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Lighting is affected by a wide range of regulations and legislation that have been set by the European Union (EU) and the United Kingdom (UK). A large proportion of UK legislation has been created by over-arching EU Directives and Regulations, some of which may have their origins in International agreements. This guide looks at the legislation that most directly applies to lamps. These rules and regulations relate largely to environmental issues including energy use, waste and recycling, hazardous substances and labelling. In addition electrical safety, optical hazards and electromagnetic interference are also covered.

The legislation landscape affecting products is constantly being updated, revised and recast in order to maintain both consistency of intent and relevance to advances in technology. As a result this guide seeks to point the reader towards the relevant documents and references rather than provide a detailed explanation of each. It is the responsibility of all manufacturers, suppliers, importers and distributors to familiarise themselves with the detailed obligations they are obliged to meet under any relevant legislation.

The lighting industry and the LIA, as a representative body, are committed to the development and introduction of quality lighting products that meet all relevant national and international legislation.

For the purposes of this guide a lamp is any product that can be fitted to a recognised standard lamp socket and includes those with integrated electronics.

Background information and summary of relevant legislation
It is estimated that lighting consumes about 19% of the electricity generated in the UK. As a result there is considerable emphasis placed on encouraging the use of more efficient lighting products as well as better control of its use within commercial and domestic applications. However, the importance of light in terms of well-being, and other human factors, means that any efficiency gains must not be at the expense of the quality of light delivered. Lamps directly affect the performance and characteristics of lighting and, as such, are covered specifically by a number of rules and regulations. These can be considered under a number of distinct subject headings:

  • Energy and CO2 emissions reduction
  • Health
  • Safety
  • Environmental issues

There is a degree of overlap between some of these headings and the guide will highlight any legislation that covers more than one of these headings.

Energy and CO2 emissions reduction
Much of the recent legislation that is relevant to lighting is concerned with the reduction of energy use linked to the lowering of CO2 emissions. Initially the focus has been on ensuring products are as efficient as technically and practically possible, although there is now some recognition that controlling the use of energy consuming products is also important. Legislation covers both the energy performance of the various products and how the public is informed about the performance through labelling and required technical descriptions. 

The most relevant directives, regulations and implementing measures directly affecting lamps are:

  • The EcoDesign Framework Directive – 2009/125/EC
  • Commission Regulations (or ‘implementing measures’ within 2009/125/EC)
    -EU 1194/2012 – Directional lamps, LEDs and related equipment
    -EC 245/2009 (as amended by EU 347/2010) – Fluorescent lamps, HIDs, and ballasts and luminaires able to operate such lamps
    -EC 244/2009 – Non-directional household lamps. (As amended by EC 859/2009 concerning the UV radiation of non-directional lamps.)
    -The Energy Labelling Directive – 2012/30/EU; as supplemented by Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) No. 874/2012.

Summary information and tables are included in this guide, particularly where clarification or explanation is required.

Lighting Europe have produced the following guides that cover the current EU Directives and Regulations that refer to all the relevant aspects of photobiology, light and health:


  1. Human Centric Lighting: Beyond Energy Efficiency – Lighting Europe, July 2013;
  2. Photobiological Safety in Lighting Products for use in Working Places – Lighting Europe, February 2013

Lighting is also affected by wider legislation concerning safety, particularly that which refers to electrical products. The development of ‘low energy replacement lamps’, initially using fluorescent and now solid state (LED) technology has introduced electrical and electronic components into main stream lamps. The most relevant measures are:

  • The Low Voltage Directive (LVD) 2006/95/EC
  • Electro Magnetic Compatibility (EMC) Directive 2004/108/EC

The LVD largely focusses on the electrical safety of products, while the EMC Directive addresses the issues of electromagnetic interference potentially occurring between electronic devices. Both of these Directives have been revised recently and will come into force no later than 20th April 2016. The new references will be:

  • Low Voltage Directive – 2014/35/EU
  • EMC Directive – 2014/30/EU

All products covered by the scope of these Directives must have supporting documentation to demonstrate their compatibility. Meeting these criteria is also mandatory under the CE marking scheme.

Environmental issues
The manufacture of lighting and electronic products involves the use of a wide range of materials and substances, some of which are now controlled by legislation concerning the use of hazardous substances. In addition there is legislation covering the treatment of ‘end of life’ products which has an impact on the lighting industry, both in terms of the disposal of lamps and luminaires.

