by Roger Simonsz BSC
This subject has been gathering momentum in the stage lighting industry, and will therefore also have an impact on the lights we use and I have seen very little about it in anything cinematography related. Briefly, the EU is introducing a new energy efficiency grading system that will make it impossible to sell anything below 80 lumens/watt in the EU. This means no more tungsten lamps and also more recent LED developments will also not meet this requirement. Ever since the EU stopped the sale of tungsten lamps there has been an exemption for professional use, which is why we can still get professional tungsten lamps, however the new system no longer has this exemption. The impact is, of course, greatest for theatres and hire houses who have a big stock of theatre type lights requiring lamps, which might well have to be replaced entirely (there is no actual LED replacement for the bulb so a new unit needs a light engine that is integral to the fixture) , but it also means these types of lights will no longer be available to us either. This means that thousands of fresnels, profile spots, and other units will just have to get junked.
Whereas we should all applaud any effort to become more energy efficient and carbon neutral, the potential waste generated by the removal of the professional exemption could offset any gains made in energy. So far, no one is suggesting the EU drop its plans, just that the professional market retains its exemption to give it time to bring it in line with the new targets. Below are some further links with information and how to get involved if you want your voice to be heard in the EU:
Association of Lighting Designers campaign
David Amphlett / Head of R & D Panalux / London
EU Ecodesign regulations and the impact on DOPs and production in the EU