Electrical Contracting News (ECN) September 2016 - Page 38

INDUSTRY TRENDS LED-ING THE WAY The demand for LED lighting is ever increasing. Not least because of its energy saving capabilities but also because it’s one of the easiest and quickest ways for contractors to make massive energy cost savings. However, product specification and poor quality are still issues that continue to blight the LED domain. Here, James Harding at Newey & Eyre explains how contractors can ensure they choose the right LED product. W ith LED saving around 80 per cent more energy than traditional lighting, and prices getting lower, the market outlook for this newcomer is an extremely positive one. A recent report predicted the UK market for LEDs will increase by four per cent in this year alone, while Lux Research has predicted the global LED market will reach $25bn by 2020, representing a 12-fold expansion over 10 years. And the government target of reducing the UK’s emissions between 2028 and 2032 to be 57 per cent below 1990 levels, announced in July’s Carbon Report, means that take up of LEDs will only increase. producing poor quality LED products. Last year BBC’s Fake Britain revealed a shipment of 1,000 LED lamps from the Far East which, despite having a printed ‘CE mark’, were shown to have insufficient insulation and exposed live elements; being potentially lethal. What’s more, out of 230 samples tested by consumer watchdog Which? 66 failed before 10,000 hours and some did not even reach the EU’s minimum of 6,000 hours. The industry has made significant progress in tackling the issue of poor quality LEDs. The Electrical Safety Council has published guidance on specifying LEDs. And lighting manufacturer Osram has launched a security check process so that consumers can easily verify whether the lamps they have bought are Osram original. Quality control Despite this, we believe that more can be done to help contractors choose the right product in line with user requirements and legislation. As industry experts, we are able to filter the newest technologies first, questioning their credentials and ensuring they effectively do what they ‘say on the tin’ before putting them on the trade counter shelf. What’s more, the Rexel branded LED Solutions guide offers time stretched contractors a quick and easy overview of the most cost effective, genuine likefor-like energy efficient replacements for all traditional light sources. From downlighters to floodlights, commercial According to research by Greenpeace, if all lights across the country were switched to LEDs the need for electricity to provide improved lighting would fall by about 8GW, a saving of about 15 per cent of all power consumption. The same research study assessed 100 case histories of switches from other types of lights to LEDs in industry, commerce and the public sector, and found that, on average, replacing less efficient lamps saved two thirds of the electricity bill. It is perhaps these attractive qualities that have led to cowboy manufacturers panels to battens; we offer a simple LED retrofit for everything from schools, offices and commercial buildings through to hospitals and retail premises. All of the products featured in the guide are set against a rigorous benchmarking system, whereby supplier credentials are checked and products are tested extensively to make sure they perform to the highest levels and meet all UK legislation. Currently there is no standardisation of lumen output and colour temperature for LEDs. However, at Newey & Eyre we are committed to driving the introduction of a standard for colour temperatures. All of our products are available with a 5,000k colour temperature matched to +/- 3 macadam elipses. This ensures that whether fitting LED panels, circular panels, downlighters, battens or bulkheads, the colour temperature will look exactly the same – even if installation takes place over numerous phases. LED is the future when it comes to lighting technology – offering sufficient energy and cost savings to both installers and consumers. However, contractors should be aware of poor quality LED products and ensure they’re getting the best every time by purchasing from a reputable wholesaler. Filter 38 38 Industry Trends – N&E.indd 38 10/08/2016 16:28