Anyone considering a new build or extension in UK now has to comply with some of the most extreme regulations on energy efficiency in the world today.
These regulations were put in place last October, with 75% of your fixed internal fittings now required to be energy efficient, ending up with an attractive lighting scheme is far from easy, but certainly not impossible.
Understanding the regulations
Before even thinking about how you want to light your home, it is important to understand exactly what the regulations mean.
Energy efficient is now defined as 45 lumens per watt and for any light fitting to be deemed compliant it must also produce a minimum of 400 lumens.
We all need to know about lumens (Lm) as EU law means they will slowly replace watts on all packaging.
There is no convenient way of converting watts (which measure power) to lumens (which measures light), but to give you some idea a classic 40w bulb roughly equates to around 415Lm, a classic 60w bulb gives out roughly 710Lm, and a 100w bulb about 1340Lm, depending on the product chosen.
A fixed light fitting refers to any fitting that is permanently wired and which you would normally turn on at the wall. The definition includes dedicated light fittings which take only low energy bulbs or standard fittings supplied with low energy bulbs.
There are a number of things that will not count toward your target of achieving 75% energy efficiency. For example, lights in storage areas, cupboards, your garage or wardrobes won ’t count, neither will any circuits of 5 watts or less.
It is worth knowing that the current regulations intend to ensure that all new build houses are carbon neutral by 2016 when energy regulations are also expected to be tightened further.