What is the RoHS Directive Ban and how will it affect us?
New regulations governing lighting products like fluorescent tubes have just come into force and will speed up the adoption of LED technology.
The revisions to the Restriction of Hazardous Substances rules (EU RoHS Directive 2011/65/EU) mean that businesses will need to plan their full migration to LED lighting.
The UK will continue to follow the EU RoHS Directive, which is the global benchmark for reducing toxic substances in electronics, with around 50 countries outside the European Economic Area also adopting the regulations. So, buying replacement fluorescents for your existing buildings or specifying them for new builds will be increasingly challenging for organisations and those that maintain their buildings.
Does this just affect where I work, or will it affect me in my home?
Although fluorescents are most widely used in the workplace, some homes might still have the odd curly compact fluorescent that takes time to warm up and gives poor light output lurking in their rooms!
In this case, treat yourself to a quality LED replacement; it really is as easy as changing a lightbulb, and you’ll typically save circa £20 per year per lamp on your energy bills!
How easy is it to retrofit my building to LED in my workplace?
The key is selecting the right manufacturer. Always buy from a brand you know and trust that has been in the lighting industry for years (and is big enough to keep ahead of the technology if there is ever a problem!).
Our favourite manufacturer at the moment is LEDVANCE, formally part of lighting giant Osram; they have a vast LED lamp & luminaire range and are now one of the biggest LED lighting companies in the world. Picking an experienced LED installation team is also key, as a good product badly installed will cause you headaches.
Here at SaveMoneyCutCarbon we are able to demonstrate these credentials, with a proven track record of delivering a wide range of LED projects across every building type from offices and warehouses through to 5-star hotels and NHS hospitals. With LED replacements for virtually every lamp type, it has never been easier.
Watch a recent successfully delivered retail store project, moving the stores to LED overnight with the SaveMoneyCutCarbon installation team to reduce escalating energy bills.
What if I can’t find the money to change to LED?
SaveMoneyCutCarbon can help. As well as having partnerships with LEDVANCE and other major quality LED manufacturers, we can offer the very best pricing for a quality LED product with robust warranties and support. In addition, if you don’t have the capital to fund retrofitting to LED, we have a range of on & off-balance sheet funding options that effectively use or share the savings to fund the supply and installation.
So, with energy bills spiralling upwards, the need to reduce carbon footprints high on everyone agendas, and quality LED providing savings up to 90% driving affordable and fast paybacks, it’s time to act now.
What does the ban cover & when does it start?
The new rules came into force on 13th March 2022, with 12 amendments to the RoHS Directive that will end a wide range of exemptions for the use of mercury in lamps while allowing exemptions where it is technically impracticable to install substitutes.
This means that T5 and T8 fluorescent lamps, compact fluorescent lamps with plug-in bases (CFLni), HPD lamps and special-purpose lamps like UV-C, previously exempt from the mercury ban are now included, with the regulations being phased in mainly over the next 12-18 months.
From August 2023 all T5 and T8 fluorescent lamps will be banned for general use, while the ban on all compact fluorescent lamps with plug-in bases (CFLni) takes effect from February 2023. The regulations will allow an extension to the exemption for HPD lamps of 3 to 5 years, as well as an extension to the exemption for special-purpose lamps of 3 to 5 years.
Why is this good for the planet?
Mercury is being targeted because of its neurotoxic effects; exposure to a high level of mercury can cause damage to the brain, lungs, kidneys and immune system. When released to the environment it enters the food chain where it can bio-accumulate, mainly in fish.
Primary mercury mining ceased in 2003 and the exports of mercury and certain mercury compounds from the EU have been banned since 2011, so intentional use of mercury in the EU has been steadily decreasing over the past 15 years.
Apart from lighting and electronics products, there are unintentional atmospheric emissions from activities using mercury-containing fuels or raw materials, mainly coal burning for heating, cooking, power and steam generation and in industrial process plants.
The new rules aim to increase the protection of general health and the environment, while accelerating innovation and cleaner products.
Are there any exceptions?
For some lamp categories, mainly for special purposes in the industrial or medical sector where sufficiently reliable mercury-free substitutes are not yet available, time-limited exemptions to use mercury are still granted under the restrictive conditions set by the RoHS Directive.
Around 5,000 million lamps currently available in the EU markets – mainly compact and linear fluorescent – contain mercury, with all the risks linked to inappropriate disposal. The revised rules should lead to a reduction of around 2,800 kg of mercury.
The phase-out of lamps containing mercury should provide further benefits, with greater energy savings and an overall reduction of greenhouse-gas emissions.
The good news is that you can switch to safer LED lighting models without much fuss because mercury-based lamps can be replaced without having to make changes to the installation.
This is a big change, but we’re here to help your business move to compliant lighting with full support every step of the way. For larger organisations, we offer our comprehensive Sustainability as a Service (SaaS) where LED lighting is one of many touchpoints in reducing energy usage and carbon emissions. You can book a free call with one of our Carbon Mentors here.
For smaller businesses, we can provide expert advice on all your compliant LED lighting needs. You can browse our LED lighting range and learn more about the benefits of LED products, and speak to one of our Lighting Specialists who can guide you through what you might need.
If you have any questions about switching to LED alternatives, call our lighting team now on 0333 123 5464.