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Re-usable and re-configurable parts for sustainable LED-based lighting systems

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - Repro-light (Re-usable and re-configurable parts for sustainable LED-based lighting systems)

Reporting period: 2019-04-01 to 2020-09-30

"The European research project ""Repro-light"" (www.repro-light.eu) which was completed at the end of September 2020 had the aim of supporting the European lighting industry on its way to a more sustainable and competitive future. In the project, innovative technologies and materials were used to develop intelligent modular luminaires with matching smart production processes. The main components of these luminaires are interchangeable and can be configured for the respective application (e.g. different LED modules and optics), and their software can be updated accordingly. This way the LED luminaire will change from a disposable object, into a customisable and sustainable product, with a high function value.

This modular ‘Luminaire of the Future’ provides the right light for our working activities, at the right place and at the right time of the day, adopted to our individual needs (personalised). It improves mood and productivity, and can positively influence our body’s circadian rhythm, which has a big impact on our health.

It could be shown that there is a demand for improved and personalized lighting in society, and detailed scientific studies with test persons could confirm the positive impacts of such lighting on humans. The life cycle studies showed that there is a big potential to decrease the environmental burden of lighting by a smart and sustainable development and production process, and by a clever material management (reusing of components, recycling, waste)."
An extensive European wide user survey (1100 workers) was done to fully understand the market demands for better lighting. The results confirm the requirement for an easy to use, customizable lighting system, which results in the development of a so-called Personal Table Light (PTL). The PTL achieves exceptional lighting for vision and health at the workplace and is fully personalised by the user via a desktop application.

Visual performance is perfectly supported as both vertical and horizontal workspace surfaces are lit separately, and illuminance levels are controlled along with light colour temperatures, and light distributions. Furthermore, the PTL effectively supplements missing daylight and thus exerts non-visual effects on mood, alertness, performance and night-time sleep. Equipped with single-point LED controls and a highly innovative sensor technology that recognises the actual activity of the user, lighting scenes adjust discreetly and automatically according to the changing working tasks. Additionally, environmental quality is assessed continuously by ambient temperature, humidity, air pressure, volatile organic compounds, and sound level sensors.
The technological acceptance and usability of the developed workplace lighting solution (PTL) has been proven in a field study, and the expected non-visual effects of the PTL have been investigated in laboratory studies with test persons. E.g. to reach the necessary daily light dose special “light showers” have been applicated to the workers and the acute effects have been measured.

A new pilot production for individualized luminaires has been developed, integrating a configurator which allows the customization of the luminaires (400.000 on-line variations). An added manufacturing method by 3D-printing has been integrated with a 3D-modelling procedure for the morphing of polygonal geometries of bio-inspired shapes.

To minimize the ecological footprint of LED lights from the extraction of raw materials to the production, the use and finally the disposal, a comprehensive life cycle assessment was conducted in the project. Aiming a circular economy, increased maintenance, reuse and reprocessing must be taken into account right from the product design stage, while avoiding waste and environmental pollution.
In summary, it can be said that for the raw material balance (abiotic resource depletion), the metals used for electronics and LED-boards and their recycling rates are mainly decisive (rare earths, as well as gold, silver, copper, nickel, lead and aluminum and their by-metals). A resource shortage is threatening in the case of gold and silver and the rare earths, and regarding rare earths a monopoly, too. As far as the toxicity of the materials used is concerned, the mining of rare earths (toxic sludges) and uncontrolled contamination with copper, iron, lead, nickel and silver are crucial.

For all other environmental burdens such as CO2 pollution (global warming), primary energy consumption, soil acidification and eutrophication, the operation of the luminaires itself (energy consumption) is responsible for about 98%.

The Personal Table Light (PTL) has been awarded with a Best Product Award 2020 at the LpS Digital 2020 (see https://www.led-professional.com/business/lps-digital-awards-and-announcements). Patents have been filed for the optics (Lens light tile, Batwing) and for the PTL. Recommendations and Guides have been documented in numerous public deliverables (Stakeholder & Technology Acceptance Report, User insights briefing report, Environmental Assessment Report, Product and process eco-design guidelines, Final technology and market acceptance report, Standardization Information).
Repro-light confirms the demand for an easy to use, customizable lighting system, which was realized with a so-called Personal Table Light (PTL). The PTL achieves exceptional lighting for vision and health at the workplace and is fully personalisable. With patent pending, the PTL has the potential to transform workspace lighting worldwide.

The results regarding automation and customization in production will push lighting manufacturers to a more sustainable and individual fashion, including data handling and logistic measures.

The results of the life cycle analyses will deeply affect the future luminaire and production designs in lighting industry.
Repro-light Scenario/Story Telling Technic used in Mondragon's Research
Repro-light Project BuildingsBlocks
Repro-light Brochure part I
Repro-light Brochure part II
Info-Grafic Repro-light
Repro-light 2/3 AD, used in LED professional Review (LpR) Magazine
Repro-light Consortium
Repro-light Website Keyimage on www.repro-light.eu