Digital Single Market
Digital Economy & Society

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

In 2011, the European Commission published a Green Paper on Solid State Lighting (SSL) to explore the barriers for the wide deployment of SSL technology and to put forward policy suggestions. In parallel, it is supporting SSL demonstration projects using the CIP (Competitiveness and Innovation Framework programme).

The European Commission Green Paper "Lighting the Future" was adopted in December 2011.

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

The European Union 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 14% of electricity consumption in the EU 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:

Green Paper on Solid State Lighting:

  • Consulted with key stakeholders on key issues to be addressed in the Green Paper
  • Selected "Lighting the Future - Accelerating the deployment of innovative lighting technologies" as title for the Green Paper based on a web-based public competition
  • Published the Green Paper on SSL (COM(2011) 899 ) and launched an open public consultation on the topic on 15 December 2011.

CIP Pilot Actions on Solid State Lighting:

  • Launched a call for proposals for CIP pilot actions on SSL as part of ICT-PSP Call 5 and selected proposals to negotiate grant agreements.

In 2012:

Green Paper on Solid State Lighting:

  • Published the results of the Green Paper public consultation in July 2012. 125 interested parties submitted their views on existing challenges for a wider market uptake of LED-based lighting solutions and how to overcome them. Amongst the main findings of the report major concerns raised by respondents include the risk of buying products of unproven or insufficient quality, the lack of information for consumers and professional end users, and high initial purchase costs.
  • Set up an external Task Force on SSL for Cities in March 2012 with the mandate to deliver guidance for the wider deployment of Solid State Lighting projects in European cities, as announced in the Green Paper. The Task Force held its last meeting on 27 November 2012.
  • Invited European research proposals in the area of SSL under Objective ICT-2013.3.2 of the FP7 ICT Call 11 published in September 2012. Research actions should demonstrate strong commitment from the lighting sector, involve the SSL supply chain as appropriate, and be driven by user requirements. Target outcomes include increased reliability and lifetime, higher performance, added intelligence, and lower costs of SSL lamps and modules. End-of-life and recyclability should also be addressed. The Call closed in April 2013.
  • Under the same Call, invited proposals for European coordination and support actions fostering innovation in and wider deployment of SSL. This through  (i ) cooperation along the value chain and open innovation; (ii) cooperation between the lighting industry and professional end users (e.g. architects, designer, installers); (iii) analysing the potential for beneficial effects of SSL applications for people's health and well-being; (iv) addressing scarcity of materials used to manufacture SSL products and analysing recyclability and disposability of such products.
  • Drafted a mandate addressed to the European Standards Organisations to fill gaps and open areas in European standardisation in the field of SSL and in October 2012 submitted this to the relevant Standing Committee in the field of technical standards and regulations according to Article 5 of the 98/34/EC Directive. In the mandate the Commission also requested CEN, CENELEC and ETSI to define adequate measurement and testing methodologies which are not yet put in place.
  • In December 2012 launched "Shapes of Light" at the Berlaymont building in Brussels, the Commission headquarters. Shapes of Light is an innovative lighting installation illuminated by advanced LED technology. It was selected as winning bid following an open Call for Sponsors. The installation was on display until December 2013.
  • Introduced new regulations:
    • In early 2012 Green Public Procurement criteria for street lighting and indoor lighting were published.
    • On 12 July 2012 the energy labelling of electrical lamps and luminaires was updated through Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) 874/2012 to i.a. cover LED lamps and LED modules and introduce new energy classes A+ and A++ on top of class A for promoting the most energy-efficient LED lighting products.
    • On 25 October 2012 the new Energy Efficiency Directive 2012/27/EU was adopted. The Directive foresees amongst other measures an exemplary role to be played by the public sector in driving energy efficiency improvements through public procurement of energy-efficient products and services.
    • On 12 December 2012 a new Ecodesign Regulation covering i.a. LED lamps was published (Commission Regulation (EU) 1194/2012).

CIP Pilot Actions on Solid State Lighting:

  • Launched two CIP pilot projects on SSL , ILLUMINATE and LED4ART, representing a total investment of € 5,8 million (of which € 2,8 million envisaged European funding support). The two projects will demonstrate through various pilot actions across Europe the best use of innovative lighting systems based on SSL for improving the light quality and achieving substantial reductions in energy consumption.

In 2013:

Green Paper on Solid State Lighting:

  • Issued mandate M/519 on LED standardisation in February 2013 to the European Standards Organisations to fill gaps and open areas in European standardisation in the field of SSL.
  • Published the report "Lighting the Cities" in June 2013. The report with a Foreword from Commission Vice-President Neelie Kroes is based on the results of the work of the Task Force on SSL for Cities. It highlights best practice cases of European cities that have implemented LED lighting projects and includes practical advice on how municipalities can initiate LED deployment, covering the preparation of an urban lighting strategy, development of the business case (through consideration of immediate cost savings and longer term total cost of ownership analysis), procurement and financing, and the vital activity of engaging with local businesses and citizens to ensure the best prospects for acceptance and success.
  • Selected 2 SSL research and development projects and 1 SSL coordination and support project under FP7 ICT Call 11. The 3 projects represent a total investment of € 13,6 million (of which € 10,4 million envisaged European funding support). Two of them have started in late 2013, the remaining one will do in early 2014.

CIP Pilot Actions on Solid State Lighting:

  • The two SSL pilot demonstration actions, ILLUMINATE and LED4ART, launched in early 2012 as European lighthouse projects for demonstrating the benefits of deploying innovative LED lighting installations are now nearing the completion of their 2nd year and are very well advanced. Beyond substantial energy savings of up to 80%, the pilot sites illustrate the versatility and lighting quality improvements of the new SSL installations. Examples of SSL pilot sites supported by ILLUMINATE and LED4ART include: the Belfast City Hall,  the Genoa port area,  the Rotterdam Zoo, Copenhagen's Experimentarium and the Sistine Chapel in the Vatican. A YouTube channel has been set up where videos of the new pilot installations will be gradually added once commissioning is complete.
Progress Report
Status: Completed Thomas Skordas Thomas Skordas