EU Eco-Design Directive for Energy-Using Products (EUP)

In line with our lighting project, we are now delivering the most important information about the EU Eco-design Directive for household lamps, which entered the 5th stage on 1 September 2013.

What Is The Directive?

The Eco design Directive 2009/125/EC replaces and extends Directive 2005/32/EC from 2005 and states that all household lamps must be designed to be environmentally sound, ie more energy-efficient. As a directive is “just pointing”, the EU still needs regulations that make the guidelines more concrete and binding. Directive 2009/125/EC is therefore Enforced by various regulations that specify exactly what needs bulbs and other energy-related products from point must meet. Since the entry into force of the Regulations in 2009, a sharper quality level has been introduced every year, on 1 September each year. So also this year.

Meanwhile, we have reached level 5. Each year, the EU has achieved a higher level of efficiency in the field of lighting. This means lamps are bright, with less energy consumed. Thus, the permissible wattages, ie the energy consumption of a light bulb, are narrowed every year. This value is displayed in the energy efficiency class, which ranges from A++to F. We already know the energy efficiency classes from other electrical appliances, such as refrigerators. From 1 September 2013, all lamps must now be labeled with the energy efficiency class label.

What Is A Household Lamp?

Under household lighting, the EU Directive understands conventional incandescent lamps, LED lamps, compact fluorescent lamps and halogen lamps. Thus, household lamp means not only lamps which are used in a typical private household, but these can also be used commercially, for example in a bakery or a restaurant. However, the Ecodesign Directive does not apply to all lamps. Exceptions are specific lamps, for example lamps for traffic signal systems or lamps for industrial use.

Why Is There The Directive?

With the help of the Ecodesign Directive, the EU wants to reach its environmental objectives and thus prevent climate change. Energy saving for light sources is therefore important, since the lighting can make up to⅕of electricity consumption. In addition, lamps often have a very different efficiency and this has not been comprehensible to consumers. In the case of light sources, there is thus much potential to save energy. Lamps can be made more efficient by changing the design and the design of the product. By using more energy-efficient lamps, a household can reduce its electricity consumption by 15% per year. This is an average of 25 to 50 euros a year. This does not sound like a big step, but the mass makes it! If every household in the EU consumes about 15% less energy in the next few years, it can lead to an annual savings of 40 billion kilowatt hours. 40 billion kilowatt hours correspond to the electricity consumption of 11 million households. In sum, this leads to an annual saving of up to 15 million tonnes of CO 2.

What Are The Consequences Of The Directive On Budgets?

The Ecodesign Directive has made certain types of lamps no longer available, especially the classic light bulbs, in recent years. However, the elimination of the inefficient light bulbs has been well compensated in recent years by many new product innovations. As a result, the eco-design directive did not have to accept a smaller supply. Furthermore, consumers will now find better product information on the light sources, from the energy efficiency class, over the service life up to the color temperature. An important innovation for the consumer, which has been introduced by the introduction of energy saving lamps, is the disposal of ebendieser. Energy saving lamps contain mercury and a complex electronics, which is why they are not allowed to be thrown into household refuse. You have to bring the bulbs either to a collection point for electrical waste, or to a store that sells bulbs. However, they are not legally obliged to accept the lamps.

Under the following link, consumers can find out where the next collection points for energy saving lamps and LEDs are.

Criticism Of The Directive

The abolition of the classical light bulb was much criticized by the public. Many consumers have been covered with supplies before the abolition, and still use detours, for example, on the industry, to get light bulbs that do not fall under the prohibition. The energy saving lamps themselves are also critically criticized, since they do not come without mercury in contrast to the light bulb. Mercury is a nerve poison which releases toxic fumes even at room temperature. These can be inhaled to cause severe, sometimes chronic poisoning. The permissible amount of mercury in energy saving lamps is 2.5 milligrams. Normally you only get in contact with an energy saving lamp when the lamp breaks. Although the amount of mercury used should be safe, the Environmental Protection Agency advises to immediately ventilate the room in case of a lamp break and leave it for 15 minutes. The consequences of mercury for the environment are also discussed. On the one hand, energy saving lamps require much more mercury than conventional incandescent bulbs. On the other hand, light bulbs consume much more electricity, and in the production of electricity by coal also a lot of mercury is led into the environment, by a mercury admixture, which is blown into the air when burned. In sum, therefore, a light bulb leads more mercury in the environment. This calculation, however, only takes place as long as coal is still one of the main energy suppliers.