AT LED Luks we are dedicated to our Sustainability Commitments and core principles by staying at the forefront of new technologies and innovative methods to enhance our products' sustainability. With this objective in mind, we have initiated a project focused on creating a luminaire using environmentally friendly materials.
Replacing aluminium with a more sustainable and easily recyclable material
Most luminaires on the market today are made of aluminium profiles and metal housings, which are significantly more burdensome for the environment during the production phase and after the luminaire’s lifetime. With our pilot project, we wanted to find a new, more sustainable and easily recyclable material which is equally or more aesthetically attractive, and can be a substitute for aluminium from the production point of view.
Customer focus is on the environment
Customer preferences are changing and there is a growing awareness of a positive attitude towards the environment. In addition to the aesthetically pleasing lamp, the customer will get a durable and innovative product that will increase the quality of individual’s life, help preserve the environment, and save money in the long run. This raises the user experience to a higher level, sets new guidelines for the use of materials that have not been present in the lighting industry so far, and, last but not least, follows European Union environmental directives.
Collaboration with industrial designer Bojan Ceglar
For this purpose, we decided to collaborate with an industrial designer - Bojan Ceglar. We believe cooperation is extremely important because by jointly searching for the best answers to lighting problems, we open the door to new, architecturally ambitious projects. In the creative design of the product Mr. Ceglar provided professional assistance in analysing the suitability of materials, since it is very important to know the technical characteristics and responsive properties of individual materials when designing lights. In fact, the main challenge of this project was to find the right material which had the best characteristics to handle the changing temperatures and durability.
The result? LED Luminaire made of hemp-based plastics
The result of this months-long process was a LED Luminaire made of hemp-based plastics. It was modelled on the basis of ILO pendant luminaire, so it has all the modularity possibilities as ILO and also its optics options.
So – why hemp? Hemp is known to absorb CO2 from the air, which allows it to grow extremely fast, requires less fertilisers and pesticides, and needs less water. It is therefore a more sustainable option from the sourcing perspective and is also recyclable at the end of the luminaire’s lifecycle. There were other materials tested as well, but among all the alternatives we decided to use cellulose-based plastics as it met all the desired requirements.
“The basic version of the material is aesthetically very pleasing, so I came up with the idea of leaving it as it is and not dyeing it. A sensible step to avoid a process in production (the painting, which is still controversial as environmentally friendly) and to further shorten the process of lamp production”, explained designer Bojan Ceglar.
The newly created prototype was tested comparatively with ILO and results showed that the prototype is about 20% lighter than the ILO, its lighting function remained unchanged and additionally because of the well-thought-out solution of attaching the support covers to the lamp, we were able to avoid the use of fastening screws and brackets and thus further simplify the installation of the lamp itself.
This pilot project showed us that a different way is possible, yet further research is essential to refine the new materials and products for large-scale manufacturing. A greater sustainability in all areas of the lighting industry – from sourcing materials, production, logistics, packaging etc. is absolutely necessary. At LED Luks we are committed to playing our role by persistently improving both our products and operational processes to align with the principles of a circular economy.
The pilot project was part of the DIVA project, which was co-financed by European Regional Development Fund.