designing sustainable luminaires - Recolight Webinar 28 October

Designing sustainable luminaires

Designing sustainable luminaires _ lighting and the circular economy webinar Oct 28 2021

Manufacturers of electrical equipment are increasingly being required to design products for reuse, upgradability, and recyclability.

In this webinar our panel discussed how luminaire producers can adapt their designs to encourage products to be reused at the end of first life, or at least to be more efficiently recycled.

  • Ray Molony, Build Back Better Awards, began with an industry update; giving a nod to manufacturers who are embracing the circular economy.
  • Simon Fisher, Founder & Director of F Mark –  shared experience of working with lighting manufacturers: ‘How to design a luminaire for the circular economy
  • John Bullock, Publisher and editor at The Light Review gave an update to BS8887  – The standard driving compliance requirements for reuse and remanufacture of lighting fittings.

Ray chaired the panel discussion joined by:

  • John Gorse, Technical Solutions Manager at Signify.
  • Ruth Kelly Waskett, Senior Associate at Hoare Lea and President of the Society of Light & Lighting.
  • Michael Colligan, Host of the Get a Grip on Lighting and Starving for Darkness Podcasts and President of Waste Diversion.
  • Zoltán Pilter, Product Regulatory Compliance Leader of Tungsram Group in the EMEA region.
  • Nigel Harvey, CEO of Recolight.


Comments from our panel:

Global commitments on sustainability and carbon for the future are essential but we have to wait for them to be realised. This series of Webinars has shown what lighting can actually do right now without restrictive costs or new mandatory legislation. Smart LED technology is low capex, easy to install, and when applied correctly is sustainable, circular and immediately cuts emissions that have a real impact on slowing and stopping temperature rise and climate change.
John Gorse

Embedding end of life management into the design of our products is a signal that our species is becoming more intelligent.  It is something we have never done before but is critical to a future free of pollution.
Michael Colligan

The natural conclusion to creating a circular economy for fixtures is to ensure that there is a route for those fixture to enjoy further lives after the original installation.
John Bullock

The shift towards a circular economy in lighting is a challenge but also a great opportunity. For specifiers, this is our time to take clients and collaborators on the journey with us, to awaken an appetite for re-use and re-purposing of luminaires. For all of us, there is an opportunity to re-assess our relationship with lighting, that could lead to a greater appreciation of it, and a greater understanding of the real cost of making a new luminaire.

Its clear that there are many challenges to overcome to achieve a truly circular lighting industry. However, there has never been a better time to embrace circularity in terms of client awareness of the environment and the need to make significant changes. I’m delighted to have been involved in this webinar series from Recolight. It really have enabled the debate.
Simon Fisher FSLL

The transition to lighting for the circular economy is shaping up to be as profound and disruptive as the transition to LEDs in the 2000s. We’ve only begun to scratch the surface of the challenges – and opportunities – it will generate.
Ray Molony

And a few takeaways from the discussion:

  • The lighting industry must engage and educate all stakeholders. We need to change the mindset and make the offering attractive to end users
  • Repairing products:
    • Repair Cafes/shops are being used by consumers, can this be extended to a business model.
    • Maintenance companies could reinvent themselves, instead of simply changing a lamp, could look and upgrading parts too.
    • Manufacturer could offer xx year repair contract for fittings.
  • New standards will introduce a minimum amount of recycled material to be used in new product.
  • There is an element of risk in assessment of products– need to be assessed on project-by-project basis.
  • Older fittings had a value – LED fittings became cheaper – we need to embed end of life value. Would a deposit system incentivise purchasers?


Download slide pack for Designing Sustainable Luminaires


28 Oct 2021




  • Ray Molony
    Ray Molony
    Head of content for Build Back Better Award

    An award-winning technical journalist and a highly experienced event organiser, chairperson, webinar host and public speaker.

    Ray Molony is the editor of the Circular Lighting Report, a Recolight initiative to inform the market of developments in sustainability in the industry. He’s also head of content at the Build Back Better Awards, an initiative to celebrate and reward environmental leadership, innovation, creativity and social purpose in the built environment, and the editor of Designing Lighting Global, a magazine for designers. He was co-founder of Lux magazine and the LuxLive exhibition. He’s also the award-winning author of the acclaimed book, Light: Re-Interpreting Architecture (Rotovision, 2014) which was translated into many languages. He studied engineering at Dublin City University.

