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Navigating the Ban

In light of recent legislative changes concerning environmental protection and public health, several key amendments have been made to lighting standards that affect organisations across the UK, particularly schools. Here’s a detailed exploration of the recent T5 and T8 lighting ban and its implications.

Understanding the DEFRA Proclamation.

The Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (DEFRA) made a pivotal announcement in January 2023, introducing the Secretary of State’s Restriction on the Use of Hazardous Substances (RoHS). Central to this legislation is the discontinuation of mercury utilisation in lamps, underscoring the seriousness of its environmental and health consequences.

The Heart of the Ban: Mercury’s Detrimental Effects.

The RoHS’ primary focus is the curtailment of mercury in lighting solutions. Mercury, a substance identified for its hazardous nature, possesses neurotoxic properties. Elevated exposure levels can have profound health implications, including damage to critical organs such as the brain, kidneys, and lungs. Furthermore, when introduced into ecosystems, mercury’s potential to enter the food chain and bio-accumulate poses significant environmental risks.

For years, specific exemptions allowed the continued use of mercury in T5 and T8 fluorescent lamps, as well as in certain compact and special-purpose lamps. However, the recent amendments signal the end of these exemptions, setting forth a timeline for their cessation. Starting August 2023, the European Union (EU) will prohibit their manufacture and importation, with the UK adopting these restrictions by February 2024.

Impending Deadlines and Implications.

Following the stipulated deadlines, the manufacture and supply of these lamps will halt in the EU from August 2023, with the UK taking analogous measures in February 2024. This definitive cessation creates a foreseeable supply dilemma. The imminent depletion of stock combined with sustained demand means institutions, including schools, may soon confront challenges in replacing failed lamps.

Schools: Addressing the Lighting Transition.

It’s pivotal to note that a significant number of educational establishments across the UK and Ireland, yet to transition to LED lighting, predominantly use T5 and T8 lamps. The impending ban complicates their access to replacements.

However, this period of transition can be viewed as an opportune moment for schools to modernise their lighting systems. Transitioning to LED lighting is not merely a compliance activity; it introduces a plethora of benefits. Institutions stand to achieve substantial reductions in energy expenditure, minimised carbon footprints, and most notably, an enhancement in the quality of the learning environment. Recent studies even underline the positive correlation between appropriate lighting and improved student outcomes, including heightened learning rates and diminished student fatigue.

Funding the Transition: A Seamless Solution.

One might ponder the financial logistics of such a substantial overhaul. The silver lining is that with eEnergy’s innovative solutions, schools need not bear any upfront costs. Our funded lighting frameworks ensure that institutions can effortlessly transition from outdated fluorescent systems to advanced, energy-efficient LED solutions. The resulting electricity savings are considerable, often averaging a reduction of around 25%. Moreover, the simplified fixed monthly fee system we offer is substantially offset by the savings accrued from reduced energy consumption.

Which lamps are affected?

Lamp type EU Phase out date GB phase out date
CFLni (Non-intergrated) 24 August 2023 1 February 2024
CFLni Long Life (<30W >20,000h) 24 August 2023 1 February 2024
T5 24 August 2023 1 February 2024
T8 (2’, 4’ and 5’) 24 August 2023 1 September 2023
T5/T8 Long life (>25,000h) 24 August 2023 1 February 2024
SON Deluxe (most) 24 August 2023 1 February 2024


Conclusion: Charting the Path Forward.

In a rapidly evolving regulatory landscape, proactive adaptation is paramount. If your institution seeks to understand the best lighting solutions in light of these changes, our seasoned team at eEnergy is at your service. Reach out for bespoke advice and options tailored to your institution’s unique needs.

Speak to a member of our team today on 020 3813 1550

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