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The Lighting Situation - 16/03/2023


The government’s recent move to prohibit the production of fluorescent and halogen lamps from August 2023 has left a lot of companies uncertain as to what happens next.

There are still a number of businesses that are not in a position to change over to LED lighting just yet, or that don’t have an LED equivalent to change to, so we thought we would shed some light on what happens now.

What's the situation?

Lamp Type Date Phased Out
Compact fluorescent lamps type PL with separate ballast February 2024
T8 fluorescent tubes August 2023
T5 February 2024
T5 tubes in emergency fittings February 2027

Most sodium (SON) lamps and metal halide lamps will continue until February 2027.

Whereas LED tubes are more energy efficient than fluorescent tubes, the prohibition is actually an RoHS directive (Restriction of the use of Hazardous Substances) and is concerned with removing lamps and tubes which contain mercury.

Already this year, the ban has been applied to circular tubes and compact fluorescents (where the tube is folded or spiralled into a small profile).
From left to right, circular fluorescent lamp, compact fluorescent lamp, T5/T8 fluorescent tube, halogen lamp.

At present, T8 and T5 replacement tubes can be cheaper to buy than the equivalent LED tubes, and by continuing to use them companies can avoid the cost of installing new fittings. As fluorescent tubes get scarcer the price in the market will rise, though.

When it comes to disposing of old fluorescent tubes, there are strict rules for their recycling, since the mercury content is classified as hazardous waste. We will continue to offer our tube collection and recycling service, complete with the required audit trail as required by the Environment Agency.
Graphic of a green dumpster with white tube-like shapes coming off the top of it. On the centre of the dumpster is a recycling symbol.

The ban only applies to the production of new lamps, not lamps that have already been produced. This means that if it's on the shelf, it can be supplied by us while stocks remain.

In expectation of the upcoming ban, we have significantly increased stock holdings on fluorescent and halogen lamps so we can minimise disruption to our customers' businesses, helping to keep critical areas lit while they plan their move to LED lighting.

What's next?

By virtue of the fact that LED lamps and fittings last for many years, arrangements for recycling LED lighting from commercial premises are still somewhat patchy. In terms of recycling and disposal, LED fittings need to be treated more as electrical devices rather than traditional luminaries.

If you are considering exchanging a bulk installation of LED lighting, let us know and we’ll be pleased to help!

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