The countdown is on for the 2020 ban on Halogen light bulbs

September 2020 marks the cut-off date for the nationwide ban on halogen light bulbs.

The halogen ban was announced in February 2018 at the COAG Energy Council meeting.

Ministers met to discuss their top priority – ensuring the security, reliability, affordability and sustainability of the electricity market whilst working towards a lower emissions future.

Many consumers have already made the change and prefer LED products. Good quality LED lamps can last up to 15 times longer than halogen lamps and consume one-quarter of the energy to produce the same amount of light output, said Lighting Council Chief Executive Richard Mulcahy.

It is expected that shops will phase out halogen lights before the ban comes in effect. The bulbs are manufactured overseas and then imported into Australia, so once current stock depletes the bulbs will be phased out.

It should be noted however that there will still be a small number of exemptions for applications where LED technology is not yet suitable e.g. oven lights (high temperature) and particular theatrical lighting.

The bulb switch estimates to save Australian consumers in excess of 1.5 billion, over the next 10 years.


Why are Halogen light bulbs being phased out?

Halogen bulbs are quite hot to touch, due to the halogen gas sealed within the bulb. They have been linked to fires, and are essentially a fire hazard. Halogen bulbs are quite expensive to run and they are harmful to the environment, with their inefficiency converting all the electrical energy into heat rather than light. So why use them in the first place? Put simply, they look good.

The Federal Government’s policy is mirroring action being taken in Europe to totally phase out halogen lights by 2020 and introduce minimum standards for LED lights; minimum efficiency requirements of 85 lumens per watt and a maximum standby power of 0.5W on all light sources as part of a review of the Ecodesign laws.


Still need to upgrade your workplace to LED lighting or looking for ways to save on energy?

Call us today on 1800 800 880 for a free ProGreen Sustainable Solutions Audit at your workplace.


Improving Power Quality in Commercial Buildings

As a Facility Manager you’d be aware of the importance of using compliant electrical accessories and undertaking electrical testing to Australian Standards, but have you given much thought to the regulations surrounding Electromagnetic Compatibility (EMC) running throughout the commercial buildings you manage? NHP has and as a result they’ve released a compliant EMC Isolator for use with Variable Speed Drives (VSD’s) which successfully addresses EMC concerns.

Firstly let’s take a look at the issues surrounding EMC, and how you can identify them and effectively manage the problems.

What is Radio Frequency Interference and how does it affect EMC Compliance?

Have you ever had electronic equipment within close proximity to VSD’s that malfunction? If so, this is caused by Radio Frequency Interference (RFI), due to high frequency switching in the inverter of the VSD. This malfunction emphasises the importance of using screened cables (commonly referred to as VSD cables). What is not always understood is the importance of earthing the screen of the cable at the VSD and the motor end, in order to prevent RFI emissions. If an isolator is required on the output cable of the VSD, then a metal lined EMC Isolator with metal EMC cable glands must be used and adequately bonded to the screened VSD cable. This continuation of screening creates a ‘Faraday cage’ between the VSD and the motor, ensuring that no RFI is omitted from the circuit. The level of allowable RFI in a VSD circuit is outlined in AS 61800.3-2005. An EMC Isolator ensures consistent operation of industrial and electronic equipment, making it ideal for use where maintaining EMC Compliance throughout the installation is vital – particularly applications with motors controlled by VSDs, e.g. water pumps and air conditioning systems.

Achieve improved power quality with the ‘NHP Katko Series EMC Isolator’

Locally tested to comply with EN55011, the Katko EMC Isolator ensures safe operation in environments with electromagnetic disturbances, so you can ensure a high level of safety without compromise.

For added application flexibility, the compact unit has been specifically designed to occupy less space, ensuring easy installation and operation with a choice of larger enclosures for increased wiring space.

The key benefits include:

  • Electromagnetic Compatibility to EN55011 – safe within a sensitive environment
  • Pre-installed earth terminal – protects people and equipment from interference
  • EMC glands – suitable shielding of cable for electromagnetic purposes
  • Quality IP65/IP66 rating – ‘dust tight’ and protected against moisture (heavy seas or powerful jets) and heat
  • Copper coated enclosure lining.

How can you reduce Harmonics and enhance performance within power systems?

