Embracing the light: The Impact of the RoHS Directive Amendments on Building Owners, Lifts and Elevators

The 1st of September saw the arrival of the latest phase of the ban on the manufacture of fluorescent lamps, in line with the Restriction of Hazardous Substances in Electrical and Electronic Equipment (RoHS) Directive.

This new legislation follows on from the Halogen light ban in September 2021, which aimed to cut 1.26 million tonnes of CO2 – the equivalent of removing over half a million cars from UK roads. While this new process might seem daunting, we believe it presents another great opportunity for building owners to transition to more efficient, safer and ultimately cost-effective lighting.

Understanding the RoHS Directive

The RoHS Directive stands as a critical regulatory framework designed to regulate the presence of hazardous substances in electrical and electronic equipment. By placing restrictions on hazardous substances – in this case mercury – it aims to safeguard human health and the environment.

As of September 1st, 2023, the updated RoHS Directive will ensure the start of the phase-out of T5 and T8 fluorescent tubes, requiring businesses to source alternative lighting solutions when current stock levels are depleted. Typically, these will be LED – free from hazardous substances, ensuring the safety of occupants and reducing the risk of toxic emissions into the environment.

Implications for Lift Owners and Operators

LED technology is not new and is likely to already being successfully utilised in many areas within buildings. However, because of their position within the liftwell, machine room and possibly the lift car itself, these existing fluorescent fittings may have been overlooked.

A switch to LED is an obvious choice and offers huge savings in energy efficiency – LED is 80% more efficient than fluorescent lamps – but it is not as simple as a like-for-like replacement due to differences in the technologies. Therefore, it is likely that the replacement of the existing luminaire to a new LED luminaire in its entirety is required.

LUX levels must be maintained to ensure the health and safety of lift users, whether it be traveling passengers within the lift car or maintenance engineers working in the liftwell pit or on top the lift car. Under their duty of care, building owners are required to enable safe access as well as meeting building requirements, which may require an assessment of the overall lighting design.

The long term benefits, however, are enormous. Unlike fluorescent lights, LED lights convert 95% of their energy into light and only 5% is wasted as heat. And in terms of lifespan LED can last up to 100,000 hours, compared to the lifespan of a typical fluorescent lamp of up to 15,000 hours. LED luminaires offers versatility through a variety of sizes and colour temperatures, adapting seamlessly to diverse environments and designs, with durable construction ensuring long-term reliability.

Managing the transition

Hilson Moran’s vertical transportation specialists have decades of experience with lifts and people movement, from double-deck lifts in 72-storey towers in the Middle East, to escalator upgrades and maintenance in local shopping centres.

We are able to guide you through any initial outlay, navigate the current legislation and deliver a strategy that is built to last. By adhering to the new directive, lift owners not only fulfil regulatory requirements but also contribute to a cleaner, safer, and more sustainable future.

Get in touch with Principal Vertical Transportation Consultant Alister Eyre for more information.

Share this article: