Eco Friendly Lighting in BVI Architectural Design
- October 10th, 2013
- in PROPERTY
Getting the Green Light – Eco-friendly lighting in interior design
Photography by Leucos Italy, selected by DGLifestyles.com
Who would have thought that ‘lighting’could become even more eco-friendly?
In the early part of 2012, strides were made in the design world to promote LED fixtures as a healthier energy solution; however, the components used to make the framework of these very same LED fixtures were still being made from materials that were not viewed as eco-friendly. This would evidently be a contradiction for a product that is deemed as ‘green’.
My curiosity regarding this paradox, gave birth to extensive research, reviewing the materials that were used by manufactures and more importantly, examining which manufactures were making steps toward more eco-friendly lighting fixtures; this was not only in terms of simply seeking out those creating an LED version of an existing fixture, but organisations who focused their efforts into the right materials used to create their lighting fittings.
My search ended with European lighting-manufactures, who seemed to have taken somewhat of a quantum leap in the entire lighting industry. On initial appearances, it seemed like a rebirth in design and creativity, not only with the fixture itself, but also the application and practicality of usage of lighting. The results of this research had such an impact, that we re-configured 80% of our entire product-line to promote more European lighting design.
European lighting-manufactures are switching to bio-plastics and bio-resins, which I thought was impossible as plastic and resin suggest a petroleum-based bi-product, therefore not eco-friendly. However, the selection of the correct raw material and process conditions for the crosslinking reaction has developed a range of bio-plastics, from hard form materials to flexible thin sheet materials.
The non-toxic and biodegradable nature of this new-breed of lighting fixtures might suggest that it will become one of those high-priced expensive selections. The reality is quite the opposite, as the raw material that is required is readily available at competitive prices. This has led to the cost of this new-breed of lighting fixtures to be on par with the cost of the standard fixtures that are made of metal.
Nevertheless as human beings, we are creatures of habit, despite the benefits new technology can grant the environment; our culture has grown to equate solid metal with quality. To this end, manufacturers have cleverly morphed bio-plastics to take the distinct shape and look of solid metal. Such high-end producers like Louis Poulsen can now add the term ‘impact-resistant’ to the unique features of their solid glass looking ‘Kipp’ light fixture, simply because of the durability and luxurious look derived from bio-plastics.
It is an evolutionary breakthrough in the area of modern and contemporary lighting design. For the Caribbean, bio-plastic fixtures are ideal as we now have a lighting solution that is not susceptible to the harsh conditions of the salt-air and its corrosive nature.
At the date that this article was written, current reports have shown that bio-plastics have not only made a change in the lighting industry, but major changes have been made in alternative bio-plastic materials being used in both the construction and packing industries.