From April 2012, this included an import ban on 50 Watt extra low voltage 12 volt tungsten halogen multifaceted MR16 dichroic reflector lamps. The average measured wattage for these lamps is now required to be no more than 37 Watts. This means 35 Watt and other new technology lamps may still be used.
Why are these lamps not energy efficient?
‘Low voltage’ does not mean low energy. In fact, they consume 50 lamp Watts plus the transformer losses, which are often overlooked because transformers are hidden from view in the ceiling or wall. We also use multiple lamps to illuminate a space.
What are the alternatives?
Light emitting diodes, known as LEDs, are a type of solid-state lighting (SSL). They are energy efficient, have a long life, are immediately at full brightness when switched on, and are not affected by regular on-off switching. A wide variety of styles exist. As many LED products contain exaggerated performance claims, we recommend you look for Lighting Council Australia’s SSL Quality Scheme label.
LEDs or light emitting diodes are highly energy efficient
They have a long life— lasting up to 50 times longer than incandescent lamps and 2 to 5 times longer than fluorescent lamps. This makes them ideal for hard-to-access locations. LEDs aredurable and can withstand vibration and shocks. They are not affected by regular on-off switching, which is good for areas such as bathrooms. In addition, they are at full brightness as soon as they are switched on and many are fully dimmable.
How do LEDs work?
LEDs are a type of solid-state lighting (SSL). They are a type of semiconductor that causes electrons to release energy in the form of photons or light. The colour emitted depends on the materials used to make the LED. They can be red, yellow, blue, green or ‘white’.
SSL Quality Scheme
Lighting Council Australia, the peak body for Australia’s lighting industry, has introduced a quality certification scheme for LEDs. The SSL Quality Scheme is designed to address the problem of exaggerated marketing claims made about some LEDs. The label is intended to provide confidence to buyers that an LED product carrying this SSL Quality Scheme label matches the supplier’s performance claims.
Other alternatives include:
- Lower wattage replacement lamps such as 35 Watt MR16 tungsten halogen lamps and a high light output version which uses infrared coating(IRC technology) can offer comparable or even greater light output than low-end 50 Watt versions.
- New luminaries such as those using a GU10 base 240 volt tungsten halogen reflector lamp are another viable option. However, these are also likely to be phased out in future.
More information about LEDs and the SSL Quality Scheme is at www.lightingcouncil.com.au