Are LED tube lights harmful?

Some information from LED lighting technology by keyword
The light that hits a surface is called illuminance. It is the measure of the luminous flux impinging on a unit of area (quotient of luminous flux and area). The unit of measurement is lux .: Illuminance [lux] = luminous flux [lumen] / area [m²] In the commercial sector, the requirements for lighting, in particular the illuminance, are described by DIN EN 12464-1, which almost completely corresponds to the earlier DIN 5035 While DIN 5035 described the illuminance in a usage level of 85 cm above the floor and hardly any special requirements for the maintenance value, the glare-free, the horizontal illuminance knew, the DIN EN 12464-1 supports the possibilities of contemporary planning methods (see light planning ) and lighting technologies. Overviews of the lighting requirements of the individual standards for different areas are available here: DIN EN 12464-1: 2011-08 Light and lighting - Lighting of workplaces - Part 1: Indoor workplaces; German version EN 12464-1: 2011 DIN 5035-x: 2006-07 Lighting with artificial light (largely replaced by DIN EN 12464-1)
Many media have reported on the regulation on so-called household lamps. In contrast, little attention has so far been paid to the regulation that targets lamps, ballasts and luminaires commonly used in street and office lighting: Regulation (EC) No. 245/2009 of the Commission of March 18, 2009 for the implementation of Directive 2005/32 / EC of the European Parliament and of the Council with regard to the specification of requirements for the environmentally friendly design of fluorescent lamps without built-in ballast, high-pressure discharge lamps as well as ballasts and luminaires for their operation and for the repeal of Directive 2000/55 / ​​EC of the European Parliament and of the Council. The resolution of the measures had a clear goal: to reduce CO2 emissions and increase electrical energy consumption by increasing the efficiency of lighting systems. The regulation has already been implemented into German law by the EBPG (Act on the Environmentally Sound Design of Energy-Using Products) of March 7, 2008 the minimum requirements for the efficiency values ​​for lamps and ballasts, all products that no longer meet these requirements lose the CE mark and are no longer allowed to be placed on the European market. We provide the original text of the regulation here as a download EU Directive 245/2009
Quotation Official note: This law serves to implement Directive 2005/32 / EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 6 July 2005 to create a framework for the definition of requirements for the environmentally friendly design of energy-using products and to amend Directive 92/42 / EEC of the Council as well as the Directives 96/57 / EC and 2000/55 / ​​EC of the European Parliament and of the Council (OJ EU No. L 191 p. 29). The Energy-Using Products Act (EbPG) is a law came into force, which places various new requirements on the placing of electrical appliances on the market. The aim is to reduce the environmental impact of energy-using products by defining minimum requirements. In future, for example, special limit values ​​for energy consumption, efficiency, pollutant content, etc. must be observed. In addition, certain information obligations (e.g. naming the manufacturer) vis-à-vis the consumer or the authorities must be observed. Products must be clearly labeled and, depending on the type of product, the manufacturer must provide additional information on handling the product, its use or recycling. We provide the original text of the EbPG as a download here: Energiebetriebe-Produkte-Gesetz (EbPG)
Gas discharge lamps are light sources whose effect is based on the electrical discharge of the gases they contain. In addition to other gases, metal vapors (sodium, mercury), pure gases (neon, xenon, krypton), but also halogens and metals are used . Energy-saving lamps • Vapor pressure lamps, which are differentiated according to the pressure of the gas filling in high-pressure and low-pressure gas discharge lamps. The luminous color of gas discharge lamps depends on the one hand on the light emission of the noble gas and on the other hand on the phosphor that is excited by the emission. All gas discharge lamps require a ballast for operation, the power consumption of which must be taken into account as reactive power at the nominal value of the respective lamp. Because of the substances they contain, especially mercury, gas discharge lamps must always be disposed of as hazardous waste.
