The world’s greatest polluter nation, China, has announced a five year plan to phase out inefficient light bulbs in an attempt to save energy and resist climate change. The move follows an agreement by the 27 EU nations to phase out incandescents by 2012 and plans by the USA to begin a similar phasing out programme from next year.
The proposals will see imports and sales of 100w and higher incandescents banned from 1 October 2012 with the same restrictions placed on 60w and higher incandescents from 1 October 2014 and on 15w and higher incandescents from 1 October 2016.
Such news from the world’s largest producer of incandescent and energy saving bulbs has already triggered shares in LED manufacturers to rise on Wall Street. Xie Ji, deputy director of the National Development and Reform Commission’s Environmental Protection Department believes it will ‘have a significant impact’ in reducing sales of incandescents worldwide. Last year China produced 3.85 billion incandescent light bulbs and 1.07 billion of them were sold domestically. It is thought the switch to energy saving bulbs will over the course of a year cut emissions of carbon dioxide by a staggering 48 million tonnes and save China 48 billion kilowatts of power.
In an attempt to cut lighting costs some County Councils have opted to switch off street lights, others however have sought more energy efficient lamps.
Northumberland County Council in partnership with Philips Lighting have fitted Regent Street in the town of Blyth with 60,000 hour LEDs. The Council believes the move will save them up to £10,000 in maintenance costs alone and will provide pedestrians with improved visibility.
But do LEDs really do what they say on the tin? The figure of 60,000 hours life span certainly sounds impressive, though it is worth remembering this has not yet been proven! The picture left compares LED lighting (right) and SOX lighting (left). Instantly noticeable is the greater number of LED lights required to light a stretch of road compared to SOX lighting. Then there is the issue of whether light quality is actually improved? Many have complained about the shadows cast and feared it may cause migraines especially when driving.
All this leaves the question: are Northumberland County Council really going to save money and provide better visibility? Perhaps only time will tell…
“Well what can we say about the Hong Kong Light Fair? After a torturous journey and enough LEDs to sink the Titanic, we concluded that this Fair was one of the most disappointing we’ve attended. It was however great to catch up with many acquaintances to chew the fat about LED.
We actually took to wearing sunglasses in the exhibition halls as the exhibitors seemed determined to damage our retinas! Evidence of the sort of booth hired by the Manufacturers and agents can be seen below. Certainly the sales of headache pills must have sky rocketed over the 4 days the show was open.
Once again many Manufacturers flattered to deceive with only a handful of new innovative products available. Watch this space to see the most exciting and truly cost effective solution for one application – car parks will never be the same again!
So in short we were offered LEDs at 100 lumens per watt and 50,000 hours life! Yes and not by one exhibitor literally hundreds of offers. We know that is not possible, yet they still insisted the life was long. We witnessed blatant copies of well known Manufacturers products that clearly were inferior yet apparently the same. The cost of these counterfeit items was extremely high for what they were, as you can imagine some were trying to make the “fast buck!” There were LED fluorescent tubes galore, some again with 100 lumens per watt and others more conservative at 60-70! Most of the exhibitors could not confirm whether the ballast and starters had to be removed from the fittings. The answer was always “Yes!” Were they compliant to rules and regulations? “Yes see our certificates” was always the answer! Other Manufacturers seemed way off the pace offering budget items as well as high priced products. The whole show was sort of thrown together as LED technology is moving faster than the exhibitors can build their expensive show stands!
Over the next few months we will be looking to publicise and stock some of the best innovative products and broaden our product range from the Manufacturers we currently distribute for.
That’s all from 3 days in Hong Kong.”