As of September 2023, the fluorescent lamps and tubes will be phased out in the UK, under the updated RoHS Directives, in order to reduce mercury-containing lamps. When some hear about fluorescent lamps they may wonder who would even use such things today since LED lamps are a much better alternative, but many offices, schools and both residential and commercial applications still use the popular fluorescent lamps, fluorescent tubes, and fluorescent light bulbs. Halogen lamps and fluorescent lamps used to be energy-saving and very sought after a while ago, but now they are the least energy efficient on the market. Halogen lamps were banned in September 2021, and it is now time for fluorescent lamps to be phased out and banned. Read more to find out all information you need concerning, RoHS Directive - the Phasing out of Fluorescent LampsWhy are fluorescent lamps and fluorescent tubes banned?What is the Schedule for Phasing Out Fluorescent Lamps in the UK?Exceptions to the RoHS Fluorescent Lamps BanWhat are the Alternatives to the Fluorescent Lamps?What are the Advantages of Switching from Fluorescent to LED Lamps?What to do if you still have fluorescent lampsFurther reading on the Phasing out of Fluorescent Lamps and TubesRoHS Directive - the Phasing out of Fluorescent LampsThe RoHS Directive stipulates that potentially hazardous substances - such as Mercury - in electrical and electronic equipment should be restricted and eliminated. Discharge lamps include mercury, which is a hazardous substance. RoHS stands for Restriction of Hazardous Substances, and the RoHS directive related to fluorescent lamps is part of the goal to phase out toxic chemicals that are harmful both to the environment and to people's health. In the spring of 2022, the EU Commission revised the RoHS directive to phase out and ban the use of mercury; there were some exemptions until 2023, but it is now time to get rid of the fluorescent lamps. Lamps such as compact fluorescent, T5 fluorescent lamps, T8 fluorescent lamps, and halogen pin lamps are affected. They are non-sustainable light sources, and the goal is to adopt long-term energy-efficient solutions by helping households and offices to reduce energy costs and be energy efficient. From the first of September 2023, T5 and T8 fluorescent tubes will be phased out altogether; this doesn't mean you can't find them in the shops but that they are no longer being made. Business owners must sell energy-saving alternatives and discard fluorescent lamps as hazardous waste, or they can recycle them. Why are fluorescent lamps and fluorescent tubes banned?The Ecodesign and RoHS directives work to achieve the Global Goals and the EU's 2030 climate goals so that the lighting products' performance would be environmentally friendly in the EU and the UK. The minimum requirements for products' environmental performance are not met by fluorescent lamps and fluorescent tubes, which have significantly higher energy consumption and a shorter lifespan than LED lamps. Furthermore, the RoHS directive wants to get rid of hazardous chemical substances in all electrical and electronic equipment, including the lighting equipment. What is the Schedule for Phasing Out Fluorescent Lamps in the UK?Here are the dates in the schedule for banning fluorescent lamps in the UK:25 February 2023 - prohibition of the placing on the market of all fluorescent lamps in ring form (T5, T9) and Compact fluorescent tubes, < 20 000 h lifetime. 24 February 2023 is the RoHS expiry date.25 February 2023 - Prohibition of the placing on the market of all compact fluorescent lamps with plug-in base (CFLni). 24 February 2023 is the RoHS expiry date.25 August 2023 - Prohibition of the placing on the market of all T5 and T8 fluorescent lamps and Compact fluorescent tubes, > 20 000 h lifetime. This includes T8 18-58W, T8 70W and special lengths. 24 August 2023 is the RoHS expiry date.1 September 2023 - Prohibition of the placing on the market of all Halogen Pins (Low voltage halogen lamps G4 and GY6.35 and mains voltage G9 230V). All halogen capsules are also phased out.24 February 2025 - Circline T9 lamps.24 February 2024/2027 - Special fluorescent lamp products. 24 February 2027 - High-Pressure Sodium (SHP) lamps.In other words, from September 2023 the T5 fluorescent lamps and the T8 fluorescent lamps are banned. The availability of these popular fluorescent tubes and lamps will be uncertain after the phase-out, so we recommend switching to LED lamps - LED battens, LED light bulbs, and LED panels, which are energy efficient. Exceptions to the RoHS Fluorescent Lamps BanMost fluorescent lamps are phased out and banned, but there are some that can still be used. These are special lamps made for special purposes in the industrial sector or the medical sector. In these sectors, sufficiently reliable mercury-free substitutes are not yet available, so these fluorescent lamps have been given a time-limited exemption under the RoHS directives. However, when it comes to residential, domestic, or commercial fluorescent lamps, most of them are being phased out and replaced by energy-efficient LED lamps.What are the Alternatives to the Fluorescent Lamps?If you have not yet switched from fluorescent lamps to LED lamps, now is the time to. There are many alternatives