Finnish LED tube manufacturer Valtavalo is gaining momentum from a recently published electrical safety memo that simplifies the replacement of fluorescent tubes with LED tubes. In addition, Valtavalo has been nominated for an international cleantech business competition.

According to a memo published by the Finnish Safety and Chemicals Agency (Tukes) in June 2013 and the related EU recommendation, LED tubes may be used as a direct replacement for old fluorescent tubes in original luminaires (“retrofit installation” where only the starter and tube are replaced) or in modified luminaires (“conversion kit installation”).

The Tukes memo and the corresponding EU recommendation state that the replacement of the starter and tube does not constitute a modification of the luminaire itself,” says Valtavalo’s CEO Markku Laatikainen.

We welcome the memo released by Tukes, as it clarifies the terminology and practices in the industry which has occasionally disseminated conflicting information about the use of LED tubes.”

The recommendation states that if a luminaire which uses an electronic ballast is modified (“conversion kit installation”) and the ballast is bypassed, there is no need for CE-marking and testing if the luminaire is not resold and is still safe to use.

Apart from luminaire modification, these recommendations do not contain any significant changes, but they do clarify things and make it easier for our customers to believe that LED tubes can and should be used,” Laatikainen says.

According to Laatikainen, more and more new installations are carried out using LED tubes to begin with.

5,000 LED tubes deliver 60% savings at Jumbo Shopping Centre

One quarter of our revenue comes from construction and renovation projects where we provide lighting design, lamp bodies and light sources. Recent examples of typical construction projects include commercial properties located in different parts of Finland.”

As Jumbo, Finland’s largest shopping centre, switched to LED lighting in its car park,Valtavalo had the LED technology tested at its own expenseat the beginning of the project.

Once the project is completed by the end of this year, a total of 5,000 LED tubes will have been installed in the Jumbo car park. Approximately 1,000 will be second-generation LED tubes assembled in China, while the remaining 4,000 will be third-generation products manufactured on our fully automated production line in Finland,” Laatikainen explains.

Once all the G3 LED tubes have been installed in the car park, Laatikainen expects savings of over 60%, improved lighting quality and a life cycle that is five times longer than that of the old fluorescent tubes.

Technology and business know-how at the core of cleantech competition

Laatikainen considers the Jumbo project a great example of those arguments that led to Valtavalo’s selection as a nominee for the Lighting/Energy Efficiency category of the annual Later Stage Award competition organized by the Global Cleantech Cluster Association (GCCA) which represents leading cleantech clusters worldwide.

This year, ten winners will be selected from among 160 nominees in ten categories and announced at the Corporate Cleantech Venture Day event organized in November in Lahti, Finland.

The nominated mid- to late-stage companies come from a variety of cleantech (clean technology) industries.

GCCA’s Later Stage Award competition offers cleantech companies an outstanding opportunity to present their expertise to international venture capitalists and possible partners.

Valtavalo was nominated for its fully automated production line, the excellent luminous efficacy of its LED tubes and its functional business model.