What’s The Future For Your Lighting?

For our latest article, we look at upcoming changes to the sale of certain lighting technologies. What’s the future for your lighting? Find out below.

If there is one thing almost every store has in common it’s their use of good lighting. Customers like to see what they are buying, and a well-lit store helps to entice people inside and highlight items to encourage them to buy. Which makes it very important that your store uses good lighting which is placed strategically to provide a welcoming atmosphere that promotes your goods.

For years now your first choice of lighting your store would be via fluorescent tubes. It’s easy to see why they have been so popular; they provide a good light spread, are versatile, last a decent amount of time and do not throw out huge amounts of heat. And when your store uses a lot of lighting, fluorescent tubes cost considerably less than older systems.

Unfortunately, what has been your traditional way of lighting your store is soon going to become rather more difficult.

Fluorescent Tubes Legislation

Two years ago the Government brought in plans to ban the sale of fluorescent tubes in the UK by September 2023. This has been driven by an update to the Restrictions of the use of Hazardous Substances Directive. Also known as RoHS, this prevents to sale pf lighting products containing mercury. The ban will apply to both T5 and T8 type fittings, and while there are some specialist exemptions these do not apply to those commonly used in the retail or commercial sector. Which means your stores could very soon begin to feature failed lighting. Making them look rather less than inviting to customers.

Although the ban is focused on the reduction in the use of mercury, the underlying reason behind this action is to lower the carbon footprint of lighting within businesses. The aim is to make retail and commercial lighting effectively Net Zero by 2050. In recent years the use of fluorescent lighting has certainly declined, but it still makes up around 40% of the installed base. So there is still a huge amount of fluorescent tubes in place, which will need to be changed.

So What Should You Do? Well, you have 2 straightforward choices.

The Do Nothing Option

You can of course decide to simply stockpile fluorescent tubes and worry about replacing them with LED lighting as and when you require. However, in practice this option carries both a high cost and some considerable risk. You will need to buy all manner of tubes that will vary in size and power. That carries a risk of running out of specific sizes too quickly. Do you have branded Point Of Sale equipment provided by a supplier which uses tubes? If so, what are their plans? And regardless of how well a programme of replacement upon failure pans out, you will still have a stock of tubes which will need disposing at some point.

The Get Ahead Option

A more proactive option would be to start upgrading your fluorescent lighting to LED. It’s likely you already have some LED lighting already in place. But moving entirely to this technology will bring you so many benefits. Your energy bills will fall, LED are far more reliable, and they are much easier to recycle as well. And, by adopting a proactive stance, you are far less likely to get caught out with a location suffering failed tubes. Making it look less than inviting to customers, and grumpy staff.

Get Organised

Regardless of which route you take, you need to make a start with compiling an inventory of the lighting in your stores. Which will be more detailed than you might at first think. It’s not just the ceiling lights around the store. You need to check any display units, illuminated signs, and back office lighting too. And for each you should know what the dimensions are along with output.

It is possible you will have some documentation provided by the contractor who fitted out or maintains your store. But it may well be vague or more likely no more than a basic description.

Once you have managed to detail the extent of the use of fluorescent lighting in your stores, the next step is to begin mapping out the upgrade process. You may decide to simply go through each location and change everything. Or you can adopt a more usage-based method – change ceiling lights, then display cabinets, and so on. Either approach has its own merits and drawbacks, but you really can’t put this off. Which brings us nicely to the next point.

Start Planning Now

The ban won’t mean you have to remove all fluorescent tubes straight away. But it does mean you need to start getting them replaced with LED lighting. And the work involved can be extensive. You need to build an accurate inventory, plus devise a replacement programme. It will take time, and more than you may think.

Get Expert Advice

The good news is if you approach this methodically then you have no reason to panic. If you’re wondering what’s the future for your lighting, upgrading your store lighting estate can be a quite straightforward project. You can of course get in touch with us and ask about how you can have your store lighting upgraded to use LED technology. With our teams of expert electricians on hand to help, Store Maintenance is easily the best source of advice and help to make your store lighting brighter, more efficient and better for the environment.


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