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The European Commission has recently postponed the oncoming phase out of halogen lamps, from 2016 to 2018, after intense lobbying from industry lighting body LightingEurope.

The commission felt that the industry needed more time to develop LED products further, in a press release the European Commission stated ‘Postponing the phase-out will bring more efficient products to the market, and give consumers the possibility to choose the best performing lamp for their needs,’.

It also said the industry needed more time to develop LEDs with features to which consumers are accustomed, such as standard dimming, multi-directional light beams, and good colour rendering, at an affordable price.

As lighting specialists we can say that there are LED products available that match or closely match Halogen in quality of light and dimming (using digital technology), however the lamps come at a higher cost compared to the very cheap to produce Halogen.

Some industry observers suggest that the European Commission delayed the ban to allow traditional lighting companies like Philips and Osram more time to adjust and to deal with difficult job losses associated with abandoning halogen.

We feel that as an industry we should be designing out halogen now, as even though the phase out is being delayed by 2 years it is still imminent. It is our opinion that new schemes should be designed around proven LED technology.

This brings a huge change in the way we think about lighting schemes. Where dimming is required such as hospitality and high-end residences, we use digital dimming protocols such as DALI with high quality luminaires and drivers to ensure smooth and low level dimming.

Ideaworks have been designing for fully compliant LED lighting schemes for several years, using DALI and DMX for highly flexible control and great dimming.

Technology will not go backwards, it is for the design industry to adapt to the changes as they happen and get the best from the new technology. In lighting terms this means adapting the way we design around accepting LED, digital control and utilising it for the best results.

After all, LED does bring with it huge savings in energy and maintenance. Even the European Commission’s own report states: ‘Switching from an average halogen lamp to an energy-efficient LED will already save approximately €115 ($124) over the LED’s lifetime of up to 20 years, and pay back its cost within a year. For a project with several hundreds, or even thousands of light fittings, the savings are huge.

To find out more about how we can help you design for the future email us, or call our sales team to discuss your project.

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Johanna Fright
Brand Guardian at Ideaworks

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