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EC confirms: Mains-voltage directional halogen lamps to be phased out September 2016

(eceee news, 15 Sep 15) A review by the European Commission of the mains-voltage directional lamp market has concluded that MV halogen directional lamps can indeed be phased out. The last stage of the directional lamp regulation will now take effect, and these lamps are to be phased out from the European market in September 2016.

The third and last stage of the ecodesign regulation on directional lamps (1194/2012) adopted in 2012 prescribes a phase out of mains-voltage directional halogen lamps by September 2016. However, this stage of the regulation was conditional: stage 3 would only take effect if the Commission, by September 2015, could show that there were viable alternatives.

The regulation set a requirement that the Commission prepare a detailed market assessment to confirm that there are mains-voltage LED lamps on the market, which meet four specific criteria relating to performance, affordability, equivalence to existing models and compatibility. The finalised review published yesterday concluded that these four criteria are fulfilled and that the LED market has developed enough to replace MV halogen directional lamps in a year from now..

"Clearly consistent"

“This finding is clearly consistent with the analysis of the European market undertaken by CLASP with support from eceee,” said Nils Borg, Executive Director of eceee. Continuing, “The findings again confirm the very fast development of LED products and price. We know that by this time next year when the policy takes effect, there will be even more directional LED lamps of better quality and at even lower prices.”

The regulation adopted in 2012 set a requirement that the Commission prepare a detailed market assessment to confirm that there are mains-voltage LED lamps on the market, which meet four specific criteria relating to performance, affordability, equivalence to existing models and compatibility.

The four criteria

The first criterion checked whether there are mains-voltage directional lamps that are compliant with the maximum EEI requirement established in Stage 3.  The Commission’s market assessment found that, yes, there are lamps available – in fact, 73% of the 490 models of mains-voltage LED lamps in the VHK draft market assessment published in May 2015 already meet the September 2016 requirement. And, with LED efficacy and performance improving, new models are being introduced to the market are offering better (lower) EEI values than their predecessors.

The second criterion checked whether these mains-voltage directional lamps are affordable in terms of not entailing excessive costs for the majority of end-users.  In addition to the Commission’s review, CLASP conducted several price comparisons and demonstrated from a life-cycle cost and payback period point of view, LED replacement lamps are affordable.  CLASP compared four halogen lamps to four LED lamps sold by LightingEurope members, and found that although the first-cost of LED lamps was higher than halogen, the life-cycle costs are significantly lower and the payback period can be as short as a matter of months. And, it is expected that prices for LED lamps will continue to reduce when the MEPS take effect and LED becomes the standard lamp.

The third criterion assessed whether directional LED lamps are available which are broadly equivalent in terms of consumer-relevant functionality parameters to mains-voltage filament lamps. This aspect of the review was covered in detail in the Commission’s market assessment, and it showed that there are replacements that are identical and/or solutions that are broadly equivalent for all the consumer-functionality parameters, including beam angles and light flux.  Colour rendering was also highlighted as an important consumer-relevant parameter – and CLASP’s analysis confirmed there are many models with CRI ≥ 90 available today that meet Stage 3.

The fourth and final criterion checked whether the LED lamps are compatible with dimmers and control systems available on the market on the date of entry into force of this Regulation. Meeting this criterion was demonstrated by checking the detailed dimmer compatibility tables published by OSRAM, Philips, GE, Havells-Sylvania and other lighting companies.  Thus, LED lamps offered on the market today were found to be compatible with dimmers that were available on the market on date of entry into force (i.e., 3 January 2013).

“In completing their review of the market, the Commission has fulfilled their obligations under the law adopted in 2012 and confirmed what we found to be the case in our market assessment.  The Commission is, therefore, justified in their decision to keep in place the Stage 3 requirement for mains-voltage filament lamps,” said Mr Borg.

For more information on the study and directional lighting, please visit:

The Final Market Assessment published by the Commission

eceee’s ecodesign portal, directional lighting page

CLASP market assessment and findings


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