Another factor to consider in your building is reducing harmonics. Harmonic voltages and currents in an electric power system are a result of non-linear electric loads (e.g. office equipment such as computers and printers, fluorescent and LED lighting, battery chargers and also VSDs – equipment used to control the speed of machinery, as these can all play a part in power quality problems. As an example, if an internal power supply regulation is too noisy, that can adversely affect sensitive analogue measurements (for sensor products), or lower the performance of a radio transmitter (for wireless products).

Harmonics within power systems can also result in an increase in generating heat within the equipment and conductors, creating torque pulsations in motors (premature bearing failure) and misfiring within variable speed drives. Therefore, a reduction of harmonics is also considered highly desirable.

How are non-linear loads affecting Harmonics in buildings?

Years ago, non-linear loads were mainly found in heavy industrial applications, such as furnaces, heavy rectifiers for electrolytic refining, large VFDs, etc. The harmonics they generated were typically localised and often addressed by knowledgeable experts. However, times have changed, and today harmonic problems are common in not only industrial applications but in commercial buildings as well. This is primarily due to the new power conversion technologies, such as the Switch-Mode Power Supply (SMPS), which is found in practically every electronic device. The SMPS is an excellent power supply, but it’s also a highly non-linear load. Their proliferation has made them a substantial portion of the total load in most commercial buildings.


An LED light is one example of an electrical load with a non-linear characteristic, due to the rectifier circuit it uses (as shown in the above graph). The current waveform, blue, is highly distorted.


Prolux Electrical Contractors specialise in commercial and industrial electrical building maintenance and are proficient in replacing standard isolators with quality VSD EMC Isolators to maintain EMC Compliance.

Call us on 1800 800 880 to ensure your commercial building’s equipment is protected and running efficiently, whilst complying with regulatory standards.

‘Pop-up’ LED companies proving detrimental for Building Owners

Building Owners and Facility Managers need to be careful of sales companies offering LED upgrades for free. These ‘pop-up’ companies are cashing in on the Government’s incentives and offering substandard products that can’t last the distance. This can pose huge complications down the track when Building Owners are stuck with products that are failing and these pop-up companies are nowhere to be found. The cost to rectify the work without any government incentive can be very expensive. Tenants should not engage pop-up companies on their own accord. Any type of lighting upgrade should seek approval from both the Facility Manager and owner of the building itself. On the positive side, there is a huge potential to have lighting upgraded and/or solar added to industrial and commercial premises with long term benefits for the Building Owner with the VEET scheme. If you haven’t already, then it’s time to take advantage of the energy saver incentive.

“Remember – you can only claim once.”


What is the VEET scheme?

As many of you aware, the Victorian Government has introduced a VEET (Victorian Energy Efficiency Target) scheme promoted as the Energy Saver Incentive on 1st January 2009 under the Victorian Energy Efficiency Target Act 2007, administered by the Essential Services Commission (ESC). The main purpose of the scheme is to reduce greenhouse gases and to make energy efficiency improvements more affordable.

Under the scheme, accredited businesses can offer savings on selected energy reducing products for residential, commercial and industrial premises. These incentives are very attractive for industrial storage and manufacturing facilities, generally providing a ROI of less than two years, on the upgrade of existing conventional discharged lighting fittings to LED and/or the installation of solar panels.

Prolux Electrical Contractors can provide sustainability audits to determine the long term benefits to your tenants, while the incentives are still strong.

It’s our understanding that these incentives will be around for three more years, after that they may not be renewed. Therefore, it’s a perfect time to take advantage of the benefits that are currently available. This being said, it’s important that you are aware of the unaccredited pop-up companies that are doing the rounds trying to push their poor quality, inferior products onto Building Owners and Managers, with the promise of unjustifiable savings. You know the old saying, if it sounds too good to be true, then it usually is.

In order to classify for VEET approval, an LED fitting needs to emit a certain amount of lumens, along with achieving a particular lux level below. A lumen is specified as the total light output from a light source, regardless of the direction the light travels. Lux is defined as the level of brightness at a particular distance from the light source; one lux is equivalent to one lumen per square metre. A desired lux level can be achieved by tightening the beam angle (spread of light emitted from a luminaire), expressed in degrees. However, a building’s existing fittings are not taken into consideration for this evaluation and those fittings with a wide beam angle may be replaced with a narrow beam angle and are therefore not complying with Australian Standards.

