More high seas gains for Glamox, as ferry company converts fleet to LED

May 25, 2023
Sweden’s Stena Line traverses northern Europe, where it is set to replace the mostly fluorescent lighting on up to 35 vessels with a possible 52,000 luminaires.

Norwegian lighting vendor Glamox AS continues tapping into the maritime sector, securing a deal with Sweden’s Stena Line that could lead to Glamox replacing fluorescent lighting with LED luminaires on Stena’s fleet of 35 ferries.

Oslo-based Glamox said it has started retrofit work on 15 of the vessels and that it expects to complete conversions on all of the ships “over the next few years,” as the two parties appear close to finalizing their larger agreement.

Gothenburg-based Stena is one of the world’s largest ferry companies, operating passenger and freight services around Baltic and North Sea routes including Sweden, Denmark, the U.K., Ireland, Germany, the Netherlands, Poland, Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Latvia, Lithuania, and France. Its ships transport people as well as vehicles such as trucks, buses, and railroad cars.

Glamox is replacing fluorescent and other lighting with LED-based linear luminaires, downlights, and floodlights. The number of LED fittings would average 1,000 to 2,000 per vessel. Ships with passenger cabins would land on the higher side of the range. If Glamox completely outfits all 35, it would supply roughly 52,000 LED luminaires.

“LED penetration in shipping is woefully low at around 30% compared to around 50% for commercial buildings,” said Håkon Helmersen, senior vice president of Glamox’s marine, offshore, and wind division. “Switching to LED lighting is a no-brainer for vessel operators that want to reduce costs as well as emissions.” 

Fluorescent lighting was once close to LED in energy efficiency, but LEDs now have the advantage. Glamox claimed that Stena will save 60% in lighting related electricity costs with the new LED luminaires. Those savings will come straight from the efficiency of LEDs as opposed to an IoT scheme an approach that is only slowly catching on in the industry and which Glamox is not deploying at Stena.

The switch also gives Stena a leg up on the ongoing, staged phase-out of fluorescent tubes and bulbs across the E.U. and U.K. The entities are banning fluorescent lighting products because they contain mercury, a hazardous substance.

In another advantage, LEDs last longer than fluorescents.

The Stena win is the latest for Glamox in the marine sector, which has long been a key market for the privately held company and continues to grow. Earlier this year, Glamox won contracts to supply two offshore windfarm operators with LED lighting in the Dogger Bank section of the North Sea.

On terra firma, it landed several commitments from onshore wind farms such as ScottishPower’s Eaglesham site near Glasgow. In another green-tinted project, Glamox’s LED lighting is helping to reduce cooling-related electricity consumption in the storage area at a Norwegian brewery. 

Glamox continues to build a bigger presence in commercial office lighting, where it is positioning itself as a provider of human-centric schemes in which light’s spectral content mimics the daily pattern of the sun.

For ferry company Stena, the move to LED is part of its pledge to reduce CO2 emissions 30% by 2030. While the lighting retrofit will help Stena cut its CO2 footprint, greater strides would come from using fossil fuel alternatives. 

Shipping is largely powered by diesel and as such is a significant contributor to global CO2 emissions, accounting for about 3% of global greenhouse gases annually, according to the E.U. Stena announced this month that it is building two methanol-powered freight vessels — a fuel that is considered  comparatively environmentally friendly.

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.