Eco-efficiency into the Lighting Design: From an Environmental Quantitative Analysis of the Available Light Bulbs to Qualitative Guidelines for Designing Innovative and Sustainable Lighting System

By Cristina Allione, Paolo Tamborrini and Marta Elia.

Published by The Design Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

The paper deals with a research focused on illustrating advantages and disadvantages on the environment and human health which come from the adoption of the Commission Regulation (EC) N. 244/2009 on the ecodesign of non-directional household lamps. Specifically this directives is aimed at setting innovative ecodesign requirements in order to phase out less-efficient lamps such as discharge bulbs (incandescent bulbs, GLS, or tungsten halogen bulbs).
As a result several consequences of the directive implementation have been occurred in the lighting sector, such as the incandescent light bulbs replacement in the household lamp with more efficient light bulbs such as compact fluorescent lamps with integrated ballast (CFL-i).
In order to investigate all the regulation consequences, the research has been started from a comparison between two light bulbs: incandescent bulb (GLS) and compact fluorescent bulb (CFL-i). On this comparison, which has been based on a simplified LCA, it has been possible to highlight the critical aspects concerning the right use and the dismantling of the CFL-i lamps.
Weakness able to compromise the CFL-i environmental benefits along their life cycle, such as the potential mercury emissions at the end of life, specific requirements for their adoption into the existing lamps and maintenance instruction to ensure their quality over lifetime. Crucial aspects of the CFL-i bulbs that are generally not communicate to the consumers by the light bulb producers in an uniform way.
From this background analysis a new scenario in the lighting design field has been delineated on which based the project of a really eco-efficient lighting system. A new scenario that should be based not only on the simple replacement of the light bulbs, but on a re-thinking of the overall lighting system by using innovative technologies, such as the LED technology.

Keywords: Lighting Design, Guidelines for a Sustainable Lighting System, Simplified LCA of Light Bulbs

Design Principles and Practices: An International Journal, Volume 5, Issue 6, pp.509-526. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.359MB).

Cristina Allione

Research Fellow, DIPRADI - Architectural and Industrial Design Department, Politecnico di Torino, Turin, Italy

Architect and PhD in Technological Innovation for Architecture and Industrial Design. Since 2007 she has been a Research Fellow at DIPRADI (Architectural and Industrial Design Department) of Politecnico di Torino and lecturer of Environmental Quality of Industrial Product at Industrial Design Degree Course, 1^Faculty of Architecture, Politecnico di Torino. Over the years she has carried out teaching, research and professional activities in the field of ecodesign, with a particular focus on the several Ecotools (life cycle quantitative and qualitative assessment methodologies/tools/software, simplified evaluation systems, ecodesign strategies and guidelines, environmental declaration and certification system) useful for defining the environmental life cycle profile industrial products, building components, materials and semi-finished products.

Paolo Tamborrini

Researcher, DIPRADI - Architectural and Industrial Design Department, Politecnico di Torino, Turin, Italy

Architect and University Researcher in Industrial Design-Faculty of Architecture in Torino-Politecnico di Torino (since 16/12/2003). Professor of Industrial Design-Bachelor’s Course in Industrial Design-Faculty of Architecture in Torino-Politecnico di Torino (since a.a. 2003/2004). Professor of Industrial Design for the Visual Communication-Bachelor’s Course in Graphic and Virtual Design-Faculty of Architecture in Torino-Politecnico di Torino (since a.a. 2004/2005). Since December 2005 he is coordinator of the theme commission “Design per la persona” in the ADI Design Index. Responsible for national and international research and speaker at conferences and conventions on issues of sustainable design. Editor about ecodesign and sustainability for several architectural magazines (Domus, Il Giornale dell’Architettura, Il Sole 24 Ore and other). Author of Paolo Tamborrini, design sostenibile. oggetti, sistemi e comportamenti, Electa, Milano 2009.

Marta Elia

Bachelor Industrial Design, Industrial Design Degree Course, 1^ Faculty of Architecture, Politecnico di Torino, Turin, Italy

Graduate in Industrial Design-Faculty of Architecture in Torino–Politecnico di Torino. She has just concluded her Degree Thesis concerning incandescent light bulbs and fluorescent light bulbs: a qualitative and quantitative comparison in order to define new and alternative scenarios for a sustainable domestic lighting. Member of the technical department of a Turin lighting company specialized in LED technology (since 2007).

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