Innovation and the development of new materials for the manufacture of circular luminaires
One of the Worktitude For Life initiatives that we are implementing at Lamp, with the aim of promoting a more sustainable lighting industry, is to 'Re-Materialise' our products and integrate eco-design criteria.
In collaboration with the design office OiKo, we are working on the development of materials to ensure that our luminaires have a lower environmental impact. This collaborative partnership is based on innovation and research, and helps us to drive forward the process of transformation towards a more environmentally friendly industry.
The partnership between Lamp and OiKo began at the end of 2018, and has led to the use of new materials in the manufacture of luminaires, such as recycled PET (from plastic packaging) and recycled cork (from wine bottle stoppers) in the Stormbell 80 hoods, designed by Artec Studio.
The latest joint project uses recycled plastics, which has led to a reduction in carbon footprint of up to 96%.
Worktitude For Life: A philosophy and a way of working
Lamp's commitment to sustainability, and the development of lighting solutions that are increasingly environmentally friendly, is reflected in the different initiatives we implement as part of our #WorktitudeForLife strategic line of action.
Analysis and measurement are fundamental requirements in order to define and implement strategies to improve our performance. For this reason, the Life Cycle Analysis (LCA) of our luminaires has become the fundamental tool to help us assess a product's environmental impact, from its conception to the end of its useful life.
In this way, we aren't only aware of the impact of luminaires in terms of CO2 emissions, but we're also able to assess other impacts, such as the depletion of non-renewable resources. We incorporate this information into the decision-making regarding the improvements we can make to our products, such as "Re-Materialisation".
What is "Re-Materialisation"?
The greatest environmental impact of luminaires is linked to their contribution to global warming, which occurs during their operational phase and is closely linked to the energy efficiency of the luminaire itself. However, when assessing the impacts of the manufacturing and construction phases (A1-A5), we discover that the second most important contributor to this environmental impact is the usage of non-renewable resources.
For this reason, the process of 'Re-Materialisation' in our luminaires consists of evaluating alternative materials that could improve this impact, evaluating the use of recycled materials and/or natural and biodegradable materials, and ensuring that these changes don't affect the overall performance of the luminaire, nor detract from its technical or functional features.
By way of an example, the use of recycled extrusion aluminium instead of primary aluminium has led to savings of 42% in the CO2 footprint of the annual manufacture of our FIL family.
Materials and innovation: the Lamp+OiKo collaboration
The latest partnership we have developed with OiKO has prompted us to study and evaluate the use of recycled polycarbonate in our luminaires.
We started with an initial analysis to compare the impact of different materials (aluminium, recycled aluminium, polycarbonate, and recycled polycarbonate) and then examined their mechanical behaviour in different manufacturing processes for our luminaires, such as extrusion and injection, as well as their thermal resistance.
Research into the material's thermal behaviour has culminated in the development of an innovative material, previously non-existent on the market (recycled polycarbonate R-PC FR White TM) which incorporates a non-toxic flame retardant (bromine-free) in its composition.
New materials in the manufacture of Lamp luminaires
This up to 70%-recycled polycarbonate also has a non-toxic flame retardant additive (R-PC FR White TM). It's healthier and fully recyclable, saving up to 96% in C02 emissions in the manufacturing process of reflectors for models such as the Kombic 70.
This material is currently used in the injection moulded parts of the Kombic 70, 100 and 150 families, saving up to 70 tonnes of CO2 per year. We are currently implementing the migration of this material in other families such as Moody.
Another piece of research within the framework of #WorktitudeForLife, and during the first collaboration between OiKo and Lamp, is the one that led us to look for, and experiment with, sound-absorbing materials of recycled, natural and/or biodegradable origin to manufacture certain parts of our luminaires.
During this project, up to 6 different types of materials were considered, such as different types of felt, cork, recycled Polyurethane (PUR) foam, hemp fibre etc. This finally resulted in us working with two of them and including them in the Stormbell 80 hoods, which are available in recycled PET felt from recycled bottle containers and 95% cork from recycled wine corks.
In both cases, they are recycled back into the production process, thus enhancing the value of this post-industrial waste once again.
This collaboration with OiKO, a consulting firm that offers environmental assessment and materials development services, is part of the new and innovative approaches that we promote at Lamp, based on #WorktitudeForInnovation. It's a collaboration that helps us to incorporate the knowledge of experts from different fields, enabling systematic innovation that allows us to both contribute to and improve our lighting solutions, as well as collaborating in the building of a more sustainable industry that minimises the impact on the environment.