banning bulbs.
But no other jurisdiction than the EU maintains such a petty specific ban on frosted light bulbs.

How Regulations are Wrongly Justified
14 points, referenced:
Includes why the overall society savings aren't there, and even if they were, why alternative policies are better, including alternative policies that target light bulbs.

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