The most relevant measures are:

  • Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) Directive 2012/19/EU
  • Restriction of Hazardous Substances (RoHS) Directive 2011/65/EU

Both of these directives are covered by UK Statutory Instruments – The Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Regulations 2013 and The Restriction of the Use of Certain Hazardous Substances in Electrical and Electronic Equipment Regulations 2012. 

CE Marking
Virtually all products made in, or entering, the European Union market, are required to be CE Marked under the CE Marking Directive 93/68/EEC. The CE mark is the manufacturer’s self declaration that any given product conforms to all the relevant EU Directives applicable to its manufacture and function.

All lamps are subject to at least one of the Directives identified above and must, therefore, be CE marked. As a result each lamp requires that its manufacturer holds a Declaration of Conformity and a Technical File that demonstrate compliance with all the relevant directives and the applicable harmonised standards.

Commentary and clarification
All of the EU Directives, Commission Regulations and UK Statutory Instruments mentioned above are readily available as free downloads from the relevant EU and UK Government websites. In the following section the guide provides additional information and clarification of key parts of the legislation directly affecting lamps.

The EcoDesign Framework Directive for Energy Related Products – 2009/125/EC
The EcoDesign Directive covers a wide range of energy using and related products including lighting. Its intention is to force the phase-out of products that are less energy efficient in favour of new, more efficient technologies. This is a re-cast of Directive 2005/32/EC which was generally known as the ‘Energy Using Products Directive’.

The Energy Related Products Directive sets a framework for the management of a listed range of products from design to ‘end-of-life’ and covers all aspects of the process with regard to embedded energy as well as energy consumed in use. Lighting is in the list of energy related products, but there are no other direct references; all details of the specific lighting products affected are found in the related Commission Regulations – or ‘implementing measures’.

Commission Regulations (or ‘implementing measures’ within 2009/125/EC)

EC 244/2009 – Non-directional household lamps. (As amended by EC 859/2009 concerning the UV radiation of non-directional lamps.)
Often referred to as ‘Domestic Implementing Measures – Part 1’, this regulation is responsible for the phasing out of the ubiquitous GLS incandescent lamp over a number of years, from September 2009 on. The regulation included an automatic review that had to be undertaken 5 years after it came into force in April 2009. This review is currently being carried out.

Table 1:
Original timetable for phasing out inefficient lamps as set down in EC 244/2009, summarised to show the impact of the regulation.

Clear lamps



Lamps phased-out



01 Sept. 2009

> 950 lumens (≈ 80W GLS)

Energy class C or above


01 Sept. 2010

> 725 lumens (≈ 65W GLS)

Energy class C or above


01 Sept. 2011

> 450 lumens (≈ 45W GLS)

Energy class C or above


01 Sept. 2012

> 60 lumens (≈ 12W GLS)

Energy class C or above


01 Sept. 2013

Improved quality requirements

Energy class C or above





01 Sept. 2016*

All clear lamps > 60 lumens

Energy class B or above

Non-clear lamps



Lamps phased-out



01 Sept. 2009

All non-clear (pearl type) lamps

Energy class A


Note: The regulation excluded a number of ‘special purpose’ lamps. These included incandescent oven / refrigerator lamps and rough service lamps.

* This date is currently under review with the possibility that it will be extended to 2018.

The regulation contains a number of tables that define the exact criteria to determine the performance of those lamps that are to be phased out. In addition there is considerable detail about the performance and life of acceptable low energy replacements. Recognising that the widespread introduction of low energy lamps into the domestic market requires the consumer to be properly informed, the regulation also sets down the information that must be provided on the lamp packaging plus further data that must be publicly available on free access websites.

The current review of this legislation is also examining the impact of the misuse of excluded lamps, particularly where such lamps are being used in place of those types that have already been phased out.

EC 245/2009 (as amended by EU 347/2010) – Fluorescent lamps, HIDs, and ballasts and luminaires able to operate such lamps.
This regulation, also referred to as ‘Tertiary Implementing Measures’, is aimed at improving the energy performance of lighting in the non-domestic market. The measures detailed in the regulation are to be implemented in stages according to the timetable shown in Table 2 below.

