Thinking beyond simple low-energy lighting solutions

Cradle To Cradle Genuinely Sustainable Lighting Blog Nulty

We really do think lighting designers and suppliers need to think beyond simple low-energy lighting solutions and embrace the need to provide environmentally low-impact lighting schemes, including embodied energy, environmental impact of components and recycling.

Currently, there are no formal standards for this holistic way of designing, which is why most designers tend to focus on the energy consumed while the luminaire is in use, rather than the overall environmental impact of the scheme (which would include embodied energy and impact of the manufacturing process).

A propriety system devised in the USA by McDonough Braungart Design Chemistry (MBDC) consultants is their ‘Cradle to Cradle’ certification. This multi-attribute eco-label assesses a product’s safety to humans and the environment, together with its design for future life cycles.

It’s a shame that so far only two lighting manufacturers have been accredited: Light Quotient and Lite-Control we applaud you!

The key here is that while it is early days for the lighting industry, we are beginning to understand the diligence and responsibility with which we must design and specify. We must look further than the narrow-minded ‘Installed Watts’ view that the likes of Part L, Bream and LEED force upon us, and look at the wider, genuinely sustainable view.