Many down lights and track lights in residential and retail outlets incorporate tungsten halogen multifaceted reflector lamps. The less efficient and commonly used 50W-12V tungsten halogen reflector lamps have been phased out, effective 4 April 2012.

Lighting Council of Australia (LCA) has revealed that a Minimum Energy Performance Standards (MEPS) will require the average measured wattage for extra low voltage 12V tungsten halogen multifaceted MR16 dichroic reflector lamps to be no more than 37W. Through MEPS, the least energy efficient appliances and products will be phased out in Australia.

In a recent Illuminate newsletter published by the Lighting Council Australia, CEO Bryan Douglas says that it will further improve the energy efficiency of residential and commercial spaces.

What is tungsten halogen?
A type of incandescent lamp, halogen lamps are more expensive but can last up to 10,000 hours compared to conventional incandescents. According to EcoSmart Electricians - an initiative of the National Electrical and Communications Association (NECA) - tungsten halogen lamps are only marginally more efficient than the traditional tungsten incandescent lamps.

Originally developed as a precision reflector lamp for slide projectors, the MR16 tungsten halogen lamp has been used as display lighting in museums, galleries, retail outlets and residential applications. Its compact size, directional beams and varied light intensities has made it a popular choice for specifiers over many years.

According to ResourceSmart Victoria's Energy Efficiency Best Practice Guide, selecting high efficiency luminaires can reduce energy bills substantially. It is also a great alternative solution for distributing light without glare.

Lighting Council Australia CEO, Bryan Douglas, is urging anyone involved in building and lighting design to consider this change and take it into account for future projects, aiming instead for more efficient alternatives such as lower wattage replacement lamps and luminaires.