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Environmental impacts of lighting technologies: Life cycle assessment and sensitivity analysis


Welz, Tobias; Hischier, Roland; Hilty, Lorenz (2011). Environmental impacts of lighting technologies: Life cycle assessment and sensitivity analysis. Environmental Impact Assessment Review, 31(3):334 - 343.

Abstract

With two regulations, 244/2009 and 245/2009, the European Commission recently put into practice the EuP Directive in the area of lighting devices, aiming to improve energy efficiency in the domestic lighting sector. This article presents a comprehensive life cycle assessment comparison of four different lighting technologies: the tungsten lamp, the halogen lamp, the conventional fluorescent lamp and the compact fluorescent lamp. Taking advantage of the most up-to-date life cycle inventory database available (ecoinvent data version 2.01), all life cycle phases were assessed and the sensitivity of the results for varying assumptions analysed: different qualities of compact fluorescent lamps (production phase), different electricity mixes (use phase), and endof- life scenarios for WEEE recycling versus municipal solid waste incineration (disposal phase). A functional unit of “one hour of lighting” was defined and the environmental burdens for the whole life cycle for all four lamp types were calculated, showing a clearly lower impact for the two gas-discharge lamps, i.e. the fluorescent and the compact fluorescent lamp. Differences in the product quality of the compact fluorescent lamps reveal to have only a very small effect on the overall environmental performance of this lamp type; a decline of the actual life time of this lamp type doesn't result in a change of the rank order of the results of the here examined four lamp types. It was also shown that the environmental break-even point of the gasdischarge lamps is reached long before the end of their expected life-span. All in all, it can be concluded that a change from today's tungsten lamp technology to a low-energy-consuming technology such as the compact fluorescent lamp results in a substantial environmental benefit.

With two regulations, 244/2009 and 245/2009, the European Commission recently put into practice the EuP Directive in the area of lighting devices, aiming to improve energy efficiency in the domestic lighting sector. This article presents a comprehensive life cycle assessment comparison of four different lighting technologies: the tungsten lamp, the halogen lamp, the conventional fluorescent lamp and the compact fluorescent lamp. Taking advantage of the most up-to-date life cycle inventory database available (ecoinvent data version 2.01), all life cycle phases were assessed and the sensitivity of the results for varying assumptions analysed: different qualities of compact fluorescent lamps (production phase), different electricity mixes (use phase), and endof- life scenarios for WEEE recycling versus municipal solid waste incineration (disposal phase). A functional unit of “one hour of lighting” was defined and the environmental burdens for the whole life cycle for all four lamp types were calculated, showing a clearly lower impact for the two gas-discharge lamps, i.e. the fluorescent and the compact fluorescent lamp. Differences in the product quality of the compact fluorescent lamps reveal to have only a very small effect on the overall environmental performance of this lamp type; a decline of the actual life time of this lamp type doesn't result in a change of the rank order of the results of the here examined four lamp types. It was also shown that the environmental break-even point of the gasdischarge lamps is reached long before the end of their expected life-span. All in all, it can be concluded that a change from today's tungsten lamp technology to a low-energy-consuming technology such as the compact fluorescent lamp results in a substantial environmental benefit.

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36 citations in Scopus®
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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:03 Faculty of Economics > Department of Informatics
Dewey Decimal Classification:000 Computer science, knowledge & systems
Language:English
Date:2011
Deposited On:09 Feb 2012 14:32
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 15:25
Publisher:Elsevier
ISSN:0195-9255 (P) 1873-6432 (E)
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.eiar.2010.08.004
Related URLs:http://publicationslist.org/lorenz.hilty
Other Identification Number:merlin-id:6339
Permanent URL: https://doi.org/10.5167/uzh-55881

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