Low Energy Lighting – A Bit Dim?

by Steve on June 5, 2009

Low Energy Lighting – A Bit Dim?

Lighting can be a major factor in the design and finished appearance of a room and Halogen lighting has been used extensively in recent years. Mainly for its ability to project a bright directional beam of light which reflects off surfaces and can create an effective arc on walls and in alcoves. However the halogen lamp’s relatively high power usage does not comply with current Building Regulations of 40 lumens per circuit watt. (50 watt halogen is approx 20 lumens per watt)

Now with the current Building Regulations Part L requiring 25% of new lighting installations to be Low Energy, where do we go?

As contractors we install lots of Recessed Halogen lights each year and are often asked by our customers “What are the Low Energy alternatives to Halogen lighting?

The new 11watt GUF Low Energy lamps do not have the same light output that we expect from their Halogen counterparts and therefore do not fit the bill.

What are the Low Energy alternatives to MR16 and GU10?

In our recent visit to the Aurora Lighting Showroom in Welwyn Garden City I asked this very question.

Aurora Director Stephen Hurrell assured me that there are low energy alternatives to halogen lighting, at least in light output. However the lighting effects created by halogen lighting (especially 12v 50w dichroic) can not yet be reproduced by compact fluorescent or LED technology.

Stephen explained that the lighting design of an installation could incorporate both halogen and low energy lighting. Each type of lighting being put to best use in different applications ie. Halogen for perimeter lighting and highlighting focal points and low energy for more general illumination of larger areas.

For comparisons of various types of lamps see link below for:Lighting and New Building Regs

Aurora’s latest solution to the Part L requirement is the 230 volt 13 watt compact fluorescent lamp the ‘AU-GUF 4013/30’ which fits an SGU10 lampholder. This lamp would normally be installed in a fire rated recessed downlighter requiring a 90mm diameter cut-out which is only 5mm larger than standard fire rated adjustable (DLL992) size. It complies with a light output of 40 lumens per circuit watt as required by the new regulations and is considerably brighter than the smaller 11watt GUF lamps.

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Link to: City Electrical Factors– suppliers of Aurora & Low Energy Lighting products. Lighting design specialists.


{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

admin June 6, 2009 at 18:27

Thanks Simon. Yes, I am amazed at how LEDs have come on. I was looking at some Edison 2.3watt MR16 12v & GU10 230v (24 LEDs) this week. They have a lamp life of 50,000 hours and are supposed to be equivilent to 20watt 230v halogen.
Hope to install some soon for display. Which ones did you use?

Simon June 6, 2009 at 05:40

as a replacement for CFL with all it’s mercury/disposal problems LEDs are well worth a look. ours are up at 75LM/W

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