Led replacement bulbs: potential technical and electrical risks in lighting

Replacement  LED lamps (only the lamps that are replaced and installed in the already existing luminaire) have been available on the market for some time. However, there are  potential technical and electrical risks associated with this type of substitution lamps. This type of renovation can also lead to an increase in light nuisance and discomfort to users if the necessary conditions are not met.

Note: these article deals with  functional public lighting intended to ensure the safety of the users’ travel for all types of traffic (pedestrians, cyclists, motorized vehicles) and irrespective of the duration of illumination chosen. Some ambient lighting fixtures (outdoor lighting fixtures without required photometric performances for example) are not affected.


Between 2012 and 2017, almost 80% of public lighting lamps in Europe should have been replaced according to European regulations. In Europe, many of the luminaires in service are over 25 years old and therefore present an urgency for renovation (with some  mercury vapor lamps, mostly concentrated in rural municipalities).  within the framework of the law of energy transition and the fight against light nuisance. A large number of  luminaires are still equipped with discharge lamps (SHP – metal halide) with less than 15 years of installation.

An investment not necessarily profitable

If these replacementLED lamps are cheaper to purchase, the investment expenditure , even lower, may not be amortized due to unsatisfactory performance and reliability guarantees for the safety of the users. Electrical safety, malfunctions and consequent maintenance are also questioned.

On the other hand, the guarantee of the equipment could no longer be assured by the manufacturer of the luminaire. Consequently, any breakdowns resulting from the substitution are no longer part of this guarantee and will represent an additional cost for the communities