In the incandescent lamp, commonly known as a light bulb, an electrical conductor is heated up by an electrical current and thus stimulated to glow. The widespread design of the incandescent lamp with E27 screw base is technically referred to as a general service lamp. Today it is still very often used for living space lighting. Almost all of the energy supplied to the lamp is converted into radiation. But only a small wavelength range of the radiation is visible to the human eye. The largest part is in the invisible infrared range and is radiated as heat. On the basis of the Ecodesign Directive 2005/32 / EC, EU-wide production and sales bans on lamps, including incandescent lamps, with low energy efficiency have already been implemented in the member states. In Germany, from September 2011, there will be a ban on 60 watt incandescent lamps in energy efficiency classes C to E.
LED tube lamps save electricity and are flicker-free. That is why they are increasingly being offered as a replacement for conventional fluorescent tubes. There are currently different versions of LED tube lamps on the market: Retrofit version: LED lamp is sold together with a special starter. A conversion of the existing luminaire is not necessary when changing. In principle, this variant cannot be used for luminaires with electronic ballast EVG. Our LED tubes correspond to this version and can be used with VVG / KVG without hesitation. Conversion variant: a conversion of the luminaire is required and the consequence is that the person who converts the luminaire becomes the manufacturer of the luminaire, who is responsible for safety. There is a risk of short circuits or electric shocks if the conversion is not carried out correctly. "Faked" retrofit variants: require a conversion of the luminaire despite a different designation. The experts from product safety classify these LED tube lamps with electrical continuity as particularly dangerous. Since the electrical contacts of these tube lamps are not visible from the outside, there is a risk of electric shock when changing the LED tubes. The experts from the VDE and the Federal Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (BAuA) warn against converting the Lights up when a switch to LED tube lamps takes place. For this reason, they only recommend the installation of retrofit variants. Because of the possible risks, LED Solutions has decided to only offer one retrofit variant for CCG / VVG and matching ECG versions. However, we usually prefer to consider completely replacing the lights, for example with our LED ceiling or panel lights, which, in view of the risks and the effort involved in rewiring, are often the "more sensible" solution from our point of view.
The fluorescent lamp is a low-pressure gas discharge tube, more precisely a metal halide lamp, which is coated on the inside with a fluorescent phosphor. It has hot cathodes that emit electrons through glow emission. Mercury vapor is used as the gas filling to emit ultraviolet radiation and, in addition, usually argon. The fluorescent coating converts the ultraviolet radiation into visible light. The tube diameter of fluorescent lamps is standardized. After the letter "T" (for "tube") the diameter is in eighths of an inch (25.4 mm / 8 = 3.175 mm). A T5 tube, for example, has a diameter of 5/8 inches, which corresponds to about 16 mm, a T8 tube 26 mm. The trend is towards slimmer tubes that require less material and volume for transport, storage and installation. T8 and T5 are the most common in commercial use today. T5 lamps are available in two versions: High light output (abbreviation HO, High Output, or FQ, Fluorescent Quintron) or great efficiency (HE, High Efficiency, or FH, Fluorescent High Efficiency). However, all fluorescent tubes are “obsolete models” mainly because of the mercury required, but also because of the comparatively lower light output. see also EU directive.
Humans take in 80% of environmental information with their eyes. Artificial lighting plays an important role in working life. The correct use of light in the workplace reduces fatigue and promotes concentration. Since the decision in favor of new lighting, especially with LED technology, is made in the long term and thus sometimes involves considerable investment costs, lighting planning is of particular importance optimal lighting planning takes this into account by taking into account the respective room situation, the planned use, the right choice of luminaires and many other factors. The images show LED solutions Linsengericht e.K. planned and implemented lighting renovations.
