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Is Lighting Set To Become A Big Issue For Installers?

So what are the implications for installers and will the specifications for lighting control systems have to change.

In an interview with HiddenWires Paul Wilmshurst, Managing Director, Dynalite Europe said

“The phase-out of the humble incandescent lamp and low-efficiency halogen lamps will present both challenges and opportunities for our industry. Astute custom installers will differentiate themselves by building some level of future proofing into their designs, turning uncertainty into a selling feature for clients that have concerns about the proposed changes” he said.

He added “For example, choosing load controllers that can have their output types easily adapted, or modules changed to suit different types of lighting loads will reduce cost and complexity should lamp types be upgraded or become obsolete in the future. Additional cabling between load controllers and light fixtures for control communications will provide more options if fixture replacement is required to meet future regulations”.

“Many efficient dimmable lighting technologies, such as DALI-controlled fluorescent and halogen lamps which are mostly used in commercial installations, have the potential to become widespread in architectural and residential settings when incandescent lamps are banned. Some of the larger lamp manufacturers have almost finished developing the next generation of lamps; these LED array replacements for fluorescents will almost certainly have a DALI control option” he said

He concluded “These changes will have a profound effect on artificially-lit spaces, especially in the home, where both colour, appearance and rendering are so important, not only for the space but for the wellbeing of the occupants. The ‘warm glow’ effect of lighting has been with us since the days of caves and fire, and although there have been promising advances with improving the colour rendering index of a compact fluorescent, there is a long way to go before they are considered a true substitution for the incandescent lamp. It is unfortunate that the next technology on the horizon, LEDs, can also suffer from poor colour appearance and a lower colour rendering. Let’s hope that the massive R&D effort currently underway to solve this, is successful.”

James King, Sales Director, Mode Lighting said “New installations must use a certain percentage of energy-efficient light sources and this seems to have been widely accepted and supported. The reality is that the halogen lamp isn’t dead yet, and there are already many high-efficiency halogen lamps that meet the lumen per watt criteria of Part L, including MR16 type and mains halogen GLS replacement lamps.”

“The issue over the longevity of halogen light sources is the need for a clear definition of what is meant by a low-efficiency halogen lamp and which lamps are considered high efficiency and therefore acceptable under the new directives. Without that guidance, installers and home owners will be unable to make informed decisions about their lighting. LED lighting is also becoming a popular option, and with recent advances in technology these have moved from the realms of effect lighting only, to offering reasonable light output. With their low power consumption and long life, these have become suited to applications from external feature lighting, under cabinet lighting, swimming pool lighting, step lights and bedside lights. These are all applications that would have traditionally used incandescent sources, and the use of LEDs has dramatically reduced the energy consumption within a property.”

Several industry experts claim that the key point to be considered by the installer and home owner is whether their new or existing lighting control system is capable of controlling these new types of lighting.

This they say presents installers with the opportunity to go back to customers and discuss the issues associated with new lighting regulations which in the long term does save the customer money when it comes to power and lighting consumption.