The lighting Industry is truly starting to embrace the concept of the circular economy and sustainability. This is happening now, and is no longer simply an aspiration for the future.
Customer requirements are increasingly placing an emphasis on lighting that is sustainable – products that are not just energy efficient, but which are also resource efficient. The circular economy is about resource efficiency, minimising the use of new raw materials in products, and keeping products in service for far longer. This requires products that will last longer in service – value engineered products that compromise longevity and are unlikely to last much beyond their warranty period should be avoided. They risk creating unnecessary waste, the requirement for early replacement, and hence a higher embedded carbon.
Resource efficient products are more likely to be modular in design – with replaceable light sources and control gear. That means that if one critical component fails in use, the component can be replaced without having to replace the complete fitting.
Clients are warming to the concept of reconditioned or remanufactured lighting to achieve both sustainability goals and cost savings. Tenders are beginning to emerge which specify the reconditioning and reuse of luminaires in a project.
Lighting manufacturers are embracing remanufacturing with the implementation of specialist departments within their organisations. To enable this change, manufacturers are developing the competencies needed to remanufacture fittings, and ensure remanufactured products are still compliant with relevant legislation.
The support of end-users is vital in this transition, by seeking to identify any projects that might be suitable for upgrade rather than replacement. Increasingly, remanufactured or upgraded luminaires should be the norm, not the exception.