Left: Exterior lighting of a dairy / Right: Production hall with basic lighting consisting of pendant lights (> 300 lx) and workplace lighting with line lights (> 800 lx)
The need to limit the immense energy requirement for lighting has led to the use of conventional lighting being regulated, e.g. through the so-called incandescent lamp exemption. Many conventional light sources are already or will be withdrawn from the market in the foreseeable future. The alternative for all technologies that have been used in lighting for decades is LED technology, lighting with light-emitting diodes. In addition to various other advantages, LEDs are characterized by their comparatively high energy efficiency. In view of the enormous need for energy-inefficient light sources and lamps to be replaced, it is essential to regulate this in such a way that there are no dangers for us humans or our environment . There are already numerous normative regulations around lighting with artificial light. We have compiled a list of the most important laws, EU directives and standards, which we make available here:
Due to the high energy savings when replacing a conventional lighting system, e.g. HQI / HIT or similar, the energy savings are so great that this renovation can be publicly funded. There is a large number of different programs, for example KfW provides low-interest financing programs for large companies and SMEs. The saved operating costs are then used to repay the new lighting system, so to speak, you save yourself. You can quickly enjoy modern, comfortable and economical lighting and make a contribution to environmental protection.
The mercury in fluorescent lamps and gas discharge lamps is toxic to humans and the environment, as is the lamp's coating. Mercury is a heavy metal that evaporates at room temperature. Pure metallic mercury is comparatively harmless when absorbed through the digestive tract, but inhaled vapors are highly toxic. Depending on the amount of intake, both acute and chronic poisoning are possible. Mercury is considered a powerful neurotoxin and causes irreparable damage to the nervous system. The average mercury content per lamp is for: - rod-shaped standard fluorescent lamps <15 mg - rod-shaped single-layer three-band fluorescent lamps <7.5 mg - compact fluorescent lamps <7 mg - high-pressure discharge lamps, on average: 30 mg LED lights and -Lamps are mercury-free.
The degree of protection indicates the suitability of electrical devices and lights as well as the installation material used for various environmental conditions to protect people against potential hazards when using them. The preceding "IP" is followed by a first code number for contact and foreign body protection and a further code number for water protection . Degree of protection "IP65" means: the electrical device is designed to be dust-proof against penetration by a wire and offers protection against water jets from a nozzle from any direction. You can see an overview of the key figures here (click to enlarge):
In simplified terms, the main difference is that with SMD technology light is generated from many smaller SMD chips attached to circuit boards, while with COB this function is miniaturized and combined in just one component. The “low-power” SMD LEDs generally offer the following advantages over COB LEDs: • More homogeneous, flat radiation, better light impression. While with SMD technology, each individual chip gets its beam angle from the component shape, a COB chip always needs a reflector or a lens to focus the light. • Optimal compatibility for the use of high-performance optics • Easier glare limitation to ensure photobiological safety IEC 62471 / VDE • More effective temperature management of the luminaire, more extensive heat dissipation, thus longer service life and flatter size. B. in paper production, wood processing etc. We rely (almost exclusively) on SMD chips for our range. Really sensible areas of application for COB-LED luminaires can mainly be seen outdoors, where a low-cost, high luminous flux without any demands on color rendering or other requirements on light quality is required with a short burning time.
SMD emitter on the left, COB emitter on the right
In order to ensure the required illuminance over a period of time, the lighting planning provides a maintenance factor MF (Maintenance Factor), which takes into account the decrease in luminous flux of a lighting system. The new value of the illuminance of a system is calculated from the maintenance value of the illuminance and the maintenance factor. The maintenance plan defines the cleaning intervals for lights and rooms as well as changing lamps. The maintenance value of the illuminance therefore depends on the luminaires, lamps and the room conditions. The maintenance factor is calculated by multiplying the lamp luminous flux maintenance factor LLMF, lamp life factor LSF, luminaire maintenance factor LMF and room maintenance factor RWF.MF = LLMF x LSF x LMF x RWF Due to the long service life and low luminous flux losses, the maintenance factor of our LED luminaires is significantly higher than with conventional lighting with the same light output . This means that an initially higher (= “oversized”) illuminance level aimed at the end of the service life of fluorescent tubes and gas discharge lamps is no longer required.