The Premium Light Pro project, run in the UK by the Energy Saving Trust, is speeding the shift to more energy-efficient lighting in the non-domestic sector. Lighting accounts for around 20% of energy use in the UK’s commercial and industrial buildings and around 6% of global CO2 emissions. The project, which operates in 9 European countries, has produced a series of tools to help the public and private sector make the switch to high quality LED lighting, producing guidance brochures for projects, running a large scale education programme which has put on over 60 events for people involved in lighting upgrades, and a set of product performance criteria. The latest tool from the project is a comprehensive product database, incorporating the criteria.
“Increased roll-out of energy-efficient lighting is a big contributor to achieving carbon emissions targets” says Stewart Muir, a Project Manager at the Energy Saving Trust, who manages Premium Light Pro in the UK. “As a sector, lighting has done well in the last few years. We’ve seen inefficient technologies removed from the market by legislation and a better general understanding of the benefits of LED lighting by businesses and local authorities, in terms of its greater efficiency, and its ability to be controlled. The rate of uptake in the last few years is positive, but the momentum needs to continue”.
The last few years have seen something of a sea change in upgrading of lighting. Between 2016 and 2017, the market share of LED lighting increased significantly, reaching 40% in 2018. More local authorities are finding that the quick payback of LED lighting and controls can be a boon to their budgets. The Grocer’s Switch the Lights campaign of 2016 put retailers in the spotlight for upgrading to LED in their stores, providing best practice examples and raising the profile of efficient lighting.
The International Energy Agency’s tracking of lighting against its Sustainable Development Scenario target shows not only an increase in take-up, but also a strong improvement in product performance: figures estimate that a 45% improvement in the efficiency of the market average LED light was seen between 2010 and 2018. But at the same time, concerns remain about the quality of lighting products across the board. Whilst many producers do show a high level of rigour, there remain others who do not. Upgrading to LED lighting when done well can offer paybacks of as little as 2 years, but low-quality products - that do not meet their efficiency claims, give out a poor quality of light or fail early - damage confidence in the market and may deprive companies of very achievable energy and cost savings.
“The project has developed a database in partnership with Lumispec to help anyone involved in lighting procurement” said Muir. “We have heard plenty of examples of projects where the decision on product selection takes the path of least resistance and achieving the lowest cost is the main driver, rather than quality and efficiency. This can result in a false economy if products don’t perform down the line.”
Core to the Lumispec interface is the internationally adopted ETIM lighting data standard, allowing consistency of data reporting for easier comparison, and product data translation into multiple languages.
“Premium Light Pro has set minimum criteria for a number of key aspects of lighting, which are incorporated into the database. We believe this resource will be of great benefit to project managers and procurers, but also to those on the supply and installation side, who want to make sure they get their lighting upgrade right, first time.”
The database can be accessed by visiting the Indoor Lighting page of the Premium Light Pro website.