Artificial lighting represents 20% of the electrical energy consumed worldwide
Do we fully appreciate how necessary it is to protect our natural environment and conserve life on this planet for future generations? Doomsayers would have us believe the end is nigh, but this is the dawning of the age of awareness. The word sustainability has entered our lexicon and is now being taken seriously. The control of harmful emissions, the need to reduce energy consumption and waste, and the encouragement of the renewable process, is now understood and being actively promoted nationally and internationally.
Electric lighting has a major impact on sustainability. At Thorn we fully recognise our responsibility, and with the PEC programme we have introduced a wide-ranging philosophy that underpins our approach to lighting design and implementation.
The keys to sustainability in lighting are eco-design, efficient operation and planned recycling at the end of the product life. The eco-design of a luminaire is in itself an exciting journey through the product life cycle. Design, manufacture, installation, use and maintenance to the end of life dismantling and recycling process.
The eco-design credentials of each Thorn luminaire range are fully documented in an Environmental Product Profile demonstrating compliance with the European Directives for Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) and Restriction of Hazardous Substances (RoHS). Environmentally compatible production ensures minimum amounts of virgin materials and hazardous substances are used on the journey, and that manufacturing methods conform to ISO 14001.
In operation a luminaire consumes its greatest amount of energy. For every kWh of energy 0.42 kg of CO2 is emitted and added to the ‘greenhouse’ gases in the atmosphere, increasing global warming.
The design of luminaire optics and the selection of the lamp and ballast combination, have a direct impact on efficient energy consumption. Today, optics with their tight control ensures light is delivered where the designer intended, without waste and obtrusion. High efficiency road luminaires, sealed and with adjustable lamp and optic positions, enable the optimisation of lighting schemes using the lowest number of luminaires and columns.
Finally, luminaires should be designed to be dismantled easily and confined to the recycling process. This brings the sustainable approach to product design and manufacture full circle. With such practices of good management of resources, increased energy efficiency, the employment of new technologies and the drive for renewable energy generation, we can be confident that there will be a future.