Table 2: Timetable of the planned implementation stages


Implementation date

1: One year after entry into force

13th April 2010

Intermediate: 18 months after entry into force

13th October 2010

2: Three years after entry into force

13th April 2012

Intermediate: Six years after entry into force

13th April 2015

3: Eight years after entry into force

13th April 2017

No later than five years after entry into force (i.e. 13th April 2014) the Commission shall review the Regulation in view of the progress in lighting technology.

As indicated in the regulation’s title these measures cover fluorescent lamps, HIDs (high intensity discharge lamps) and ballasts and luminaires. Reflecting the broad range of light sources the regulation contains a great deal of detail on the performance criteria to be met by these lighting products at each stage of implementation.

The addition of the amendment EU347/2010 widened the scope of the tertiary lighting implementation measures to include fluorescent and HID control gear. This also repealed the Ballast Directive 2000/55/EC.

The Commission began the review (due 5 years after the entry into force) in late 2013. This review has drawn certain conclusions with regard to the need for further development of the regulatory requirements. However, the Commission has also recognised other issues related to lighting arising in the other regulatory documents that has led to the setting up of a comprehensive follow-up study for lighting.  The study is due to be completed during 2015.

EU 1194/2012 – Directional lamps, LEDs and related equipment
Alternatively known as ‘Domestic Implementing Measures – Part 2’, this regulation covers lamps that are, arguably, as common in the tertiary sector as they are in the home. The regulation details the energy efficiency criteria to be achieved (by the light sources covered) in the following stages:

Table 3: Timetable of planned implementation stages.


Implementation date


1st September 2013


1st March 2014


1st September 2014


1st September 2016

The regulation includes incandescent, fluorescent, HID and LED light sources and defines the energy efficiency index (EEI) they must meet by each stage. In addition the regulation also defines certain qualitative criteria that LED light sources must achieve e.g. colour rendering and life, because there is perceived to be a need to ensure that this technology is seen to be a valid replacement for more established light sources.

The scope of this regulation covers:

(a) directional lamps;
(b) light-emitting diode (LED) lamps;
(c) equipment designed for installation between the mains and the lamps, including lamp control gear, control devices and luminaires (other than ballasts and luminaires for fluorescent and high-intensity discharge lamps);

including when they are integrated into other products.

Due to the fact that the regulation includes directional light sources it also contains definitions of how the light output of such sources is to be assessed and measured. As in the other implementing measures set out under the overall Eco-Design requirements the regulation also determines the extent of documentation and labelling required. The comprehensive follow-up study for lighting planned by the Commission will include the scope of this regulation as well.

There are a number of guides to the detailed technical requirements of EU1194/2012 and the one prepared by Lighting Europe.

Although there are requirements within the above implementing measures for products to be accompanied by specific information and labels there are some additional Directives that determine the design and content of energy and performance labels. Some of these are mandatory while others are, in effect, optional.

Framework Directive 2010/30/EU (Energy Labelling)
This Directive is the ‘framework’ that governs the indication by labelling and product information about the consumption of energy and other resources by energy-related products. It should, therefore, be studied alongside the EcoDesign Framework Directive, and its related implementing measures. While this Directive covers all products falling within the Commission’s definition of ‘energy-related products’ there are a number of specific Delegated Regulations that are either specific to lighting products or contain specific lighting sections.

Commission Regulations (or ‘implementing measures’ supporting 2010/30/EU)

Commission Delegated Regulation 874/2012/EU with regard to energy labelling of electrical lamps and luminaires
The scope of this regulation covers the following lighting products:

a.      Filament lamps
b.      Fluorescent lamps
c.      High intensity discharge lamps (HID)
d.      LED lamps and LED modules

The regulation also extends the scope into the labelling of any luminaires containing the above lamps as well as when they are integrated into other products, for example – furniture. The regulation also details a number of exceptions. The requirements of this regulation came into force on the 1st September 2013 with a few exceptions and some transitional arrangements.

All of the requirements are detailed in the regulation and it is from this document that the format of the energy label is set down:

As can be seen the layout and content is prescribed in some detail; all the numbered pointers refer to detailed design criteria. This label has its origins in the earlier Directive 98/11/EC, which applied to certain Household Lamps including incandescent and compact fluorescent types.

There are a number of label variations allowed but these are still detailed in a similar manner. There are also labels designed for luminaires, which give some additional information about suitable lamp types.

However, this regulation is not solely concerned with labelling the products; it also details the technical documentation that supports the information displayed on the label.

The regulation also includes a table detailing the Energy Efficiency Index (EEI) for each class of lamp.