available to the T5 and T8 fluorescent lamps, the compact fluorescent lamps, and any other fluorescent light bulbs. LED lamps, LED battens, and LED panels are now available to replace existing fluorescent lamps; they are more eco-friendly than any other light source. On our website, you can still find some fluorescent lamps, but most of them are for in-store pick-up, and soon they will no longer be available. Just imagine, a 6W fluorescent bulb is now replaced by a 2W LED lamp, and a 25W fluorescent lamp is replaced by a 12W LED lamp! Cut the energy costs in half with the LED lamps.What are the Advantages of Switching from Fluorescent to LED Lamps?In case you are not convinced concerning the benefits of switching from fluorescent lamps to LED lamps, here are some of the main advantages:Many of the LED lamps match the shape and size of a fluorescent so that you can retrofit the luminaires.You can safely and easily replace the fluorescent tubes and fluorescent lamps, even if sometimes rewiring is required. Long lamp life: up to 50.000h average rated lifetime for LED battens, lasting up to three times more than the standard fluorescent lamps.Colour temperature can be selected either via CCT or from the beginning. Even though the LED lamps may have C to F energy class, they offer up to 90% energy savings. Most LED lamps come with a 5-year manufacturer warranty for complete peace of mind. The LED Lamps and Battens are more cost-effective: they may cost more upfront, but you will make it up in energy savings, long lamp lfe, and lower maintenance costs.Better for the environment: the LED lamps and battens don't contain hazardous substances such as mercury and can be safely recycled.Instant ON light: no need to wait for flickering light as with the fluorescent lamps. And the number of ON/OFF switches will not reduce the lifespan of the LED lamp.What to do if you still have fluorescent lampsThere is no need to panic at the moment if you still have and use fluorescent lamps, fluorescent battens, and fluorescent light products. However, it is good to plan to switch; instead of replacing the T5 or T8 batten, why not invest in eco-friendly LED battens? It is good to plan to switch from anything fluorescent to LED, which are future-proof and also becoming cheaper and more effective as the technology develops. As for the fluorescent lamps that you want to get rid of, we at Sparks can take them to safely recycle them; visit our lighting showroom in N19 5SE and bring in your fluorescent lamp for free recycling. It is easy to retrofit the existing lamp with LED Lamps, and where this is not possible, it is probably time to change the entire light fitting to something that is energy-saving and compliant with the current RoHS directives. If you are unsure what to do and need advice, do not hesitate to visit us in Holloway Road, N19 5SE, or call us at 020 7263 8007 to speak with our LED professional advisers. At Sparks, we can offer the best advice on how to switch to energy-efficient lighting and get rid of the existing fluorescent lamps.Further reading on the Phasing out of Fluorescent Lamps and TubesHere are some links to both official websites and suppliers that have put out more information regarding the phasing out and the ban of the fluorescent lamps and fluorescent tubes, in no particular order. Restriction of the use of certain hazardous substances (RoHS) - single market economy.Regulations: restriction of hazardous substances (RoHS) - UK government guidance.RoHS guide - the website.The Restriction of the Use of Certain Hazardous Substances in Electrical and Electronic Equipment (Amendment) Regulations 2022 - UK legislation.Restriction of Hazardous Substances Directive via Wikipedia.RoHS exemption applications: Secretary of State determinations - UK Government publication.Mercury-containing lamp exemptions to RoHS directive - EEB library.European Legislation Changes 2022-2023 - Impact on Traditional Lighting products - via Sylvania lighting.Get ready for the EU?s ban of fluorescent lights - switch to LED right now - via Phillips.EU Commission adopts regulation to ban all fluorescent lighting by September 2023, via European Council for Energy Efficient Economy.
If you’re looking for some of the best lighting ideas for a garage, then you’re in the right place. A garage is an essential part of any home - not just for parking your car in. Many people turn their garages into their own workshops or a place to store extra items that won't fit in the house.However, you can't work in a sad and dim space. You need ample lighting to move around safely and conveniently. Good garage lighting can make a world of difference, especially if you use your garage as a workspace or for storage. Read on to learn more about garage lighting ideas.Why is lighting for garages important? Garages are usually darker than other parts of the house because they don't normally have large windows built in to allow natural light inside. Though often taken for granted, lighting for garages is extremely important for the following reasons:1. SafetyA poorly lit garage can be a safety hazard, as it increases the risk of accidents and injuries. This is particularly dangerous if you have heavy or sharp tools and equipment lying around. With proper lighting, you can easily see