  • John Bullock
    John Bullock
    Publisher and editor at The Light Review

    John trained to become an electrical engineer (1970-1975) but fell in love with the world of lighting manufacture (1979 – 1984). Circumstances led me him lighting design in 1984 and the broad and narrow ways of a professional career led him eventually to Dorset (1999-present) and the establishment of jb-ld back in 1998 – or thereabouts . . . a decent amount of time ago, anyway.
    Lighting design work continues to be a passion. John has built a reputation as the foremost lighting designer in Dorset, working on some fine residential projects designed by top quality, imaginative, architects. John came to residential lighting quite late, as his lighting studio in London focused specifically on commercial projects. He loves the amount of detail that residential projects bring with them. These building sites eventually turn into someone’s home and the conversations round the kitchen table that lead to that final hand-over are a joy. No, not all the time, that would be asking too much!
    John is enjoying a parallel career as a lighting commentator, working for one of the major UK lighting magazines (2016-2018). That came to its inevitable end at the beginning of 2019, but the experience of doing that kind of work has rubbed off on him and he decided to carry on with commentary and campaigning for Good Lighting via The Light Review, an on-line magazine that focuses on what it takes to create the kind of lighting scheme that everyone can be proud of – not a situation that is always the case, He sorry to say, given the way that many projects are allowed to fail as a consequence of poor planning and execution.

  • Zoltán Pilter PhD
    Zoltán Pilter PhD
    Product Regulatory Compliance Leader of Tungsram Group in the EMEA region

    Zoltán Pilter is the Product Regulatory Compliance Leader of Tungsram Group in the EMEA region. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in mechanical engineering, a Master’s Degree in chemical engineering and is a PhD of Environmental Sciences.

    He started as development engineer at GE Lighting in 1998 with increasing responsibilities within the Technology organization. His primary focus areas were product quality and cost out engineering. He became Product Manager of Incandescent lamps in 2006, in which position he already joined the ELC (European Lamp Companies Federation) team developing the Ecodesign regulation for Non-directional Household Lamps of the EU. Since 2010, he has been fully dedicated to product regulatory compliance, including internal affairs within GE Lighting as well as policy shaping through ELC and later LightingEurope. He played an active role in various working groups of both organizations over time.

    He is a member of the executive board of LightingEurope, driving the Policy working group in the Middle East Lighting Association (MELA) recently. In his current role, Zoltán oversees the entire product regulatory lifecycle of Tungsram Group from policy shaping to full compliance focusing on the Europe, Middle East and Africa Pole, but assuming occasional global assignments as well. He is a committed environmentalist with the mission and vision of the Circular Economy.

  • Simon Fisher
    Simon Fisher
    Founder & Director of F Mark

    With experience spanning all market sectors, Simon Fisher is a prolific and globally renowned product designer. He is the Founder and Director of F Mark, a design consultancy specialising in the design, development and engineering of lighting products and associated systems.

    In a career spanning more than 30 years, Simon has created an award-winning portfolio of work, where sustainable strategies and circular solutions are at the heart of every product development undertaken.

    Simon is a Fellow of the Society of Light and Lighting and currently holds positions on various technical committees dedicated to creating new legislation relating to sustainable design and the circular economy

  • Michael Colligan
    Michael Colligan
    Host of the Get a Grip on Lighting and Starving for Darkness Podcasts and President of Waste Diversion

    Michael combines the foresight of a visionary leader with the ingenuity, determination, and savvy of a seasoned entrepreneur. He believes that solutions to today’s most pressing problems should be revenue-generating rather than publicly-funded.

    Since 1999, Michael has spearheaded several successful businesses, initiatives, and patented product development that have significantly improved corporate energy efficiency, increased lamp recycling rates, and diverted hazardous materials from landfill. He spreads his message of lighting sustainability and responsible environmental protections through The Get a Grip on Lighting and Starving for Darkness Podcasts, which have a monthly global audience of over 35,000. The Starving for Darkness Podcast has recently been added to the Progress Report by the Illuminating Engineering Society, an annual award for the most important innovations and activities in the lighting industry.

    Michael lives with his wife and business partner Caroline, their four children, a German shepherd and two fancy rats in Stouffville, Ontario, Canada.

  • John Gorse
    John Gorse
    Technical Solutions Manager at Signify
  • Ruth Kelly Waskett PhD CEng MCIBSE FSLL
    Ruth Kelly Waskett PhD CEng MCIBSE FSLL
    Senior Associate at Hoare Lea and President of the Society of Light & Lighting

    Ruth is part of the Lighting Design team at Hoare Lea, with a focus on daylight. And President of the Society of Light & Lighting (SLL) and a visiting lecturer at UCL.

    With a background in lighting design and engineering, Ruth has been involved in the design of buildings since 1999. Her experience includes interior and exterior lighting as well as daylighting. Prior to specialising in lighting design, she was a building services engineer for 5 years, which gives her a strong appreciation of her specialism in the wider context of sustainable building design.

    Ruth’s PhD was about the user experience of electrochromic glazing. She is particularly interested in how we can improve the design of lighting, shading and daylighting by focussing on how real occupants experience the buildings we design.

    A regular contributor to lighting guidance documents for the Society of Light & Lighting (SLL), and was principal editor for Lighting Guide 10: Daylighting. Ruth developed the Daylight module of the Lighting Education Trust (LET) diploma course and act as module tutor.

1 Comment
  • Jon

    27 October 2021 at 10:07 am Reply


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