Table 4: Energy efficiency classes of lamps

Commission Delegated Regulation 518/2014/EU with regard to labelling of energy-related products on the internet
This regulation also falls under the scope of Directive 2010/30/EU and amends a number of previous regulations relating energy-related products including 874/2012/EU. In effect it extends the obligations of suppliers, manufacturers, importers and distributors to the information that must be made available on the internet. For each affected existing regulation that it amends it adds a new Annex that defines the minimum information and labelling information required. The new requirement must be met for all products put on the market with effect from 1st January 2015.

ECO Labelling
There is a separate EU scheme covering the subject of ‘ECO Labelling’. This scheme is intended to demonstrate that a given product meets a number of sustainability measures covering energy use, embedded energy and raw materials used. The Commission Decision 1999/568/EC was the initial definition of the ecological criteria for lamps, and this was revised by 2002/747/EC. The most recent documents relevant to lamps are:

Commission Decision 2011/331/EU establishing ecological criteria for the award of an EU EcoLabel for light sources.
This set down the detailed criteria that any submitted light source was required to meet in order to be awarded an EcoLabel. The scheme is not mandatory and the current criteria were due to expire on the 6th June 2013. However, Commission Decision 2013/295/EU extended the expiry date to 31st December 2014.

Hazardous Substances
The manufacture of modern, low energy, lamps involves much more complex processes and materials than those that were required for the incandescent GLS lamp. The introduction of discharge tubes – compact fluorescent (CFL) – involves the use of a number of chemicals including mercury. In addition both CFL and LED technology often requires that the lamp includes electronic components. As a result many lamps are subject to both the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) and the Reduction of Hazardous Substances (RoHS) Directives.

The WEEE Directive
The WEEE Directive 2002/96/EC entered into force in February 2003, but this has since been revised as the waste stream has grown. The new Directive 2012/19/EU entered into force on 13th August 2012 and became effective on the 14th February 2014. These directives introduced schemes to ensure that consumers were able to safely recycle electrical and electronic products free of charge. This places an obligation on suppliers / manufacturers to introduce recycling schemes to cater for these needs. In the UK the WEEE Directive has been transposed into UK law via the WEEE Regulations 2013, which became law on the 1st January 2014. (See Statutory Instrument 2013 No. 3113.)

More details of the WEEE Regulations can be found on the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) website.
(Links: 1: and 2: LIA Statement) 

Reduction of Hazardous Substances (RoHS) Directives
Alongside the introduction of recycling schemes for WEEE products the EU also developed legislation to restrict the use of hazardous substances in these products. The RoHS Directive 2002/95/EC requires the use of certain heavy metals, flame retardant chemicals and other materials to be replaced by safer alternatives. This Directive was revised as the RoHS recast Directive 2011/65/EU and it became effective on the 3rd January 2013. The Directive was transposed into UK Law by Statutory Instrument 2012 No. 3032 Environmental Protection – The Restriction of the Use of Certain Hazardous Substances in Electrical and Electronic Equipment Regulations 2012, which came into force on the 2nd January 2013 and requires CE marking from this date. The use of other RoHS logos is no longer allowed. (Useful link: )

As an indication of the close links between the WEEE and RoHS Regulations, there has been a further revision of the RoHS Regulations to align the Regulations. This has been done via Statutory Instrument 2014 No. 1771 Environmental Protection - The Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment and Restriction of the Use of Certain Hazardous Substances in Electrical and Electronic Equipment (Amendment) Regulations 2014.

Other measures that may affect lamps and lighting
There are some important measures relating to broader energy use that also influence lighting but do not directly impact on its design and production. These are:

Energy Services Directive (ESD) 2006/36/EC
The purpose of the Directive is to make the end use of energy more economic and efficient by influencing the supply side of the energy market. It is intended to set a framework for the energy supply industry that encourages the use of energy efficiency measures and allows, for example, the use of energy performance contracts.

The Energy Performance in Buildings Directive (EPBD) 2010/31/EU
The overall objective of the EU Energy Performance of Buildings Directive is to:

'Promote the improvement of energy performance of buildings within the Community taking into account outdoor climatic and local conditions, as well as indoor climate requirements and cost-effectiveness’.

Each EU member state was required to transpose the original Directive (2002/91/EC now re-cast as above) into law by the beginning of 2006 with a further three years being allowed for full implementation of specific articles.

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