A number of these pop-up companies are currently being investigated by the Essential Service Commission (ESC). Many are providing fittings with a 60 degree beam angle. By tightening the beam angle, companies have been able to achieve the adequate lux beneath the light, however the fittings aren’t providing a sufficient beam angle (spread of light), resulting in spots of darkness. Prolux ensures the fittings we use provide an adequate beam angle, which results in a more even light spread.


The beam angle of an LED light is initially determined by the ceiling height or the distance of an object from the light source, and the lux level that is required for a particular object or floor area. It is therefore important to remember that for given lumens output, actual lux levels at working or floor height will vary depending on the beam angle of the fitting used. A wide beam angle combined with a high ceiling will result in a lower level of overall light, as the majority of the light output would be absorbed by the surrounding areas. The opposite is true with a narrow beam angle combined with a low height ceiling, which would result in spotting (patches of darkness).

Prolux insist on obtaining an EM21 Test Report to prove that the running life of the fittings installed are guaranteed to sustain longevity. We will present the TM21 test reports (measuring lumen depreciation) for the fittings we provide.

Issues arising for Facility Managers and Building Owners include: 

  1. Getting caught out – they become liable for an accident caused by insufficient lighting if the tenant changes the lighting without the building owner’s approval.
  2. Inferior fittings start to fail or stop working inside their warranty – these pop-up companies are nowhere to be found and building owners are stuck with repair costs.
  3. Factories and warehouses underlit – buildings are then non compliant with Australian Safety Standards.
  4. Cutting on costs and quality – fittings aren’t performing or lasting the distance of warranty claims.
  5. No warranty backing with pop-up companies – will they still be around when their products fail?

“When you try for a warranty claim, these pop-up companies are gone.”


Significantly reduce electricity costs for your tenants

If you have a tenant with high electricity usage, Prolux can undertake a sustainability audit for the tenant and identify huge savings for them long term. If they choose to proceed with the works at their cost, then the Building Owner can also benefit with the upgraded asset, which is more attractive if the property ever sold or went up for a lease renewal. A Prolux site assessment would identify the potential for significant cost savings with the implementation of LED products for a commercial and industrial lighting installation. Many industrial and commercial premises have extremely inefficient existing lighting, which continues to escalate their energy bills. The fittings Prolux install are of very high quality, they are proven to be better than 95% of other lights on the market.

Just how efficient are LEDs?

LED can consume around 80% less power than a standard halogen light of equivalent brightness. Let’s look at the table below to compare.

Comparison of Light Types

Power Output Efficacy
Incandecent 60 watts 770 lm 13 lm/w
Halogen 50 watts 750 lm 15 lm/w
CFL 11 watts 740 lm 65 lm/w
LED 10 watts 720 lm 72 lm/w
A Comparison of Light Types. Table from Lighting Matters – Lumens, Lux & Efficacy; 2017.
(Luminous efficacy is a measure of how well a light source produces visible light. It is the ratio of luminous flux to power, measured in lumens per watt in SI).


What benefits and savings can be expected with an LED upgrade?

Take a look at an example…

Let’s look at a warehouse currently using 24 x 450w Metal Halide/HPS High Bays running for eight hours per day, five days per week, 52 weeks per year, totalling 2,080 hours per annum. Current annual power usage is 22,464kw and electricity costs are at $6,290.

By taking advantage of the Government’s VEET scheme and upgrading the warehouse to 24 x 130w LED High Bays, this tenant would reduce their energy costs by 75.7%, reduce their annual power usage to 6,240kw, and save $4,543 per year on electricity costs (running comparable hours).

The initial outlay on installation would cost the tenant $8,712, however taking advantage of the rebate would provide a $2,760 discount, with the out-of-pocket expense being $5,952 (ex gst); with a payback of 1.1 years. Proposed overall lighting savings each year would equate to $5,443, with an estimated cumulative ten year savings of $54,427. The LED High Bay would offer this tenant significant cost savings, with a much lower wattage usage, less maintenance (estimated at an additional $900 per year) and a wider beam angle – brighter lighting throughout the warehouse. The LEDs would come with a six year warranty period and an approximate 60,000 life hours of operation. They would also provide a greater light/lux level to what is currently installed and would offer much greater efficiency, whilst significantly reducing electrical building maintenance requirements.


