Lighting Regulations 2022: The Ultimate Guide on the New Lighting Laws

Over recent years, the efficiency of everyday appliances has significantly improved. Industries across the board have made developments in line with a greener and brighter future, and the lighting industry is no different.

However, lighting still contributes up to 6% of global CO2 emissions, so much work is to be done.

Introduced in September 2021, the new lighting regulations aim to continue the work of improving lighting standards, raising the bar for energy efficiency for everyone in the business. 

So, what are the new lighting regulations, and how will they affect you and your business? Below, we’ve covered everything you need to know about the latest lighting regulations.

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 Table of Contents

  1. What is the purpose of the lighting regulations?
  2. What are the new lighting regulations called?
  3. The Single Lighting Regulation explained
  4. The Energy Label Regulation explained
  5. So, how have energy labels changed?
  6. New energy label QR codes
  7. Who will be affected by the new lighting regulations?
  8. When do the new lighting regulations come into force?
  9. What happens to products placed on the market before 1st September 2021?
  10. When do the new energy labels come into force?
  11. Are there any exceptions to the new lighting regulations?
  12. Shop sustainable lights at Dusk Lighting

What is the purpose of the lighting regulations?

Since the ban on halogen bulbs in September 2018, LED bulbs have taken the market by storm. As such, there has been a significant reduction in lighting’s contribution to CO2 emissions.

The latest lighting regulations aim to continue these efforts; they combine all relevant past lighting rules and merge them with new lighting technologies to provide an improved guideline for lighting efficiency. 

The new lighting regulations will increase lighting efficiency and sustainability to further reduce carbon emissions. 

What are the new lighting regulations?

The two lighting regulations commissioned in the EU are the Single Lighting Regulation (SLR) and the Energy Label Regulation (ELR). 

The UK is no longer part of the EU, so it instead replicated the technical requirements of the two regulations and combined them into one UK regulation, known as a statutory instrument. As such, the UK version of the regulation is The Ecodesign for Energy-Related Products and 

Energy Information (Lighting Products) Regulations 2021.

In terms of practicality, the new lighting regulation will almost identically apply to the EU and the UK.

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The Single Lighting Regulation explained

The first of the new lighting regulations will replace three previous regulations: (EC) No 244/2009, (EC) No 245/2009 and (EU) No 1194/2012. It will provide a single reference point for compliance, making it easier for consumers and companies alike to follow mandatory guidelines.

So, what is the SLR all about? Below, we’ve outlined the three main focus points of the new lighting regulation.

Define light sources and control gears

The SLR defines the different light sources and control gears covered under the regulation. Under the new regulation, light sources are classified as anything that emits white light, including LED lamps and LED modules. Luminaires are also identified as containing products for light sources. 

What are control gears? They are enhancements that stabilise the current and control the lighting output of a light. They also reduce any lighting flickers and promote stable energy consumption. 

Introduces stricter efficacy thresholds

The SLR introduces stricter minimum efficacy thresholds on all light sources and separate control gears. This is to encourage further improvement in energy efficiency throughout the lighting industry.  

Encourage a circular economy

A circular economy is the opposite of a linear economy, in which natural resources are taken, transformed into products, and disposed of. 

The new lighting regulation aims to encourage a circular economy model, which will bring the lighting industry closer than ever before to a process which eliminates waste by investing more in materials, products and systems. 

With this in mind, new lighting products should be designed to be more reliable. They should be upgradeable or repairable, which will encourage less waste. Finally, their design will contain more recyclable material and will be easier to dismantle, which will ultimately help to reduce landfill waste. 

Grey desk lamp positioned sideways

The Energy Label Regulation explained

Energy Labels are found on all electrical energy-using products, including televisions, dishwashers, and light sources. Their purpose is to communicate energy efficiency, which allows users to save money on their household energy bills and make choices to help reduce CO2 emissions.

The new Energy Label Regulation redefines the labelling requirements for all lighting products, including labels for lighting packaging and any website or sales literature. 

How have energy labels changed?

The ELR has introduced new efficiency ratings to energy labels. Whilst previous labels had a lighting efficiency scale of A++ to E (Figure 1), both the new EU and UK labels have a scale of A to G (Figure 2). 