where you are going and avoid tripping over objects or tools. It is therefore essential for creating a safe and secure environment for you and everybody living in your home.2. SecurityGood lighting for a garage can help deter burglars and intruders, as they are less likely to attempt a break-in if the garage is well-lit.Installing motion sensor lights can also alert you to any suspicious activity on your property. For commercial garages, lighting is vital to keep your business safe. You don’t want unexpected people, pests, or animals wandering around in your garage at night.3. ProductivityIf you use your garage as a workspace, a well-lit space simply makes it easier to find and access your tools and equipment.This can save you a lot of time and frustration, and allow you to focus on your projects. Plus, having ample lighting sources prevents you from straining your eye.4. AestheticsGood indoor lighting can also enhance the look and feel of your garage, making it a more appealing and enjoyable space to work in. If you have a garage that serves as a commercial space, having adequate lighting will also make it more inviting to customers and guests.How bright should your indoor garage lighting be?A bare bulb or fluorescent strip is not an ideal lighting set-up for your garage. You should consider layering multiple lighting sources to achieve the effect you want. Artificial lighting uses three types of light - ambient, task, and accent. You will need all three to make your indoor garage lighting truly stand out.Ambient lighting is a soft, overhead light used to help you find your way around safely. Task lighting is a brighter light source that illuminates work and storage areas for better visibility. Accent lighting falls somewhere in between the first two in terms of brightness. It is added to emphasize spaces or fixtures that you may want to highlight - like a trophy case or a cherished tool collection.What kind of garage lighting ideas should I considerYou can choose from a variety of indoor and outdoor garage lighting fixtures, including:1. LED lightsLED lights are energy-efficient and provide bright and even lighting for any garage. They use 50% of the wattage of a standard fluorescent tube and as much as 90% less than an incandescent light bulb.They also last about twice as long, so you won't have to replace them often. You can install LED lights in the form of overhead lights or strip lights along the walls or shelves.2. Motion sensor lightsMotion sensor lights turn on automatically when you enter the garage and turn off after you leave. This is a great energy-saving option if you often forget to turn off the lights. Also, motion sensor lights will deter trespassers from entering your home.3. Task lightingIf you use your garage as a workspace, task lighting is essential. You can install adjustable lamps or clamp-on lighting for garage that can be positioned exactly where you need them.4. Natural lightIf your garage has windows, consider using natural light as much as possible. This will not only save on your energy bills but also provide a pleasant and healthy environment. You can also install skylights if your garage does not have windows.5. Smart lightingSmart lighting allows you to control your garage lights from a remote, like this smart outdoor garage lighting fixture. You can turn on/off the lights, dim them, or change the colour temperature. This is a great option if you want to customise your lighting to suit different activities.6. FloodlightsFloodlights are powerful and broad-beamed lights that are used to illuminate large areas. They are designed to provide a high level of visibility and are great for use in outdoor settings.You can use them to increase visibility and security. If you use your outdoor space for sports, like mini golf or basketball, flood lights will serve as a great artificial light source for games that go on into the night.7. Under-cabinet lightingIf you have cabinets or shelves in your garage, under-cabinet lighting for garage can help illuminate the space below. This is a great option if you store small items that are difficult to see in the dark.8. Flush-mount ceiling lightA flush-mount ceiling light is installed directly on the ceiling. It is a simple, inexpensive garage lighting idea great for lower ceilings since they won't need to be suspended.9. Floor lampIf you've converted your garage into a workspace or additional living space, you may need a little more to liven up the area. A simple floor lamp can do just that! It serves as a source of ambient lighting and an additional piece of furniture that can add aesthetic appeal to your converted garage.10. Outdoor wall lightsYou can set these lights up on either side of your garage to help you see and make your way around better. Stylish outdoor garage lighting like these wall lights will really open your area up. Plus, it'll make it safer to walk around since you won't have to worry about accidentally tripping on anything.Looking for the best lighting for your garage?Good, cost-effective lighting for garage is essential to your safety, convenience, and productivity. Experiment with different light sources and fixtures to see what fits your style best. By using these garage lighting tips, you can transform your garage from a drab appendage into a cosy extension of your home.At Sparks Direct, we offer a wide range of high-quality lighting solutions that are perfect for illuminating your garage and making it a safe and functional space. Whether you're looking for bright overhead lighting, wall-mounted fixtures, or energy-efficient LED bulbs, we have everything you need to create the perfect lighting scheme for your garage.
