Action 72: Launch Green Paper on Solid State Lighting (SSL)

What is the problem? We need new lighting to reduce our electricity consumption

The European Union (EU) has committed to cutting its greenhouse gas emissions by at least 20% by 2020 compared to 1990 levels and to improving energy efficiency by 20 %. As 19% of electricity consumption worldwide is used for lighting, more efficient lighting can give huge energy savings. This is one of the reasons why the EU has decided to progressively phase out existing inefficient incandescent light bulbs from the European market.

Why is EU Action required? Introduce Solid State Lighting

About 8 billion incandescent bulbs in the homes of nearly 500 million European citizens will have to be replaced in the next few years by more energy efficient lighting systems such as compact fluorescent bulbs and a new lighting technology: Solid State Lighting (SSL).

SSL is becoming the most energy-efficient and versatile lighting technology. By combining SSL with intelligent light management systems, up to 70% of the energy used today in lighting can be saved. SSL also offers the users better quality light and visual performance, where and when they need it, together with new architectural and design options. It has extremely long lifetime and decreased maintenance costs, promising long term cost savings for consumers and public authorities and it does not contain mercury which is toxic and found in fluorescent lamps.

SSL will replace current lighting systems in almost all applications: starting with automotive lighting, traffic lights, street lights and architectural lighting of building exteriors, it will continue with indoor lighting of offices, commercial and public buildings and homes. For users, SSL offers better visual comfort and savings in both energy and money in the long term. But it will also have a huge impact on the market and will be a key driver for profitable growth, and new business opportunities for Europe's lighting, luminaire and lighting services industries.

What has the Commission done so far?

In 2011, actions included putting in place the right framework to help drafting the Green Paper on Solid State Lighting and defining the CIP pilot actions in SSL. As part of this, the Commission established a dialogue with key stakeholders and launched a web-based public competition that resulted in "Lighting the Future – Accelerating the deployment of innovative lighting technologies" as title for the Green Paper. A call for proposals for CIP pilot actions on SSL was launched which resulted in the definition of three CIP pilot actions representing a total investment of around € 13,3 million (of which € 6,5 million envisaged European funding support).

The Green Paper "Lighting the Future - Accelerating the deployment of innovative lighting technologies" was published in mid-December 2011 and a broad open public consultation on the topic was launched.

Three European CIP pilot actions on SSL were launched in 2012.