Doubts stand in the way of LED growth in Europe

Poor product quality is a major hurdle to widespread adoption of LED and OLED-based lighting in Europe, an EU consultation has found.

Europe map

LED quality concerns still need to be overcome

The European Commission’s consultation on ways to speed up the deployment of innovative lighting technologies identified three major concerns about solid-state lighting in Europe: poor product quality, lack of information and high prices.

The consultation, which ran from December 2011 until February 2012, found that more coherent standards would also be needed if the technology is to conquer Europe.

The green paper is part of the Digital Agenda for Europe initiative, which aims to stimulate ‘smart, sustainable and inclusive’ growth. The policies on LED technology aim to hit key 2020 targets on energy efficiency, industry and innovation.

The European Commission believes adoption of LED lighting is slow across Europe, with LED-based lighting accounting for just 6.2 per cent of the overall market.

Most contributions to the consultations came from the UK, France, Germany, Belgium, Italy and the Netherlands, with the majority of responses strongly supporting the Commission’s green paper and the measures it proposes. There was a call for stronger, more transparent market surveillance at European level, with the development of independent testing labs.

Many believe the lighting industry could do more to ensure quality, suggesting the introduction of quality labels, ensuring better compatibility with existing lamps and working together with public bodies and other markets.

The overall consensus was that there needs to be more awareness of LED technology and its benefits and that public sector bodies should lead by example. There are also calls for more support for European manufacturing, research and development, to ensure Europe leads in the global LED and OLED market.

All the respondents agreed that LED lighting is contributing to helping Europe to meet its overall energy-efficiency goals.

A recent report from the US Department of Energy highlighted LED as the most environmentally friendly form of lighting. It found that the energy consumption of LED and CFL lamps over their lifetime was around a quarter of what would be required for incandescent lamps to last the same amount of time, and LED products are expected to become significantly more efficient over the next few years.

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