Shanghai- Singapore, 9th February 2010
On my way to Singapore to work away the last bits and pieces of projects before the Chinese New Year shuts down this part of the world. Besides typing my blog (can we imagine life without laptop?), it is also a good time to catch up on inflight documentaries such as “eco-solutions” or other technology programs. Aren’t we supposed to be leading edge designers knowing what’s new and trendy… 🙂
One of the subjects discussed in these programs is the issue of recyclable materials. Many buildings at the upcoming World Expo for instance, are being built in a way that the building materials can be recycled and re-used afterwards when the exposition dismantles.
So what is the situation with lighting… or more specifically with light fittings? I must honestly say I am not really familiar with the latest on this subject. I remember years back that German manufacturer WILA had introduced a recyclable range of down lights that could be taken apart so that the components could be recycled. I am not sure it took off but I can imagine the costs would have been high. These kind of features generally come at a premium and to my knowledge it is not something that is being featured prominently in manufacturers marketing and promotions nor being a priority in our mainstream client decision making process at the moment! The attention seems to be solely focused on aspects like energy saving and reducing light pollution. With LED life expectancy being what it is recycling is probably a “far from my bed” issue. Light fitting also have a far longer shelf life than lamps in general.
What about lamps then? Again I must confess my little knowledge. We have the so called “green lamps” which besides their energy saving features have no or little harmful content for the environment. I know there are efforts being made in some countries to consciously collect lamps (specifically fluorescent tubes) for recycling, but that is as far as it goes.
Should we make recycling a more prominent issue in our lighting design strategies?