Fish feed factory beats E.U. fluorescent ban by swapping LEDs into existing housing

Feb. 27, 2024
In a move that minimizes material waste, Mowi Feed installs retrofit kits from Norway’s Glamox.

In its latest leveraging of Europe’s health-related fluorescent ban, LED lighting vendor Glamox AS is replacing around 1,000 fluorescent luminaires with LED varieties at a Norwegian fish feed factory, mostly by swapping retrofit kits into existing housing.

The overhaul at the Mowi Feed plant in Valsneset, on Norway’s west coast, ensures that Mowi has nonfluorescent lighting in place — something that might become more of a scramble for end users to do if they wait too long to replace existing fluorescents. The European Union has banned the sale of fluorescent tubes, under the Restriction of Hazardous Substances in Electrical and Electronic Equipment (RoHS) directive. The E.U. is concerned about the health hazards of mercury, used in fluorescent lighting.

The use of LED lighting also saves money for Mowi Feed on its electricity bill compared to less energy-efficient fluorescents. The 900 or so refitted indoor lights, combined with around 50 brand new outdoor lights, will use 60% less electricity than previously, according to Ragnar Meland, electrical supervisor at Mowi Feed, which makes fish food pellets for commercial salmon and trout farms, and for its sister company, Mowi Farming, one of the world’s largest commercial salmon farms.

Those savings are not as high as they could be had Mowi Feed opted for a higher mix of altogether new luminaires, rather than mostly going with what Glamox calls  “LED Kits” — which include an LED driver and an integrated LED light source that Mowi puts into existing fittings. As LEDs Magazine reported when University Hospital of North Norway in Tromsø replaced its fluorescent lighting, the kits provide about 40–50% energy savings, compared to about 85% from completely new LED products.

The retrofit kits still provide significant energy reductions, as well as other sustainability benefits, such as avoiding the scrapping of materials.

“The LED Kits are an environmentally friendly way to switch to LED,” Meland said. “They reuse the bodies of our lighting fixtures which also means less time is spent on installation. We installed the kits ourselves. They’re an easy-to-fit preassembled product designed for a circular economy.”

Mowi is installing over 900 Glamox GPV2 LED Kits into existing fluorescent housings in indoor production facilities and warehouses. Outdoors, in its loading and unloading docks, it is installing 3 new LED floodlights and about 45 water-resistant MIR luminaires. It also installing 4 Glamox Max explosion-proof luminaires on a jetty with an LNG refueling station.

The change is happening over a couple of years, having started in 2022, with an anticipated completion this June.

The new lighting provides other familiar LED benefits.

“Before, we struggled with the lifetime of the fluorescent tubes, which also took time to warm up as the environment is cold,” Meland noted, referring to the LEDs already in operation. “Now we get instant light and the long life of the LED technology means lower maintenance costs. The lights on each floor of the production building are equipped with motion sensors and mechanical timers that we set up for a maximum of four hours.”

Most of the lighting is coming from Glamox’s Professional Building Solutions (PBS) group; the floodlights are sourced from its Marine, Offshore & Wind (MOW) group. PBS is the larger of the two; its sales have picked up in recent quarters, driven by RoHS and other factors. MOW continues to rack up impressive wins, such as at offshore wind farms.

Mowi Feed is a division of Bergen-based Mowi which, in addition to farming and feed, also has a consumer division, selling Mowi-branded salmon through retailers. Mowi reported revenues of €5.51 billion for calendar year 2023.

MARK HALPER is a contributing editor for LEDs Magazine, and an energy, technology, and business journalist ([email protected]).

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About the Author

Mark Halper | Contributing Editor, LEDs Magazine, and Business/Energy/Technology Journalist

Mark Halper is a freelance business, technology, and science journalist who covers everything from media moguls to subatomic particles. Halper has written from locations around the world for TIME Magazine, Fortune, Forbes, the New York Times, the Financial Times, the Guardian, CBS, Wired, and many others. A US citizen living in Britain, he cut his journalism teeth cutting and pasting copy for an English-language daily newspaper in Mexico City. Halper has a BA in history from Cornell University.