Circular Lighting Report

‘Find data on modules and drivers’ urge environmental experts

‘Find data on modules and drivers’ urge environmental experts

The lighting industry must urgently fill in the data gaps relating to luminaires’ environmental impact if it is to have useful and comparable information with which to base specifying decisions, says a study by three sustainability experts.

A ‘key gap’ identified by the paper written by Leela Shanker, Irene Mazzei and Tim Bowes, is LED modules and drivers.

The team, which presented its finding at the recent CIBSE Technical Symposium in Cardiff, says that more data on these ‘hotspot components’ would help create more accurate environmental product declarations (EPDs).

The researchers also question who the audience is for life cycle assessments (LCAs) in the lighting sector and suggest the splitting of Life Cycle Assessments into two components, so-called ‘cradle to gate’ and ‘gate to grave’. The first is the environmental impact on the production of a product before it has left the factory gate, while the second refers to its use phase and disposal.

The team says lighting designers may be satisfied the former while the use-phase analysis would be needed to calculate a whole building’s impact.

Another issue it identified is inconsistencies in the lifetimes reported by manufacturers in their specification sheets. It says that this inconsistency highlights the need to reassess current technical protocols and agree a standard approach for calculating the environmental impacts based on the reference service life of a luminaire.

The researchers say their paper builds on some of the initial work of the Green Light Alliance and the LCA Incubator project, an industry wide pilot study involving 30 manufactures and 60 lighting design partners, to address and understand better the impact of lighting designs.

• The paper entitled ‘Streamlining Life Cycle Assessment for Complex MEP Products – Learnings from Lighting’ and more details on the LCA Incubator project as a whole, can be found HERE.

• Stoane Lighting will be exhibiting at Circular Lighting Live 2024, Recolight’s flagship conference and exhibition, which takes place on Wednesday 9 October 2024 at the Royal College of Physicians in London. Free to specifiers, Circular Lighting Live 2024 will feature leading experts, specifiers and policy makers who will share their insights into forthcoming standards and legislation, emerging technologies and new business models. More info:

Ray Molony

Recolight Report is an independent guide to the latest developments in sustainable and circular lighting. Learn about the people, products, projects and processes that are shaping our industry’s low carbon future. Plus: explainers on the latest innovations, opinion from thought leaders and video interviews with leading disruptors. Edited by lighting expert, editor and industry figure Ray Molony.