Our warranties are backed by a 3 tier system:

  1. Prolux Electrical Contractors
  2. AWM – Australia’s largest electrical wholesaler, with over 300 stores nationally
  3. Light Planet – Lighting manufacturer, with offices in three countries


Contact Prolux Electrical Contractors on 1800 800 880 to arrange your building’s VEET scheme LED lighting site assessment and data review. Prolux will ensure you’ll have piece of mind with our accredited, 3 tier warranty.

Hiring an Electrician – through an employer’s eyes

Human Resource Management is one of the big issues a company faces. A main problem for some is moving too prematurely into recruiting someone and not ending up with the right person.


Employers will view new employees as an investment and therefore anticipate a financial return over time.”


Prolux Electrical Contractors – electricians in Melbourne – witnessed first hand the managerial, financial and cultural impact of recruiting in a hurry.

“I had to recruit within three days,” the electrical company’s Managing Director, Alex Lamblin, says.

“Unfortunately, the candidate could not perform to our standards. I could only work with what was available at the time and it backfired.”

“I went through two more electricians before I had the right mix. As a result, the overall management and quality of the project slipped. That consequently cost me financially and put a dent in my credibility.”

“During the whole process, I had to step in and fill the gaps. The project went for 12 months and consumed about 16 hours of my week, for about 20 weeks.”

Commercial & industrial electricians, Prolux Electrical Contractors were among BRWs Fast 100 in 2011. Other Fast 100 victors mentioned that recruiting the correct person with the right set of values, an employee who will fit well into the company’s culture, can rank ahead of formal qualifications and prior work experience.

Mr Lamblin says “I have always been a firm believer in recruiting from attitude, not skill. You can teach the skill, not the attitude. A willingness to learn and motivation goes a long way in my opinion. Someone that is prepared to go that extra mile can make a world of difference.”

Implicit in this approach is the view that while an employer is capable of teaching their employees what to do, they can’t give them personality implants.

Networking is also a successful route that generates results in recruiting.

In many cases an applicant would be willing to apply for a position even when it’s not the best step for them. Although it may seem to be a real asset to get an employee who has more qualifications and or experience for a particular role, in hope that they would bring their expertise to the company, and be hired on a cheaper salary, it’s not a wise move. If there’s no future for them to grow within the company, then they are likely to become bored or demotivated and therefore resign within a short period of time.


People who are willing to take a pay cut can be a bad idea.”



It can be very tempting to employ a candidate who is willing to take a pay cut, however if it isn’t in their best interests, e.g. a good progressive step for them, then their motivation will undoubtedly expire, their longevity will always be uncertain and they won’t be an investment for the company in the long-term anyway.

A Forbes recent study states the cost of hiring a single bad employee at between $25-50,000. The cost of seeking, interviewing, engaging and training new employees is quite high. New employees generally require a desk or workstation tools, computer or laptop, phone, car and other industry related equipment, let alone the other costs associated with salaries, benefits and taxes.

5 points we consider when hiring:

  1. Does the candidate have a sufficient level of competency? Do they have adequate skills, experience and education to successfully complete the tasks of the role? As an employer you want to be sure that you’re hiring somebody who can not only complete tasks, but show effort to take on further responsibility.
  2. Will the candidate fit the culture of our company? Will he or she follow certain values, policies and procedures? They need to respect the company and believe in our vision and mission statements.
  3. Will the candidate get along well with the other employees and also our clients and stakeholders? Reference checks will determine if they have had issues with work relationships in the past.
  4. Is the candidate of good character, are they trustworthy and a team player? Somebody who helps others in our company to achieve great results for everybody.
  5. Is the candidate just looking for their next job? Recruiting costs money and takes up precious time. We want to hire employees that want to grow and learn with our company and who envision being with us for the long term.

Prolux Electrical Contractors are always on the look out for enthusiastic people to join our vibrant and dynamic team of electricians. If that’s you, express your interest today by applying via our online employment tab.

