January. 26 2023

Ending the use of mercury in lamps

Key factors for our clients to consider.


In december 2021 The European Commission adopted a package of new rules to end the use of mercury in lamps with an aim of protecting our health and the environment. 

This means that lamps, mostly compact and linear fluorescent, cannot be placed on the market starting 2023 (compact fluorescent February 2023 / linear fluorescent August 2023).

Why do we need to phase out mercury?

Mercury is a chemical substance with neurotoxic effects. It is used in industrial processes and in a variety of products including lamps.

Mercury released into the environment can easily be taken up by animals and enter the human food chain. Exposure to high levels of mercury can cause harm to the brain, lungs, kidneys, and immune system.

Around 5000 million lamps placed on the EU market contain mercury. Terminating mercury exemptions for fluorescent lamps will lead to a related reduction of around 2800 kg of mercury per year.

Key factors for our clients to consider

Replacing mercury lamps with safer alternatives will offer greater energy efficiency, longer lifespan, and lead to an overall reduction of greenhouse-gas emissions.

But, before the phase-out, you should consider this:


Save money by planning ahead and doing it right from the start.

If you have a functioning facility today and lamps in stock that are affected by the new directives. Do not stress. It is not prohibited to use lamps with mercury. Instead, develop a good plan for the transition to LED.


Remember the end-users.

Keep in mind that the lighting should be designed for the people and the space or area it is intended.

Avoiding glare and strong contrasts between light and darkness can help increase security for people and add a better sense of well-being – both indoor and outdoor.


Consider recycling

Find out if changing to new bulbs is your only option. Several suppliers have now started to offer recycling by replacing the old lamps containing mercury with new modern LED technology designed for that specific fixture.

This gives you the opportunity to reduce energy consumption while saving resources. But beware of deals for simple replacement kits and always check who is responsible for the guarantees and safety on the electronic component after the replacement. At the same time, when you change or refit a luminaire, you will still need to fulfil the latest lighting legislation and standards.

AFRY Office in Malmö. Before.

AFRY Office in Malmö. After.

Photographer: Ulf Celander

How can we help?

Light Bureau can be your independent partner in this!


Transition to LED

Let us help you design a plan for your replacements and the transition to LED. We can ensure that you maintain and increase the quality of your current installation in line with the latest European standards and legislation.


Reduce energy use without adding new cables

Our control experts can help you add or update the control system. This way, the light will only shine when and where it is needed, which will reduce energy consumption even more.


Martin Petersson

Senior lighting designer, SE