LEDs and the WEEE regulations

The growth in the LED market

LEDs have become big business in the last few years. Whilst not used extensively for domestic buildings, the growth in the number of LEDs being used in commercial and outdoor settings has been extraordinarily fast and they are now becoming a common feature of shops, offices and other commercial buildings nationwide.

And forecasts for the next five years:

  • 2012: Expected increase on 2011 turnover for all sectors of the lighting industry, but most progressive growth in LEDs
  • 2013: A real bumper year for LEDs – with continued growth for other lighting sectors.
  • 2014 to 2017: Continued aggressive growth of LED lamps, with a decline in other light sources

In-scope of the WEEE regulations

In the UK, The Environment Agency already classes LEDs as in-scope so companies importing, producing, or own branding LED and OLED lamps should already be complying with the WEEE regulations.

In light of increased demand and the limitations of primary source materials essential for the production of LEDs and OLEDs, it will be more important than ever to be able to recycle and reuse existing materials.

A legal requirement for LED producers

Registration with a compliance scheme is a legal requirement under the WEEE regulations, and importers, brand owners, and manufacturers need to ensure that they have correctly registered for compliance in order to avoid enforcement action being taken against them by the Environment Agency.

How Recolight can help LED producers

For many UK companies who only import a small quantity of LEDs or other lamps, complying with the WEEE Regulations may seem like a burden. However, good compliance schemes can work with you to ensure this isn’t the case by making compliance as simple as possible.

Recolight has seen a continued growth in its membership and many of the new members are LED producers and/or importers. As the technology grows, the service that Recolight provides does as well.

Recolight member case study

LED Eco Lights, based in Camberley in Surrey, became a Recolight member in 2011.  The manufacturer of GoodlightTM, LED Eco Lights has been operating since 2006, focusing on providing LED replacements for traditional lamps and lighting.

A UK-based team design and engineer the range of products, with assembly taking place in the Far East. This set-up gives the company full control over the design and manufacturing process, as well as the ability to deliver rapid prototyping of new products in short timescales, something that has proved key for the bespoke solutions LED Eco Lights offer.

LED Eco Lights have always complied with the WEEE Regulations. Saima Shafi, Sales & Marketing Director said; “In the beginning, complying was something that proved quite time consuming, but it became very simple quite quickly. We joined Recolight because we felt it very important to be able to provide a national service to our customers for free lamp recycling, and something they could access with ease. Recolight’s dedicated lamp-focused service is completely in line with our needs, so we can meet compliance requirements for both business and residential customers, which is really important for us.” Recolight was established by the lighting industry, and as such it understands lamp producers’ needs. As Producer Members are kept up-to-date on with updates on legislation and obligations, Recolight’s members can focus on driving their businesses forward, launching new products to meet customer demand, and developing exciting new solutions, and end users can make use of Recolight’s free lamp collection and recycling services.

Suzanne Castine

Marketing Manager, Recolight - www.recolight.co.uk - As well as being in charge of effective communication and driving up membership of the Recolight WEEE scheme, Suzanne is chair of the Eucolight Marketing and Communication working group; a platform for sharing best practice with EU member state Producer Compliance Schemes.



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