In fact, the regulation seeks to make reflector lamps more efficient with long-term benefits for both the consumer and the environment. Existing reflector lamps formats can meet the requirements by simply changing their filling gas to xenon (an inert gas). The draft Regulation will not lead to any noticeable difference in terms of quality of light or lamp design for low voltage halogen reflector lamps.
The requirements have been developed through a public consultation process involving the lamp industry, lighting designers, consumer organisations and green NGOs. The European lighting industry and lighting designers are not "concerned" about the level or requirements for low voltage halogen lamps, on the contrary they have been involved in the consultation process and support it as it does not involve phasing out any of the currently prevailing halogen lamp types. It only improves the lamps' energy efficiency.
How much electricity and money will consumers save?
By using an improved halogen reflector lamp, consumers will save 20 to 25% electricity (8-15 kWh / year / lamp), corresponding to a saving of up to £1.60 per year per lamp, even taking into account the purchase price of the lamps. This means that in spite of a higher purchase price of the lamp, a significant decrease is to be expected for the consumers, thanks to the electricity savings.
How and when will the Regulation be adopted? Is there going to be further consultation?
The process still has many checks taking into account industry and national concerns. The Commission is currently completing an internal consultation process within its services. Following this, the World Trade Organisation will be consulted on the draft regulation, a committee of experts from the EU Member States governments will vote on it, and the European Parliament and the Council of Ministers from the Member States will have the ultimate opportunity to stop its adoption if they consider the draft regulation inappropriate. If the regulation passes all these procedures it could be adopted by the Commission in early autumn 2012.