Batten luminaires have been in use for over 60 years now, providing a fantastic lighting solution for long ceilings and other locations. Since they were first introduced they have predominantly been lit by fluorescent battens. The first batten luminaire would have been very bulky indeed by today’s standards; with a 37mm T12 lamp and a heavy, transformer type control gear. They would be considered extremely inefficient in our modern, more eco-conscious world. Thankfully, contemporary LED battens have made strides in the market, and look to be the future of batten luminaires. In this article, we will examine the differences between the two types and recommend LED battens for your property, whether it be a workplace or domestic setting. Luminaire battens in the workplace: the need for changes Batten luminaires have long been staples of the office workplace, as they offer long straight strips of lighting overhead that is ideal for this kind of environment. Our workplaces have changed dramatically since the ‘60s, but the qualities we require from our lights remain the same. Even today, LED battens are sold at the same kind of lengths as their fluorescent counterparts: 4, 5 and 6 feet. These are regulatory sizes for office workspaces. However, there are many things changing about battens including the lamp uses, integral components and their aesthetics. Early battens consisted of a bare fluorescent tube on a folded steel spine, onto which you could add accessories such as reflectors. This is rarely the case anymore, as businesses look to improve the appearance of their workplaces, as improved aesthetics have been shown to lead to increased productivity. LED battens are also more energy-efficient than their fluorescent counterparts, so this is an added bonus for money-minded business owners. These changes in the batten luminaire market have led to a great deal of ‘retrofitting’ in workplaces. LED battens vs fluorescent battens Alan Tulla, the technical editor at Lux, has explained in detail why LEDs are better than fluorescent, by running comparisons between the two types. A conventional 1.2m batten with a single T5 or T8 fluorescent lamp emits about 2,500 lumens - meanwhile, all the LED versions Alan looked at had a greater output. For instance, the Tono Integrated LED Batten from Megaman, emits an impressive 3600 lumens and produces 3000K of warm white light. Most manufacturers offer a standard and high output version when it comes to LED luminaires. Looking at power output alone, the higher wattage LED is equivalent to a twin lamp fluorescent, which shows how far it eclipses its predecessor in this matter. ‘Accent lighting’ is becoming an increasingly important factor in workplaces as it improves appearance and therefore productivity (as mentioned above). Even with something as simple as a batten, it is worth considering light distribution, as illumination isn’t required solely on the worktop or desk. Typically, an LED batten emits light over a 120 degree downwards radius. A bare fluorescent lamp would give you an angle closer to 240 degrees (perhaps 180 degrees with a diffuser). The wider angle beam of light will cause more glare on worker’s computer screens. It has been established that glare causes headaches and increased absenteeism amongst employees. This means that the more focused beams of the LED battens are considered the more desirable by employers. A bare fluorescent lamp shines some upward light which can lighten the ceiling and improve the appearance of a space. However, this comes at the expense of horizontal illumination. It is preferable to have the light in an office focused downward and horizontally for practical purposes. The upward lighting and wide beam angle of the fluorescent battens are indicative of why they consume so much more power than LED battens. They are wasteful in the way they light a room. Installing your new LED battens: it’s simpler than you may think We hope that this article has convinced you to join the trend of retrofitting fluorescent bulbs for LED ones! Here is a quick guide on how to make the switch - also - make sure mains power is OFF while you complete this installation (and a registered electrician has to do the electrical work). Check if your existing installation has a ‘starter and inductive’ ballast or an electronic ballast. If you have a fluorescent tube fitting with a starter ballast, you can simply remove the starter and then short circuit the connections across the inductive ballast. This negates the inductive ballast and means you can hook up the mains voltage supply to the LED batten. With an electronic ballast, you must cut off the wires to the ballast from the circuit. Connect the mains neutral wire to one end of the LED tube and the mains live to the other end. The LED should now operate correctly. So to summarise, with an LED batten, you simply need to connect the mains live to one end and the mains neutral to the other and it will then operate! The switch-over is extremely simple, LED battens are more energy-efficient and more attractive. With all these points in mind - what is stopping you from retrofitting your fluorescent lamps to LED battens today! You can view our full range of LED battens via this link - it is an ever-increasing category of energy-efficient lights on our website.
