The new rules will immediately threaten not just big events, but venues and performances of every type
UK - The #SaveStageLighting campaign, launched by the UK’s Association of Lighting Designers (ALD) and rapidly gaining traction with associated groups across Europe aims to win full exemption for all professional light sources, from the devastating effect of the EU’s proposed Eco-design Working Plan 2016-2019.
The proposed EU Regulations will come into effect on 1 September, 2020 but could be passed as soon as the autumn of 2018. If passed unchecked, they will impose a minimum efficiency of 85 lumens per watt and a maximum standby power of 0.5W on all light sources (lamps or self-contained fixtures) to be sold in the EU.
The reality of that situation will be pan-European festival and concert goers watching their favourite bands lit by nothing more than a domestic light bulb or the grey, flat monochrome of street lighting!
Many LED-based entertainment fixtures, or the light sources for them, do not meet the proposed requirements. After September 2020 no new stocks of non-compliant light sources or self-contained fixtures can be supplied to the market in the EU. Nothing in the rules stops existing fixtures from being used, but bulbs can’t be supplied to market. Without new bulbs, existing fixtures become worthless - effectively scrap. It is unknown how long existing stocks of bulbs will remain available.
Manufacturers suggest that the limits of optical design and LED efficiency mean that they will not be able to create certain types of fixtures that do meet the requirements by September 2020. Currently, it is not possible to place the required quantity of LEDs into a small enough point source of light that will work with current optical systems, to create a controllable beam.
The existing version of these regulations includes an exemption for professional and stage lighting. The new regulations do not (though they do include exemptions for video projection).
Live performances rely on specialist lighting; it is the glue that binds every aspect of a performance together. Lighting live events relies on having the right tools available to create just the right effect at just the right moment.
The public consultation period for this EU regulation proposal ends on 7 May. The campaign needs public support and as it affects the Event Industry and your direct profits, the ALD would like to encourage everyone reading this to sign and share their petition here and to contact their MEPs to champion the campaign.
Johanna Town, chair of the Association of Lighting Designers and member of the ALD’s Save Stage Lighting campaign comments: “The proposed regulations are deeply alarming and are clearly written for domestic and industrial lighting. The reduction of energy consumption is, of course, a goal we all share, but the proposal shows no understanding of the tools we use in lighting design. Should this proposal go ahead as written, and unchecked, the effect on show lighting in Europe, as well as the UK, will be truly devastating.
“The new rules will immediately threaten not just big events, but venues and performances of every type, size and scale from National Festivals to our local venues. Every tool and effect we rely on to make theatre and performance powerful would be legislated out of use. Venues and performance lighting need an exception from these regulations. The public needs to know that performance is in danger and action is needed now.”
Link to the EU public consultation that closes on 7 May:
(Jim Evans)

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