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Welcome to the 13th issue of the newsletter

Posted on 18 February 2015 2015-02-18T00:00:00+00:00 2015-02-18T00:00:00+00:00

In this issue we provide an introduction to the International Year of Light and Light-based Technologies; a summary of the outcomes of the 11th UNEP/ regional policy meeting held in Bangkok, Thailand from 3 to 4 February 2015; updates on Secretariat of the Pacific Community regional activities on energy efficient lighting and the ongoing UNEP en.lighten lamp sampling and testing exercise; information on UNEP en.lighten webinars; and details of new UNEP en.lighten off-grid lighting publications.

In this issue we provide: 


  • An introduction to the International Year of Light and Light-based Technologies;
  • A summary of the outcomes of the 11th UNEP/ regional policy meeting held in Bangkok, Thailand earlier this month;
  • An update on Secretariat of the Pacific Community regional activities on energy efficient lighting;
  • An update on the ongoing lamp sampling and testing exercise;
  • Information on UNEP en.lighten webinars;
  • Details of new UNEP off-grid lighting publications.


International Year of Light and Light-based Technologies

International Year of Light and Light-based Technologies logo

2015 is the International Year of Light and Light-based Technologies - a global initiative to raise awareness about how light-based technologies promote sustainable development and provide solutions to global challenges in energy, education, agriculture, communications and health. UNESCO is the lead agency and will focus on programmes to promote improved public and political understanding of the central role of light in the modern world. The UNEP-GEF en.lighten initiative was featured as part of the opening ceremony on 19-20 January 2015, with a high level speech from the Director of the UNEP Division of Technology, Industry and Economics (DTIE), Ligia Noronha, highlighting the complementary aims of the initiative and the key themes of the year.


Other speakers included five Nobel laureates, international diplomats and science leaders, representatives from diverse areas of the light science sector, and innovators from NGOs who have developed novel optical technologies in developing countries.


More information on the activities and events that will take place worldwide as part of this special year can be found at

UNEP/ Regional Lighting Policy Workshop

Bangkok UNEP/ meeting delegates

Over 70 government officials and representatives from laboratories, technical institutions and industry from 20 Asia and Pacific countries met at the 11th meeting from 3 to 4 February 2015 at the United Nations Conference Centre in Bangkok, Thailand, to discuss opportunities for ensuring adequate market surveillance and harmonized policy for efficient lighting.


Participants resolved that 2015 presents a unique window of opportunity to accelerate the rapid deployment of efficient lighting technologies in Asia and the Pacific – with the UN Secretary General’s SE4ALL initiative and the political commitment from the Association of South East Asian Nations’ (ASEAN) leaders to develop a single market for goods and services by the end of 2015 providing impetus to develop regional lighting standards harmonization, improve consumer confidence and foster regional trade of high-quality lighting products.


Participants at the meeting: 


  • Requested UNEP to gather the conclusions and options identified at the meeting and present them to ASEAN authorities, to facilitate discussion towards regional lighting policy harmonization in ASEAN, while seeking coordination with other Asian nations;
  • Voiced their concerns that low quality LED lamps and erroneous performance claims undermine consumer confidence in the technologies;
  • Shared solutions to ensure compliance with lighting standards, such as product registries and uniform customs codes. 


To download the presentations from the meeting and the Communiqué agreed by the participants, click here.

Secretariat of the Pacific Community Regional Activities on Energy Efficient Lighting

Since mid-2014, the Secretariat of the Pacific Community and the UNEP-GEF en.lighten initiative, supported by the Australian Government, have been collaborating on the development of a Pacific Efficient Lighting Strategy (PELS) as part of the Southeast Asia and Pacific Monitoring, Verification and Enforcement project. As a follow-up to the regional inception workshop held in Nadi, Fiji in September 2014, the technical working groups established for the region under the PELS were consulted remotely, and a draft PELS document was prepared in December 2014 by the International Institute for Energy Conservation based on the outcomes of these discussions.


The draft PELS is now being circulated among the technical working groups. A meeting of these working groups’ members is scheduled for 25 February 2015 in Canberra, Australia.  At this meeting, working group members will review each chapter of the draft strategy and fine-tune their content, with the support of international lighting experts. They will also explore financial options for the future implementation of the strategy. The draft PELS will be revised and finalised after the Canberra meeting, in preparation for a technical validation workshop to be held in the Pacific region around May 2015.

Update on Lamp Sampling and Testing Exercise

As part of its Southeast Asia and Pacific Monitoring, Verification and Enforcement project, supported by the Australian government, the UNEP-GEF en.lighten initiative is collaborating with six Southeast Asian countries (Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam) on a lamp testing activity. A total of 100 models of compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) and light emitting diode (LED) lamps sampled from the national markets, under the coordination of International Institute for Energy Conservation, have been shipped to the Global Efficient Lighting Centre in Beijing, China for testing against the most recent international standards for performance and mercury content.


