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New European Single Lighting Regulation: What to Know

Understanding requirements and changes to the regulation.

LED Lamps

September 1, 2021

Sept. 1, 2021, marked the deadline to comply with new requirements of the European Single Lighting Regulation (EU) 2019/2020 and the related Energy Labeling of Light Sources (EU) 2019/2015, which came into effect in December 2019. Members of the lighting industry should be aware of the following changes.

Single Lighting Regulation (EU) 2019/2020 — ecodesign requirements for light sources and separate control gears

The Single Lighting Regulation (SLR) now requires that lighting products comply to the ecodesign requirements established in three directives: (EC) No 244/2009, (EC) No 245/2009 and (EU) No 1194/2012. The previous terms of lamps and luminaires have been replaced by light sources and containing products. The European Commission (EC) was trying to simultaneously motivate manufacturers to commit to a more circular economy approach. Through this approach, as in the past, lamps could be replaced and housing reused, and, in the event of its recyclability, easily disassembled. Now, a luminaire with a nonreplaceable LED module becomes a “light source” with all the consequences formulated in the regulation.

Generally, LED-based products must adhere to certain removability and replaceability requirements unless the manufacturer provides a technical justification. The documentation must include this technical justification — otherwise, selling the product in Europe is prohibited. Additionally, various light source types have been phased out. For example, halogen R7s > 2700 lm lamps were phased out as of Sept. 1, 2021, and G9 -, G4 - and GY6.35 capped lamps and fluorescent T8 lamps will be phased out starting Sept. 1, 2023.

Also notable — if a light source is nonreplaceable on a shelf, in an oven or in a refrigerator, the furniture or appliances become a light source that must be in compliance with the regulation. For most light sources — depending on the lumen output and color rendering index, i.e., the CRI, which must be above 80 — the minimum efficacy is now above 100 lm/W. The network standby power consumption must be less than 0.5W. More functional requirements are now defined by the displacement, lumen maintenance and survival factor for LEDs and organic LEDs (OLEDs). Defining a minimum of six-step MacAdam ellipses to control the light source’s color consistency seems easily and efficiently achievable. On the other hand, flicker and stroboscopic effects are also considered, as these requirements are beneficial in creating better light quality.

In case of control gear, a minimum energy efficiency at full load is formulated depending on the light source, type and wattage for which they have been designed.

Energy labeling of light sources (EU) 2019/2015

In line with the above-mentioned SLR, a new regulation covers the energy labeling of the light sources. A rescaling of the existing energy label from A++ to E was overdue, and one from A to G has replaced it. For example, with the regulation now in place, nondirectional light sources are classified in group D or E. There is enough room and time for improvement in efficacy until the 210 lm/W efficiency class A is reached

As with the SLR, the energy labeling regulation went into effect on Sept. 1, 2021. Note that §2 of Articles 3 and 4 went into effect immediately. Consequently, luminaires should no longer be labeled regarding their energy efficiency. However, as of May 1, 2021, all light sources will need to be labeled and registered with their technical information in the European Product Registry for Energy Labelling (EPREL) database. This requirement was already in place for lamps being marketed in Europe and is now being extended to the light sources. If a manufacturer decides to market a luminaire with a nonreplaceable LED module, it must be registered as a light source. Even if an appliance or furniture manufacturer decides to use non-replaceable modules, these products must be registered by the time the database is available.

In this way, market surveillance authorities can review comprehensive information about a product. End users get access to the public part of the database only to learn about the product efficiency. The new energy label requires a quick response (QR) code that will lead directly to the specific product information page in the EPREL database.

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