The Association of Lighting Designers has launched a campaign to protect the futures of venues and theatres across Europe.  There is currently an enormous threat being made to the way theatrical productions are presented.

The European Union (EU) is proposing, in its Eco-design Working Plan 2016-2019, to change the rules that govern the light sources used in theatrical productions. In effect, they want to bring the vast majority of quality theatre lights under the same rules that govern domestic and office and industrial lighting.

These new regulations are intended to start from 1 September 2020 and if implemented as written, would dramatically impact all areas of entertainment lighting and all who work in this field – lighting creators, lighting users and lighting manufacturers. The impact on theatrical production across Europe would be immediate, and overwhelming.

Follow this link to read and download a little ‘primer’ guide to the current and proposed rules, mainly aimed at collecting all of the information together into one place. There is some confusion or uncertainty about just what is being proposed and just why it’s such a problem.  Compiled by the Save Stage Lighting team and other members of the entertainment lighting community, this document aims to establish what is currently being proposed and the potential effect on our industry.

The #SaveStageLighting Campaign aims to demonstrate to the EU Energy Directorate the widest possible cultural opposition to these proposals.

We are encouraging everyone to sign and share the petition here and to contact their MEPs.

It is absolutely essential that we are successful in our endeavour of securing an exemption for stage lighting from these proposals. This has the potential to harm everyone from technicians, actors and designers to agents, critics and audience members. The consequences of failure would be catastrophic to the entertainment industry and European culture.





1. New regulations proposed for September 2020 will impose a minimum efficiency of 85 lumens per watt and a maximum standby power of 0.5W on all light sources (lamps or self-contained fixtures) to be sold in the EU.


2. The existing version of these regulations includes an exemption for stage lighting. The new regulations do not (though they do include exemptions for video projection, and suggest an exemption for stage lighting that appears to have mis-understood the light levels/power requirements of most theatrical lighting fixtures).


3. No tungsten fixtures meet this requirement. Many LED-based entertainment fixtures do not meet those requirements. After September 2020 no new stocks of such equipment can be supplied to the market in the EU.


4. Manufacturers suggest that the limits of optical design and LED efficiency mean that they will not be able to create certain types of fixtures that do meet the requirements by September 2020.


5. Nothing in the rules stops you from using existing fixtures. But bulbs can’t be supplied to market and once you can’t get new bulbs, existing fixtures become worthless – effectively scrap. It is unknown how long existing stocks of bulbs will remain available.


6. Replacing your existing fixtures might well mean replacing your entire dimming and control infrastructure.


7. All this for power savings that might be relatively small, given the way entertainment lighting is typically used, and will likely be far outweighed by the scrap created and the energy required to manufacture and distribute new fixtures.


8. Important tools from a lighting designer’s toolkit will be lost within the EU, some forever.


9. This will dramatically affect performance venues and productions of all types and scales, including new and existing (long-running, long-standing rep) productions


10. There are very few precedents for technologies to be banned if they are not unsafe to use.

Full information can be found on the ALD website here:

Sign & share the petition here:

Download and send a letter to your MP and MEPs:


Please act now and share as widely as possible. If you’re on Twitter please use the hashtag #SaveStageLighting