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Resources | LpR Article | Commentary | Business | Sustainability | Sep 21, 2017

Lighting Delivering Increased Value To Society - A Strategy For Growth

In recent years we have seen energy efficiency as the key driver for regulation as well as growth. Thanks to the arrival of LEDs the industry is already providing energy savings greater than any other sector. As the LED revolution rapidly continues, where next for the EU lighting industry? LightingEurope, the European industry association for the lighting industry has developed a strategy for growth which aims to fundamentally deliver value to society while aligning with the need to move towards a circular economy.

There is clearly more work to be done to complete the transition from older technologies to LEDs but this is well underway and the benefits of this first wave or “Ledification”, as it has been termed, are well understood. The next wave of technology is arriving already in the form of intelligent lighting systems which will create further efficiencies with additional benefits. This digital technology will require standard interfaces to adjacent industries in infrastructure, building management and IT. In order to deliver intelligent lighting systems we will need legislators to adopt a more simple approach that allows differentiation and is easy to enforce. An intelligent lighting system must deliver a quality lit environment; taking full account of the needs of the users.

This leads us on to the third wave of growth strategy for the lighting industry in the form of Human Centric Lighting. The increasing understanding of the “third receptor” in the human eye, discovered relatively recently, is leading to the development of lighting systems that support the human response to light and how it drives our circadian rhythm. The right light at the right time can promote health, alertness, cognitive ability, quality sleep and general well-being. The adoption of Human Centric Lighting in hospitals can increase recovery times and free up beds. In schools, studies have shown an improvement in pupils’ concentration and test results and in the work environment it has been demonstrated that staff feel more comfortable and motivated while productivity improves. More research is clearly needed but since we spend around 87% of our time inside buildings, much of it under artificial light it seems logical that we should pay attention to the well-being of people through the delivery of the right lighting.

Each of these three waves of technological improvement add value to society and the quality of life through energy efficiency, sustainability and health benefits while giving increased consideration to one of the key aims of the EU Commission- the Circular Economy. The lighting industry seeks to significantly reduce its environmental footprint through designing products which can be repaired, upgraded, re-used, re-manufactured and recycled at the end of their useful life. There is little doubt that this approach is better for the environment while increasing employment prospects in the EU.

Peter Hunt
He has been involved in the lighting industry from an early age and received an Honours Degree in Ergonomics at Loughborough University. He also ran a successful lighting company in the UK. Mr. Hunt joined the Lighting Association Council of Management in 1987 and became President in 1992 during which time the Association established its own dedicated test laboratory for the industry. In 2008 he took over the role of CEO of the Lighting Association and played a key role in merging the LA with the Lighting Industry Federation in 2012 to create one association for the UK industry in the form of the current Lighting Industry Association, which represents 250 lighting companies and 150 associate members. He is currently COO of the LIA and CEO of the WEEE Compliance Scheme Provider, Lumicom.

(c) Luger Research e.U. - 2017

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