Why have the new lighting regulations introduced new ratings? Well, this is because previous energy ratings had lost clarity. Most products would be rated A, A+ or A++, whilst the E rating had become redundant. The energy ratings have been rescaled and adjusted to increase clarity and precision between different ratings.

Figure 1:

Previous energy label

Figure 2:

New energy labels

The new A rating has an efficiency of 210 lumens per watt, whilst the G rating has an efficiency of under 85 lumens per watt. Each light source has been provided with a new energy rating between A and G in line with the new lighting regulation.

Many products rated A++ on the previous scale will now have a lower rating, for example, C or D. However, it’s important to note that lighting products that have a lower rating on their new label have not become less efficient. They are still absorbing the same amount of power as before.

With this in mind, the lighting industry is encouraged to make innovations and developments to improve lighting efficiency continuously and to create new lighting technology that will receive higher, more efficient ratings.  

New energy label QR codes

As part of the Energy Label lighting regulation, all products that require energy labels must be registered into the EPREL database, otherwise known as the European Product Database for Energy Labelling. They also require a QR code to link consumers to the associated mandatory technical product information.

The QR codes work by scanning the QR code on the packaging with a phone camera app. This will instantly bring up the product’s correlating information, allowing consumers to easily check and compare the lighting product to others using the same metrics. 

Who will be affected by the new lighting regulations?

Everyone in the industry is responsible for compliance, which means that the new lighting regulations will affect everyone, from those responsible for manufacturing to distributors, wholesalers and retailers. 

Depending on your role, you might have different responsibilities when it comes to ensuring that the compliance demanded by the new regulations is implemented, so it’s important to check what is expected of you. 

If you require more information, you can always check the government website, which has everything you need to know about The Ecodesign for Energy-Related Products and Energy Information (Lighting Products) Regulations 2021. 

When do the new lighting regulations come into force?

The lighting regulations came into action in Europe on 1st September 2021, meaning that any lighting products placed onto the market must be compliant with the new lighting regulations from this day onwards. 

Additionally, all new lighting products placed on the market after 1st October 2021 must display the new energy labels online and in stores.

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What happens to products placed on the market before 1st September 2021?

The lighting regulations were officially implemented on 1st September 2021. However, this date does not act as an official cut-off point for all goods.

Products placed on the market after 1st September 2021 must comply with the new lighting regulations; however, it is important to note that products are considered ‘placed on the market’ when they are available to sell. 

Some industries mark products as available for sale before they are built. In this sense, products placed on the market before 1st September only have to comply with the previous regulation, even though the customer might not receive it until after the lighting regulations come into force.

When do the new energy labels come into force?

All products placed on the market before 1st September have until March 2023 to be relabelled with the new mandatory energy labels. From 1st September onwards, all products must display the new A-G energy rating label from launch.

New energy labels can be stuck over the old ones for existing lighting products. However, it is essential that the new labels completely cover the old energy rating.

Are there any exceptions to the new lighting regulations?

Old lighting technologies, including halogen bulbs, tubes and incandescent lights, are exempt from the new lighting regulations. However, this is only because they are classified as so inefficient that they are being banned and pulled from shop shelves according to dates set out in the new lighting regulations.

You can read more about the removal of halogen bulbs and fluorescent lights on the government website

Light bulb, positioned side ways on grass

Shop sustainable lights at Dusk Lighting

The updated lighting regulations will have a tremendous impact on improving lighting efficiency. They will promote a greener future and more efficient lighting technology, alongside a reduction of CO2 emissions and landfill waste.

Of course, with the new lighting regulations comes new responsibilities, and everyone from manufacturers and importers to stockists and consumers has a role to play in reducing lighting’s global footprint. 

With this in mind, it’s essential to familiarise yourself with the new lighting regulations and take into account any action you may need to take. 

Here at Dusk Lighting, all of our lights are up to date with the latest lighting regulations. Shop our LED integrated light bulbs to update the existing lighting fixtures in your home. Or, if you’re looking for sustainable lighting styles, explore our contemporary Astro Lighting range, filled with sustainable designs to light up your home.

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