Many studies have confirmed that when humans feel comfortable in an environment, they tend to be more productive. This supports a more human-centric approach to lighting in workplace settings. Future light sources will have to deliver more than energy efficiency alone. They will need to assist those who live and work under their illumination, and grant them a general sense of well-being. This will lead to their productivity rising. In this article, Sparks will examine the issues in many modern workplaces and see what can be done to solve them. The current failings in workplaces to provide human-centric lighting Although the LED revolution has reached many workplaces, some offices still retain incandescent bulbs as their main means of lighting. Incandescent lighting is a very old technology and was built without any thought to the human ‘circadian rhythm’. If you are looking for the ideal lighting scheme to increase worker productivity, then you will want light initiatives such as circadian tuning, tunable warm lighting, warm dimming and ‘spectral dimming’ (dimming on the spectrum power distribution of light). LED luminaires also achieve excellent levels of luminous efficacy, which is obviously useful in helping workers view what is around them. They come in LED battens which come in convenient lengths for workplaces, and includes accessories that allow them to turn at right angles. A study conducted in 2016 by Pacific Northwest National Libraries concluded that people generally prefer lighting that has a greater saturation in red colour. This means a lamp that provides a colour rendering of as close to 100 as possible. The researchers agreed that the CRI 80 rated light that is generally found in workplaces clashes with average people’s preferences. This spectrum results in more natural skin tones, warmer wood tones and the increased vibrancy of objects - it is easy to see why it is a favourite among workers! The benefits of human-centric lighting: well-being leads to productiveness Alas, businesses still have not gotten the message on the importance of lighting. An infographic provided by Lux, shows that for every £1 a business spends: 90 pence goes to the cost of staff, 9 pence on building costs and 1 pence on energy costs. At first glance, you may think that sounds right: LED lighting is efficient enough to cut costs significantly. And surely it is best that businesses invest the most money spent internally (90%) on their staff, as maintaining staff is so important? However, when you pry into how and why so much money is being spent on employees, the issues with low-funded lighting become apparent. `Maintaining staff’ largely comes as a result of high staff turnover, time lost due to absenteeism, and the financial hit that comes with poor employee morale. The old-school approach would say that ‘working is not meant to be fun’. However, a newer school of thinking, adopted most notably by companies such as Google, is that working should be fun - because it improves productivity and results in an increased income. For example, Google instituted a ‘20% free time’ initiative, where employees spend a fifth of their time working on their own individual projects. This initiative resulted in two hugely successful projects: Gmail and Google Suggest (their version of auto-complete). So human-centric lighting could result in a working environment where pioneering new ideas are made. In this case, if you are a business owner or employee - think about how you consider implementing an improved lighting scheme for your workplace.Suggestions for human-centric lighting improvements Electronic flicker is a serious concern with LED lighting - it has even been linked to epileptic seizures! Therefore, it’s important to ensure that good quality equipment is used. The lighting design of the LEDs must be constructed in a way that they do not cause visual disturbances, such as glare and reflections. Glare and ‘hot spots’ of lighting are known to increase levels of headaches and result in higher levels of absenteeism in workplaces. We need a lighting solution that ensures light patterns within our workplaces imitate the natural cycle of light and dark. Illumination levels and light colour are used dynamically throughout the working day as a way of steadying our own internal body clocks. Lights with dimmable functionality are a great way to start improving lighting quality in the workplace. The Blanco Square recessed downlight is not only dimmable but has a rotational adjustment angle of 360 degrees. This means you can focus the lights beam where it an employee most requires it. Human-centric lighting doesn’t arrive in an ‘all in one’ package. It’s a bespoke system that you must design to suit your specific workplace. And if you implement human-centric lighting successfully, you are bound to see the benefits - in both mood and productivity!