Energy Efficient Light Fittings

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I've just been having a chat with my electrician about required work in our extension, and he said that 40% of new lighting has to be energy efficient fittings. I said can't I just stick in normal fittings and use energy efficient bulbs, and he said no, it has to be the fittings.

Now, standard GU10 fittings with a 5.5W LED bulb costing £5 are a far cheaper way of kitting out the house than using explicit efficient fittings that only take explicit efficient bulbs.

Firstly, is what he's saying correct? Secondly, if I try and argue with building control what are they going to say? Thirdly, if I just fit standard GU10s, when building control inspect, if they say anything, if I just say look, LED bulbs, are they going to pull out a bulb to check the fitting?

Thanks for your help on this.
 
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In new buildings and extensions and rewires, in areas affected by the work, the minimum number of fixed energy efficient light fittings must be either
a) one per 25m2 of floor area (excluding garages)
b) one energy efficient light fitting per four fixed light fittings

*Energy efficient light fittings are fixed lighting fittings that can only accept lamps with a luminous efficacy of 40 lumens per circuit-watt.

*Lights in less frequented areas such as cupboards and storage do not count towards the requirements.
*For extension and rewires, the floor area and number of fittings is that of the extension or rewire.

So the electrician has not quite given you the correct information, as it would by about 25%.
LEDs are lamps not fittings, so non-compliant.
Arguments with BCs, can often lead to non-compliant work not being signed off.
 
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If the fittings can only accept bulbs which are energy efficient, then they are acceptable
 
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It does seem a little crazy. Most of the energy efficient fittings I've seen take CFLs, I'm planning on fitting lights that are twice as efficient as that, and I'm not allowed because of the regulations regarding efficiency.

Maybe I'll have a chat with the BCO.

With regards to workarounds - Let's say I wanted 12 LED spots, if I stuck a ring in the new loft with 3 efficient ceiling roses then I'd be compliant I assume?

Any can anyone tell me where in the building regs this is specified? I had a skim through Part L and can't find anything specific. The one interesting thing I noticed was "low-energy lighting provision is tradable".
 
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Maybe I'll have a chat with the BCO
Most of the time they are quite approachable and not as evil as made out to be
With regards to workarounds - Let's say I wanted 12 LED spots, if I stuck a ring in the new loft with 3 efficient ceiling roses then I'd be compliant I assume?
My maths would say 4 if one out of every 4 had to be 'EE'
but there is always the one per 25m2 of floor area rule as you can use either to be compliant.
Any can anyone tell me where in the building regs this is specified? I had a skim through Part L and can't find anything specific. The one interesting thing I noticed was "low-energy lighting provision is tradable".

The regulations comes from L1A approved doc, my information is from electricians guide to building regs and they are guidelines. As is much often the case, the actual regulations are very conflictive and difficult to completely understand. Within the document, if I recall correctly, it does offer flexibility for wiring extensions, it is encouraged that frequently used fittings are converted in the existing dwelling to an 'EE' fitting, thus resulting in an increase of energy efficiency than it would in the extension.
This would allow for non 'EE' lighting in the extension.
 
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The regulations for houses are, iirc, 25% energy efficient, and yes it does say fittings. What it says is that the fittings should only be able to take energy efficient lamps. The idea is that new installations should be geared towards not allowing people to retrofit less efficient lamps in the future.

GU10 and other LED / halogen interchangeable lamp types were designed to be able to retrofit energy efficient LED lights in place of existing halogen installations.

In a new installation however, this means that you will not be able to use standard GU10 fittings, as they can take LEDs or Halogens... and whilst you may originally install LEDs there is nothing to stop you later changing them to Halogen.

The result is that you should be installing specific LED fittings. There are some on the market that will allow lamp changes, whilst others are entirely sealed units. Although they might seem like a pain in the bum, because they are expensive, a sealed fitting will work much more efficiently on account of the fact that it will have been designed to cope with controlling the temperatures that LEDs can generate and thus prolong the life (even more!)

This is important because whilst LEDs are rated for so many tens of thousands of hours, that number is calculated under specific lab conditions and if your installation is not optimised for that lamp then they will not last as long whilst a sealed unit will have been designed to work with a specific lamp.

The end result is, yea, if something blows you will need an entire new fitting... but in residential applications this is not likely to happen for 20 to 25years anyway... and by then we might all be using some other form of new fangled highly efficient lighting anyway!??!



With all that said and done, the % is counted per fitting... so you can sometimes "trick" the system by ADDING more lighting... such as including mains wired LED or flourescent batten fittings above cabinets or wardrobes etc. Seems a bit illogical but there you have it!

Alternatively, yea, speak with the BCO to see if they'd be willing to accept non-compliant fittings... perhaps on the basis that you'll fit 100% LEDs, but just using regular GU10 fittings.

Ultimately, with EE regulations set to become more and more stringent, sooner or later halogen fittings will go the way of incandescents anyway (and probably long before you ever have to change an LED lamp!)[/b]
 
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Thanks for the extra info.

I've dropped an email to my BCO explaining the situation, he's a pretty reasonable bloke so hopefully we can come to an agreement.

I see no reason why I'd ever switch back to Halogens, now decent GU10 LEDs are just £5 a bulb for 460 lumens at 5.5 watts, it's pretty much a no brainier on the energy saving front.

I'm guessing building regs will run into this more and more. Existing fittings are a far bigger market than the low energy fittings, so all the best / most efficient lights are going to target that market first.

What are the low energy fitting types? I think that GX10 is one of them, anyone know what the others are.

Thanks again.
 
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My reply from BCO was as follows:

"75% of fittings should be fitted with low energy lamps
LED bulbs are acceptable."

So it sounds like I've got the all clear. Whether that's regulation or an allowance he's made I'm not sure.
 

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