End-of-life Design: Lighting Sustainability
Posted in Research by Kate Archdeacon on March 19th, 2010
Reducing environmental burdens of solid-state lighting through end-of-life design, C T Hendrickson, D H Matthews, M Ashe, P Jaramillo and F C McMichael; Green Design Institute, Carnegie Mellon University, USA
With 20% of US electricity used for lighting, energy efficient solid-state lighting technology could have significant benefits. While energy efficiency in use is important, the life cycle cost, energy and environmental impacts of light-emitting diode (LED) solid-state lighting could be reduced by reusing, remanufacturing or recycling components of the end products. Design decisions at this time for the nascent technology can reduce material and manufacturing burdens by considering the ease of disassembly, potential for remanufacturing, and recovery of parts and materials for reuse and recycling. We use teardowns of three commercial solid-state lighting products designed to fit in conventional Edison light bulb sockets to analyze potential end-of-life reuse strategies for solid-state lighting and recommend strategies for the industry. Current lamp designs would benefit from standardization of part connections to facilitate disassembly and remanufacturing of components, and fewer material types in structural pieces to maximize homogeneous materials recovery. The lighting industry should also start now to develop an effective product take-back system for collecting future end-of-life products.