Car Park & Stairwell Lighting LED installations, achieving great results

We are all aware of the specific benefits LED lighting has implemented for domestic, commercial and industrial buildings. The high demand for LED lighting is due to its energy efficiency, longevity and reduced energy consumption, resulting in major savings for facility managers and property owners.

5 major benefits of installing LED Retrofit Lights

  1. Great for the environment
  2. Reduced maintenance costs
  3. Lower energy costs
  4. High performance – bright lighting
  5. Very long service life

Commercial & Industrial LED Lighting: Corridor, Stairwell & Car Park Lighting

Facility Managers of commercial and industrial buildings, including retail and office premises are choosing to install LED Retrofit lighting over T5 lighting and florescent tubes, to reduce energy consumption, achieve immediate significant savings and to cut down on globe replacements and electrical maintenance.

“Decrease your lighting costs instantly.”

Facility Managers can’t be expected to be lighting specialists, but they do need to be aware of lighting restrictions and compliance issues. They need to be conversant with technology, for the best lighting that can be installed in the common areas of the building’s they’re managing, such as stairwell lighting, corridor lighting and car park lighting. Facility Managers need to focus on the long term benefits for their buildings: energy efficiency, operating life span and light depreciation factors, to manage and maintain an efficient energy rating for their buildings.


Common_Areas_Lighting_Prolux Fire_Stairwell_Ligthing_Prolux







Office LED Lighting

Property owners have a liability to ensure that the lights they have installed in their offices meet electrical compliance and office OH&S standards for their tenants. LED lights perform functions far more advanced than traditional lighting products, making them a perfect choice for offices, supermarkets, shops, cafes and retail stores where bright lighting is required to perform for long periods of time.

“Quality LED lighting products offers unbeatable lighting performance versus energy consumption.”


Why upgrade from T5 lighting to LED Retrofit Lighting?

T5 lamps were originally designed for indoor use for offices and commercial buildings. Being recessed into the ceiling meant they could sit flush within the ceiling and kept from being exposed to temperature changes. Unfortunately these lights have been used for common areas within buildings for which they are unsuitable for, especially car parks, where the T5 lights are exposed to lower, colder temperatures, which significantly reduces their light output.

“The maximum light output of T5 lighting of 100% is achieved at 35 percent, dropping to 60% at 15 degrees and 40% at 10 degrees Celsius.”

In Victoria, lighting levels must meet AS1680 requirements before energy saving certificates are granted. Furthermore, T5 adapters have been banned, as of 2015, due to non-compliance with electrical safety.


Prolux Electrical Contractors provide installation of LED lighting for all commercial and industrial applications. Ask us how we can achieve a 5 star energy rating for the buildings you manage. Call Prolux Electrical Contractors on 1800 800 880. 3/52 Corporate Boulevard, Bayswater VIC 3153




LED Lighting for the modern home

Energy conscious home-owners are quickly switching to LED lighting, for not only the savings, but also for the advanced capabilities and stunning lighting designs that are now available. There is no question that there are significant savings by installing LED lights over traditional lighting products, with the added life span of an additional 50,000 hrs plus.

“Quality LED lighting will be a greater expense than simply by replacing out-dated lights, but the savings that will be received long term makes the initial upfront cost well worthwhile.”


LED lighting that has been designed for homes are usually bright, with the dimmable options available to create ambiance for different room applications. One of the most important features of LED lighting is that it can be programed and controlled. Whether you’re after a downlight or light bulb, with LED lights the possibilities for innovative lighting ideas are endless…


Prolux Electrical Contractors provide installation for all types of lighting, including LED downlights and feature lighting for any room you’re wanting to bring to life.

Call Prolux Electrical Contractors on 1800 800 880
3/52 Corporate Boulevard, Bayswater VIC 3153

Smoke Alarm Installation

Smoke Alarms – The Life-Saving Detector

You’re asleep; your children are peacefully asleep also. Unbeknown to you, there’s a blown fuse in your house, it begins to spark, and smoke emanates. You’re awoken by a horrible, incessant noise: Beep…Beep…Beep… You rush out of your burning home, family in tow. You’re safe, you’re all safe, and in your moment of reflection, you realise the severity of what could have been without your smoke alarms.

