What influence does lighting have on the environment and thus on global warming? What are the possibilities to reduce the impact?

Considering these highly relevant questions, the LEDVANCE experts analyzed lifecycle assessment (LCA) data for luminaires published in Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs) using the LCA rules defined by the program operator PEP Ecopassport. Special attention is given to the Global Warming Potential (GWP) – the indicator that measures how strongly a product contributes to global warming.
The result of the report:
  • The most important aspect is to maximize the efficiency of modern luminaires.
  • With highly efficient LED luminaires as starting point. The Use Phase of modern luminaires dominating the GWP impact. On average, 96% of the total GWP is generated during the Use Phase, caused by the emissions from electricity generation needed to operate the luminaires.
  • The biggest improvement potential in the dominating Use Phase is the intelligent control of the luminaires, in other words sensor-controlled lighting, based on presence detection and daylight sensing.
  • Another aspect is circular luminaire design which has a marginal effect on the GWP evaluated over the lifecycle, assuming that the replacement parts have the same performance as the original parts. With the global warming aspect in focus, the biggest benefit of circular design is the possibility to upgrade the luminaire with more efficient light sources and sensor-assisted light management functions.

The major transition from T5 and T8 fluorescent tubes to LED-based SubstiTUBEs due to the RoHS-banning will have a sizeable effect to limit global warming.
The curve on the Global Warming Potential (GWP) graph shows that at some point only sensor-assisted light management systems can increase efficiency.

Here you can download the report from July 2022 in EN.

If we have a look at the curve on the Global Warming Potential (GWP) graph for luminaires, you can see that at some point lumens per watt alone is not enough. However, an intelligent sensor-assisted light management system which can switch on and off or rather dim the light, increases efficiency by saving consumption if nobody is present, for example. It is therefore about time to reap the benefits from advantages and possibilities of good light and intelligent light management systems to realize the subsequent positive effects.


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