The generic results for the approximately 80 models of CFLs and 20 models of LED lamps will be published and distributed to the members in mid-2015. These results will include details of:


Light emitting diode lamps

  • Initial lamp power;
  • Initial power factor;
  • Initial CRI;
  • Initial luminous flux;
  • Initial efficacy @ 0 hour
  • Initial light distribution;
  • Lamp power @ 1000 hour;
  • Power factor @ 1000 hour;
  • CRI @ 1000 hour;
  • Luminous flux at @ 1000 hour;
  • Efficacy @ 1000 hour.

Compact fluorescent lamps

  • Initial lamp power;
  • Initial power factor;
  • Initial luminous flux;
  • Initial efficacy;
  • Initial CRI;
  • Initial CCT;
  • Initial SDCM;
  • Lumen maintenance @ either 1000 hrs or 2000 hours;
  • Mercury content;
  • Format of mercury.


These the product sampling, testing and results will help stakeholders become familiar with the process of evaluating the efficiency of lamps and learn more about using product sampling and test results to improve their compliance programs.


In parallel with the sampling exercise in each country, store surveys were conducted to gather qualitative and quantitative information to determine the status of efficient lighting in their home markets. The surveyors observed the lamps sold in 12 to 20 stores (depending on the country) and noted the brand, lamp shape, wattage, labelling, and other information. The questionnaire sheets used for the surveys, as well as the survey results, will be publically available in a report to be published in March 2015. In addition, guides on good practices for photometric laboratories; lamp product performance tests and interpretation of results; and best practices for enforcing efficient lighting regulations (including information on best practices for product sampling) are being produced as part of the Southeast Asia and Pacific Monitoring, Verification and Enforcement project.

Informational and Technical Webinars

The UNEP-GEF en.lighten initiative is hosting webinars on monitoring, verification and enforcement topics. To date, five webinars have been held: 


  • Lighting Product Benchmarking as an Energy Baseline for Change;
  • Developing a Legislative Framework to Support Successful Monitoring, Verification and Enforcement Activities for Energy Efficient Lighting;
  • Testing Lamp Efficacy, Lumen Maintenance, Rated Life and Uncertainties;
  • Lighting Product Registration Systems: Design and Operation;
  • Evaluation Indicators for Energy Efficient Lighting MVE Policy


The next webinar, on Lamp Product Performance Tests and Interpretation of Results, will be held in March.


To download the presentations and audio recordings from the first five webinars, click here.

UNEP Information Guides on Off-grid Lighting

Southeast Asia and Pacific Off-grid Lighting Report

The recent UNEP-GEF en.lighten initiative Report on the Off-Grid Lighting Status of Southeast Asia and the Pacific details the off-grid lighting minimum energy performance standards, labelling programmes, availability and use of off-grid lighting products and related monitoring, verification and enforcement resources in six Southeast Asian countries (Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam) and the Pacific. The report benchmarks the current status of off-grid lighting in the region and highlights opportunities to increase the use of efficient off-grid lighting systems.

To view a copy of the report, click here. The UNEP-GEF en.lighten initiative welcomes reviews and additional information from interested parties. Please address comments to .


In addition, three recent UNEP Guides provide information tools for national policy makers and technical experts on various aspects of off-grid lighting and highlight best practices for the phase-out of fuel-based lighting. 

Light for Life study

The Light for Life: Identifying and Reducing the Health and Safety Impacts of Fuel-Based Lighting study reveals several critical impacts of fuel-based lighting on the population in developing countries. It synthesises the existing literature that addresses the broad range of health and safety risks and rationalizes data across multiple studies to better describe and quantify the human impacts. The study also identifies means to address the challenges of phasing out fuel-based lighting.

The Light and Livelihood: A Bright Outlook for Employment in the Transition from Fuel-based Lighting to Electrical Alternatives study analyses the role of market transformation on job creation in West Africa for the case of off-grid lighting. It demonstrates that if the use of fuels for off-grid lighting is reduced or eliminated in developing countries, supply chain changes may lead to job gains or losses.

Light and Livelihood study
 Lifting the Darkness on the Price of Light study

 The Lifting the Darkness on the Price of Light: Assessing the Effect of Fuel Subsidies in the Off-Grid Lighting Market study synthesizes and reviews existing information on the presence and interplay of energy subsidies and off-grid lighting in ECOWAS countries, explores unintended consequences, and assesses the prospect of subsidy reforms and associated policy strategies

These guides are all available through the UNEP en.lighten learning portal. To download copies, click here

Dates for Your Diary


Regional meeting of the Pacific Regional Efficient Lighting Strategy (PELS) Technical Working Groups

25 February 2015 – Canberra, Australia


UNEP-GEF en.lighten initiative webinar: Lamp Product Performance Tests and Interpretation of Results

March 2015 (date TBC) laboratory training workshop

22-24 April 2015 (TBC) – Global Efficient Lighting Centre, Beijing, China