In response to the Minamata Convention on Mercury (Mercury), Panasonic announced in a press release on July 17 that 31 mercury lamps would be completed by the end of June 2020, and that the LED lighting product lineup would be strengthened to promote the conversion to LED lighting.
The Minamata Convention, which entered into force in the summer of 2017, will ban the production, import and export of mercury lamps from 2021.
Mercury lamps are widely used in sports halls, factories, parks and street lamps with high ceilings because of their large amount of light, while LED lighting with the same amount of light can cost 2-3 times as much as a mercury lamp, but has a life span of about five times. Power consumption is less than half, so LED lighting has an advantage in terms of total cost.
Panasonic said it would take about five minutes for mercury lights to rise to their highest level, but LED lights could reach almost 100 percent brightness in just one light.
Sankei Biz, Common Communications reported that Panasonic mercury lamps shipped about 200,000 a year, accounting for about a third of the market in Japan, but because mercury lamps have the disadvantage of easily attracting the gathering of flying insects (LED is less likely to have this problem because of its proximity to natural light). Its share of overall lighting sales in Japan has shrunk to just about 1 per cent. Some Japanese manufacturers have stopped selling mercury lamps, while Panasonic, Toshiba, NEC and Iwasaki Electric continue to sell them