Environmental guidance for your business in Northern Ireland & Scotland
This guidance is relevant if you manufacture, import or sell light bulbs or lamps.
Restrictions on the type of lamps and light bulbs you can manufacture, import or sell are being introduced to improve energy efficiency and reduce mercury emissions from lamps.
The restrictions have been introduced in stages until only the most efficient types of bulb are left on the market.
Traditional filament incandescent bulbs and conventional halogen bulbs used for lighting whole rooms, known as 'non-directional' lamps, are being phased out. This does not include spotlight bulbs or other special use bulbs.
Traditional filament incandescent bulbs use a thread-like conductor surrounded by an inert gas. They are very inefficient and have a short lifespan.
Conventional halogen bulbs use a similar thread-like conductor to incandescent bulbs, but use halogen gas.
You must not produce or import:
If you are a retailer you will no longer be able to purchase 100 watt traditional filament incandescent bulbs. You can continue selling old bulbs that do not meet these energy efficiency standards until you have sold all your stock.
If you produce or import any household products containing light bulbs or lamps, you must ensure that they meet minimum energy efficiency standards.
If you are a retailer you can continue selling old bulbs that do not meet these energy efficiency standards until you have sold all your stock.
Low voltage halogen lamps and halogen lamps that use xenon gas and have a C class or lower energy efficiency rating will be banned after 2018.
Lamp types that will be permitted after 2018 include:
Compact fluorescent lamps are self-contained gas exchange lamps which can be used in conventional light fittings. They use a coiled fluorescent tube, often enclosed by a glass envelope.
You can find the full performance standards in Annex II of the regulations. This includes the performance standards required from 2013.
If you produce or import non-directional household bulbs or lamps, used for lighting whole rooms, you must provide information for end-users on the light bulb packaging and on an open access website.
You don't have to do this for bulbs that were banned after 1 September 2012 (for example, incandescent bulbs).
The information must include the lamp's:
If the lamp contains mercury you must include guidance on how to dispose of the lamp and how to clean it up if it breaks.
You can find the full labelling requirements in Annex II of the regulations.
A special purpose lamp is a lamp that is not intended for illuminating whole rooms.
If you manufacture or import special purpose lamps you must clearly display on the packaging:
You must also comply with ecodesign requirements in EU Regulation 245/2009.
EU Regulation on ecodesign requirements for fluorescent lamps without integrated ballast, for high intensity discharge lamps, and for ballasts and luminaires able to operate such lamps 245/2009 (Adobe PDF - 209KB)
EU Regulation amending EU Regulation 245/2009 on ecodesign requirements for fluorescent lamps without integrated ballast, for high intensity discharge lamps, and for ballasts and luminaires able to operate such lamps 347/2010 (Adobe PDF - 892KB)
All lamps must not contain more than 1.23 mg of mercury.
They must also comply with the restriction of hazardous substances in electrical and electronic equipment (RoHS) regulations. Read our RoHS guidance.
Energy efficient lamps are covered by the waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) regulations. They must be disposed of correctly at the end of their life. If you produce or import energy saving lamps you must join a producer compliance scheme (PCS).
The Northern Ireland Environment Agency has published a short guide to the duty of care responsibilities including advice and information for waste producers, carriers and those accepting, storing and treating waste.
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