Circular Lighting Report

Digital Product Passports for luminaires on the cards

digital product passports

Luminaires sold in the European Union look set to require a Digital Product Passport in the coming years after new Ecodesign regulations were approved by the EU Council.

It is expected that luminaires will come into scope of the rules, meaning it will become mandatory to have either a QR code or URL on a light fitting linking to information on its environmental impact, repairability and recyclability. It should also detail its identity, origin, composition and properties.

A open-access database of product passports will be maintained by the European Commission so that users can compare products.

EU member states finally approved the Ecodesign regulations which are expected to have a wide ranging impact on the lighting industry.

The directives will set the sustainability requirements for nearly all products across the EU. The announcement by the Council marks the last major step towards the final adoption of the new regulation, following the approval by the European Parliament of the rules back in April.

The ruling – which replaces the 2009 Ecodesign directive – follows an initial proposal by the European Commission in March 2022 to set rules to improve the sustainability profile of a wide category of products, including making them more environmentally friendly, circular, and energy-efficient through their lifecycle, by replacing the existing, which was limited to energy-related products, including light sources.

The updated regulation empowers the Commission to set ecodesign requirements for products to improve their environmental sustainability. Light sources are already covered in the European Product Registry for Energy Labelling (EPREL) rules, and luminaires are expected to be included.

The decision to make a Digital Product Passport mandatory for lighting will be decided in the next Lighting Ecodesign and Energy Labelling Delegated Act. The new rules set in that Act will apply from 2028-2029.

Sustainability aspects covered under the updated regulation range from product durability, reusability, upgradability and reparability, and the use of substances that inhibit circularity, to energy and resource efficiency, recycled content, remanufacturing and recycling, and products’ carbon and environmental footprints.

The regulation directs the establishment of a new ‘Digital Product Passport’, aimed at helping consumers and businesses to make informed choices when purchasing products, by providing information about products’ environmental sustainability.

An EU insider said: ‘There is a material chance that luminaires will come directly into scope of the next EcoDesign lighting regulation and given that they are not currently in scope of EPREL, they therefore also seem likely to need [Digital Product Passports]’.

The new rules will prohibit the destruction of unsold textiles and footwear but not electronic goods, including lighting equipment. However, the regulation allows for additional product categories to be added to the unsold product destruction ban, and also requires reporting on the quantities of unsold goods that are destroyed and the reasons for their destruction.

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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.