Energy consumption has been rapidly increasing for a number of years, in line with rapidly declining natural resources; this has to change. Many businesses have identified problems with the current linear economy where products have a shelf life and then are discarded. There is a growing desire to move towards a circular economy to ensure sustainability.
What is circular economy lighting?
A circular economy uses resources more effectively by creating rather than wasting, using rather than owning, and reusing rather than disposing. So how does the issue of lighting fit into this circular economy picture? When we relate the circular economy to lighting, products are designed in a fully sustainable way. When the lighting product comes to the end of its lifetime it can be upgraded and reused, or the materials and parts can be returned for repurposing or recycling.
‘Transformation to a circular economy is essential if manufacturing is to be sustainable,’ said Recolight CEO Nigel Harvey.
‘This will become ever more important as demand for resources rises, and energy costs increase.’
LED lighting has revolutionized lighting as we know it, with its great many benefits and environmental aid, relieving the issues associated with fluorescent lighting. However, some LED lighting, particularly grid ceiling luminaires can have their own problems which seems to have been largely overlooked, until now. Traditional LED panels contain a large amount of plastic in the refractor and diffusers. This is a cause for concern as the chemicals used in the manufacturing of acrylic products, the chemical waste from the acrylic plants and what happens to the materials after they have served their life can be a big issue for the environment.
RICOMAN has launched an innovative new product with the circular economy at the forefront of the design. The new luminaire uses around 94% (by weight) less plastics than a standard LED panel and at the end of its lifetime the modules which contain the light engines and drivers can be simply replaced without the need for any wiring or even any tools! The old modules can even be returned to RICOMAN where they will be recycled into new modules. We believe this product must be considered for any office lighting applications.
In summary, the Circular Economy is something we all need to embrace and move towards in every aspect of our lives. The world is becoming more environmentally aware and the process of having a luminaire for a few years and then disposing of it doesn’t support a sustainable world therefore there needs to be a shift to much sustainable way of lighting. With any change it takes time for mainstream adoption however RICOMAN already have a number of products to make uptake to circular lighting a much simpler process.