RecycleLED unites design and eco-innovation in lighting products

While creating a luminaire, often many questions arise during the design process. In order to reduce the number of questions and to know which direction to choose to come to a solution, in case two aspects conflict, it is very important to define your strategy and the business model of your product. The RecycleLED initiative leads the way.

As you are creating a luminaire, all along the process a number of questions are emerging from your mind, such as… 'What are the needs of our customers?', 'What added value are we delivering to our customers?' ... But, when you are willing to eco-innovate in your creation, then, the number of questions multiplies: 'Can we reduce materials contents?', 'What type of waste and emissions do we produce?', 'Can the materials be recycled?', 'Is our product green enough?', ...

RecycleLED stands for a recycled LED luminaire. It arises from collaborative research and development between the Spanish manufacturer of lighting products ONA and ADMEC, the Advanced Design and Manufacturing Engineering of Nottingham Trent University.

Environmental concerns

Ana Blay, designer for ONA explains: 'To start with, in RecycleLED we wanted to put the focus on two aspects that concern consumers and which they are very aware of: the reduction of power consumption and a lower environmental impact  of materials through the use of recycled materials. Our intention was to give a highly perceived customer value to our product and make a win-win situation.'

'So, we decided to use recycled PET (the plastic used for bottled water and soft drinks) as main material. But, given its poor transmission of light, we had to limit its use to the housing of our LED system. Other key-concepts we bore in mind were: reducing material content, identifying materials, “labelling” and reliability.'

Design for Disassembly

'Another of our starting points was to make a luminaire that was easy to disassembly by using common tools, so as to permit access to the components in order to extend the lifecycle of our product. Other key-concepts we had in mind were: using fasteners for electrical connexions, minimizing material types and a high degree of modularity. So, finally, our design consists of a series of cubes made from recycled PET, which can be rotated on a stem to allow the change of the direction of the LED light. It also permits the consumer to choose the number of cubes used to compose the luminaire.'

'By opting for a modular design, the customer can quickly and easily assemble, set up, adapt, extend and repair his luminaire, which extends the life cycle. This approach strengthens the customer product relationship, contributing to a longer, effective life cycle."

Disassembly: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LV2azjUCdyM

The author of this article is Ana Blay, designer for ONA. During the workshop ‘How to truly eco-innovate in the lighting industry?’ on 11 February she will make a contribution to the presentation 'Eco-innovation process at Etap and Ona’.