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New energy labels for lighting: What does the Energy Labelling Regulation mean for you?


Energy labels on electrical products have been a familiar sight for years. These labels use letters to indicate the consumption of various electrical devices and help consumers make more sustainable choices. These types of energy scores are also used for light sources. As LED technology continues to become more efficient, the EU has updated these labels by way of the Energy Labelling Regulation (ELR). This regulation came into force on 1 September. But what do the new scores and energy labels actually mean?

LED increasingly energy efficient

LED lighting is evolving at a rapid pace. Manufacturers are producing light sources that generate more and better illumination while consuming less electricity than traditional bulbs - and even than older LEDs. In other words, the lumen per watt ratio is constantly improving.

As a result, the old energy label scale, from A++ to E, was no longer up to date. The scale left little room for further improvement, as most LED lights scored A++ or A+ anyway. This made it difficult for consumers to compare, at a glance, the effective performance of different products.

New scale for energy labels on light sources

With the ELR (EU 2019/2015), the European Union has introduced a new energy label for light sources. The scale has also been updated. From now on, each product will be scored on a scale from A to G, with new threshold values for each score.

Scale for energy labels on light sources

A definite consequence of this new scale is that many lighting products that previously scored A++ or A+ will now score lower. For example, look at the old (left) and new (right) energy labels on the packaging of this Absinthe spotlight by dmlights. Of course, the energy consumption of this spotlight remains the same. With the higher threshold values for the 'best' scores, the EU aims to create space for further innovation and to encourage manufacturers to continue focussing on increasing the energy efficiency of LEDs.

Energy labels

What else is on the new labels?

The letter scale and the energy label are the biggest eye-catchers, but there are also other, more subtle changes. For instance, the label now states the name of the manufacturer, the product reference and a QR code. The latter refers to further technical information about the product in the European Product Database for Energy Labelling (EPREL). Manufacturers must register their devises in this database before the devices are permitted onto the European market.

When will we see the labels on the market?

The ELR came into force on 1 September 2021. There is an 18-month transition period, during which time manufacturers and dealers have the opportunity to sell their old stock. Existing products with the old energy labels may still be sold until 1 March 2023. Manufacturers and dealers may also cover the old labels with a new energy label of at least the same size.

Towards more sustainable and circular lighting

On 1 September, at the same time as the ELR, the Single Lighting Regulation (SLR) also entered into force. This regulation, (EU) 2019/2020, sets new requirements for the ecological design of light sources and separate control gears. These include stricter requirements in the areas of efficiency, lighting quality and service life. As was the goal with the new energy labels, the Union aims to promote the development of more energy-efficient products.
One consequence of these new requirements is that certain types of traditional lighting, such as halogen lamps and (compact) fluorescent lamps, will eventually disappear from the market.
The SLR also encourages manufacturers to use replaceable components in their lighting devices. In this way, the Union wants to avoid consumers having to throw away an entire device when, for example, only the LED module is defective. The regulation is thus an important step towards a circular economy and reductions in waste in the lighting sector.
The field of LED lighting continues to innovate. The technology is becoming increasingly powerful and energy efficient. Peeq keeps its finger on the pulse and offers you an extensive range of carefully selected LED lighting fixtures for every project.