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

Monday, November 25, 2013

EU Commission Light Bulb Ban Review 4:
Rik Gheysens

Update 28 November with extracts and comment section   Original post: 25 November

To continue the reaction to the EU proposals as detailed previously, some other voices, as promised.

Belgian researcher Rik Gheysens has a good bilingual website (version in Dutch here) with plenty of documentation, particularly on fluorescent lighting and problems.
Includes an excellent extensive EU Q and A section, with questions put by EU MPs to the Commission also on the light bulb ban in general, and the answers received.

He has in the last week also covered the light bulb ban review in depth with a critical analysis - which in many ways complements the comments made here in the earlier post, in going more deeply into CFL and mercury issues and also LED environmental problems.

As should be seen below, the press release document (pdf, alt copy). If the view looks messy, try clicking on it to reduce the internal page size etc (seems to work differently in different browsers and their various versions).
As always, downloading the document may work better.


While much focuses on CFLs and mercury - and for the understandable quoted reasons - it is my belief that the Commission and lighting companies are actively moving away from such lighting: The recent Commission proposal, as linked above and in the document itself, hardly mentions CFLs and the LightingEurope (Philips, Osram, GE etc) statement as previously posted also entirely focuses on the "Ledification" of society.

This is likely also borne out by Commissioner Oettinger's statement, as in the document:

Answer given by Mr Oettinger on behalf of the Commission

The regulation is to be reviewed by 2014.
That will be the time to consider how the EU framework for energy saving lighting should be further developed. In the meantime, the Commission would draw the Honourable Member's attention to the fact that, under Directive 2011/65 (2), the mercury content of Compact Fluorescent Lamps (CFL) in the EU was halved as from January 2013 to a maximum of 2.5 mg (compared to 50 milligrams in cell batteries and 500 milligrams in amalgam dental fillings)

Halving the allowable mercury content makes fluorescent lighting still harder to make with acceptable performance for a given price - which perhaps is the intention, moving towards a "de facto" ban, just as with energy usage standards on incandescents, without actually calling it a "ban".
Personally, while understanding the health, environmental and other arguments against fluorescent lighting, I find it a shame to ban any lighting, and I remain (very) unconvinced that the Commission is doing this out of some bleeding-heart-sympathy-for-consumers.
The greater profitability including self-admitted heavy EU subsidisation (see EU proposal) of LED manufacture has the Commission-Manufacturer tandem working nicely again.

The LED section of the document should therefore also be noted.
Again good points, with plenty of new references not used in this blog before.
As for health, environmental and light quality issues with LEDs, also see the preceding posts in this blog, with illustrations and references.

Some slight editing of the below quote:

Light-emitting diodes

- These lights have a continuous spectrum.

- They have a CRI of only 80-85. Nick Farraway, international sales manager at Soraa, wants a CRI of 95 or greater. But he agrees that it will be difficult and at high costs. [http://ledsmagazine.com/features/10/10/10]

- They have a power factor of 0.5 –0.9 for lamps between 5W and 25W.

- They contain rare earth metals.

- They have a very complex manufacture and the disposal needs special measures.

- They have a spectral imbalance within the blue:
The white light of LEDS has generally a blue peak, which makes it unsuitable to use it at evening. Medical research indicates that blue light is very effective in reducing naturally occurring human melatonin levels. The real impact of light depends on three features: color, intensity and duration.
Melatonin secretion is reduced to 50% after:
  - 403 hours of exposure to an monochromatic RED light at 100 lux
  - 66 min to a candle
  - 39 min to a 60W incandescent bulb
  - 15 min to a 58W daylight fluorescent lamp
  - 13 min to a pure white high-output LED
(Angeles Rol de Lama, e.a., Contaminación lumínica y salud: El lado oscuro de la luz, Dpto. Fisiologia, Universidad de Murcia)

- SCENIHR [ed- the European Commission Scientific Committee on Emerging and Newly Identified Health Risks, link] shows the following opinion:
Despite the beneficial effects of light, there is mounting evidence that suggests that ill-timed exposure to light (light-at-night), possibly through circadian rhythm disruption, may be associated with an increased risk of breast cancer and also cause sleep disorders, gastrointestinal, and cardiovascular disorders, and possibly affective states. Importantly, these effects are directly or indirectly due to light itself, without any specific correlation to a given lighting technology.(SCENIHR, 2012, p. 59)We disagree with this last sentence.

- When dimming a LED,some problems may arise.
(More information in Review study, p. 71-72)

- The lifetime of the LEDs depends on the temperature of the junction and the electric current intensity, without forgetting the quality of production and integration. At present, the definition of the lifetime of a LED and the measuring method are not standardized.
(Effets sanitaires des systèmes d’éclairageutilisant des diodes électroluminescentes (LED), Rapport d'expertise collective, Octobre 2010, p. 40)
The heat is "enemy No. 1" of LEDs, more specifically of white LEDs. LED operation at too high a temperature (and therefore high junction temperature of the semiconductor) has a dramatic effect on efficiency but also on other characteristics and performance of LEDs such as the flux, the spectrum (and thus the color), the polarization voltage, and the life. To take advantage of the interesting properties of LED (flux, efficiency, durability, quality of light emitted), integrators must take into account the heat generated by the LED and qualities of this component to evacuate the heat.(Ibid., p. 207)

- High luminance: (i.e. the high brightness density per surface unit emitted by these very small sources.) LEDs are point sources of light that can be aggregated in lighting units to achieve high luminous flux. Because the emission surfaces of LEDs are highly concentrated point sources, the luminance of each individual source produces very high luminance, at least 1 000 times higher (107cd/m2) than that from a traditional lighting source.

- Stroboscopic effect: Depending on their architecture, the electrical power supplied to LED lighting systems can vary, causing fluctuations in the intensity of the light produced that are more or less perceptible to the naked eye.
(Opinion of the French Agency for food, environmental and occupational health & safety in response to the internally-solicited request entitled "Health effects of lighting systems using light-emitting diodes (LEDs)"19 October 2010)

- The number of EU citizens with light-associated skin disorders that would be affected by exposures from CFLs was estimated in the report to be around 250,000. Clearly, the risk for this group of patients is not limited to CFLs, but includes all light sources with significant UV/blue light emissions. The lack of proper data precludes any improvement of the estimate of the size of the affected group.
(SCENIHR, 2012, p. 11) It is a shame that without further knowledge of the effects of LEDs, the precautionary principle is not applied.

- Because the lemon and primrose yellow are extra sensitive to blue and green, it is risky to illuminate some artworks with LEDs due to the high proportion of blue light. LEDs can damage the paintings of great masters!
(Dutch newspaper De Volkskrant, 4 January 2013)

- The luminous efficiency of LEDs was estimated between 4.2 and 14.9%.

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.

No comments: