Finnish company, Valtavalo Oy, aims to be number one in the LED tube market in Norway within a couple of years. Valtavalo, which transferred its light tube production from China to a robotised production line in Kajaani in northern Finland, has already gained a bridgehead for its LED tubes in Fagerli hydro-electric power plant in Norway.

The Fagerli project proves that LED tubes are well-suited for industrial applications.

The aim of the project started in 2013 at the Fagerli hydro-electric power plant was to create a better work environment, reduce energy consumption and decrease the need for maintenance.

Salten Kraftsamband AS, which owns the power plant, says that they have achieved a 60 per cent saving in energy consumption and significant savings in maintenance costs by using G3 LED tubes provided by Valtavalo.

Moreover, Robert Normann, project manager for SKS, says that LED lighting has also improved work conditions and, for example, given new opportunities to use motion detectors.

Morgen Groseth, managing director of Energyoptimal that implemented the LED lighting project for SKS, also emphasises the environmental benefits derived from switching to LED, since the new LED tubes are recyclable and do not contain mercury or other heavy metals.

LED tubes are also suited for process industries

According to Markku Laatikainen, CEO of Valtavalo, LED tubes manufactured by the company are used in environments even more demanding than hydro-electric power plants in Scandinavia, such as process industries.

At the “Energieffektiv belysning i tuffa miljöer” energy industry conference organised by Jernkontoret in Stockholm, Sweden in March 2014, Mats Andersson from Höganäs, the world’s leading manufacturer of iron-based metal powders, talked about the positive results achieved with LED tubes.

Andersson described LED as the solution for the future: their high operating rate and controllability lead to their low energy consumption and long life cycle. He went on to say that with LED lighting it is finally possible to comply with the strict lighting level requirements found in process industries.

Finland a good domestic and test market

Valtavalo considers the ONS conference of offshore industry held in Stavanger on 25–28 August with an estimated 60,000 industry professional attending as an important public launch of its activities in the Norwegian markets. The Valtavalo stand can be found in Hall O, department 1335.

According to CEO Laatikainen, credibility is provided to their objectives in Norway by the fact that Finland has moved to energy-efficient and maintenance-free LED tube lighting faster than the other Nordic countries; in other words, Finland has been both a domestic market and a good test market.

Finland also has the most extensive LED tube installations, such as the parking facilities of the mega shopping centre Jumbo in Vantaa, which are currently lit with about 6,000 G3-LED tubes from Valtavalo.”

Even though legislation on LED lighting in Laatikainen’s opinion has been somewhat unclear, the authorities have clarified their practices in the last year.

As examples he offers articles by the Finnish Safety and Chemicals Agency (Tukes) and the National Electrical Safety Board of Sweden on LED tubes, which have been given impetus by the EU level recommendation published originally in 2011.