Smoke alarm legal requirements

How many smoke alarms do you have in your home? Whatever the number, you need to be sure that you have a smoke alarm installed in all sleeping areas and exists, as well as passageways, or that are part of a path of travel to an exit. One thing is for sure that you can be confident that this simple piece of fire protection equipment is likely to save your life, in the event of a fire.

“Such a simple and inexpensive device that continues to saves lives.”

As it stands today, having a working smoke alarm is a legal requirement for all homes throughout Melbourne and in fact Australia. Why wouldn’t you have this inexpensive device installed throughout your home, protecting you and your family in the event of a fire? How devastating would it be to not only lose your prized possessions, but your family home too? Not to mention the danger that a house fire could personally cause to you and your family.

Residential fires in Melbourne

A significant number of fire deaths and fire related injuries in Melbourne occur in residential buildings, far more than in any other building type. Why? Because the type of materials found in homes, combined with the likely ignition source are common factors. Furthermore, fire deaths are most likely to occur when you, the residents are asleep, which is the most vulnerable time.

“All residential buildings should be fitted with photoelectric smoke alarms.”

Fire Protection Association Australia (FPA) asserts that all residential buildings require photoelectric smoke alarm installations throughout, in order to treat the highest fire safety risk in residential buildings. When visible smoke enters a photoelectric smoke alarm, it scatters and disturbs the light source, causing the alarm to sound.

10 Tips for keeping your home fire safe:

  1. Don’t smoke in bed
  2. Never leave cooking food unattended
  3. Always check electric blankets for damage, e.g. frayed cords and turn them off when you go to bed
  4. Keep clothes, curtains and linen away from heaters and burning candles
  5. When using a clothes dryer, make sure you clean the lint out of the filter after each use
  6. Assign one appliance to each power point, to minimise the risk of overloading the circuit
  7. Turn off all appliances when you’re not using them
  8. Always extinguish candles and any other open flames before going to bed
  9. Store matches and lighters in a secure place, away from children
  10. Test your smoke alarms every three months. Do this by pressing and holding down the button, until it beeps.



5 Facts you need to know about your smoke alarms:

How often do I need to change my smoke alarm battery?

As a general rule, you should change your smoke alarm battery every 12 months. If you have a smoke alarm powered by your mains with a rechargeable battery, then there is no need to change the battery. Furthermore, if you have a 9 volt smoke alarm battery then you will have a 10 year warranty with this unit.

What does the green light represent on my smoke alarm?

The green light on your smoke alarm battery is to notify you that the unit is working correctly, and that the external power (240 volt AC or 12 volt DC) is on.

Why is my smoke alarm beeping for no reason?

If your smoke alarm is ‘beeping’ or ‘chirping’ at regular intervals when there is no fire, then you need to take steps to fix this. Firstly does your smoke alarm require a new battery? Or, is there dust or cobwebs in the unit, triggering the beep? Another reason could be that your smoke alarm is detecting a distinct change in the air temperature, e.g. hot air from your kitchen when you’re cooking food at a high heat may have triggered it, or if somebody has opened the bathroom door after taking a hot shower and steam has immersed. Furthermore, if your smoke alarm is still continually beeping, it could be that it has reached the end of its life cycle. Remove the smoke alarm and check the manufacture date on the back of the unit. If it’s more than eight years old, replace the actual smoke alarm immediately.

Smoke alarms typically last between eight and ten years.”

Why is the test button flashing red on my smoke alarm?

Your smoke alarm performs a self-check at intervals of approximately every 40 to 60 seconds. The test button will flash red to tell you that it’s working correctly. Please note: Not all smoke alarms have this function.

How often should I test my smoke alarms?

You should check your smoke alarms every three months, for any signs of dust and cobwebs, etc. and test your smoke alarm’s battery also. You do this by pressing and holding down the button, until it beeps.

Prolux Electrical Contractors provide, check and install smoke alarms and smoke alarm batteries to residential homes and office buildings throughout Melbourne.

Call Prolux Electrical Contractors on 1800 800 880.
The Melbourne electrician for all of your electrical maintenance and smoke alarm requirements, ensuring you with a safe home and working environment.

3/52 Corporate Boulevard, Bayswater VIC 3153