Recycling of LED luminaires: Will be a big problem in the coming next decade
Abstract: According to statistics of foreign media, over 90% of fluorescent tube materials in the UK have been recycled. The design of LED lamps will make it even harder to reach 50%.
After nearly a decade of mainstream use, LED lamps still account for only a small fraction of European waste, accounting for less than 2%, so LED lamps seem to have long service life requirements. However, recycling may be another matter.
The data of 'less than 2%' comes from Eucolight. Eucolight is a group of organizations in Europe that oversee the collection and recycling of lighting and lighting products. It claims to handle 79% of luminaires in 18 countries.
As a new generation of light sources, LED has many advantages: high luminous efficiency, low power consumption, long life, easy control, maintenance-free, safety, and environmental protection. The above data also indirectly shows that LED products are generally maintained in good condition.
This is a good side. However, we must also pay attention to the issue of future recycling of LED lamps. Since the LED began to enter the mainstream, the good part of the decade has passed.
Nigel Harvey, CEO of Recolight, a British lighting recycler and member of Eucolight, points out that LED will account for about 30-40% of waste in the next 10 years. After this happens, the LED industry will pay more attention to recycling. Instead of the simpler design aspects of the past.
According to statistics from foreign media, over 90% of fluorescent tube materials in the UK have been recycled. The design of LED lamps will make it even harder to reach 50%.
Nigel Harvey stated that “one of the benefits of LED technology is its expansive growth in the range of materials used, the design used, the shape, the size, and others.” “LEDs allow more innovations in the way products are made. But In terms of recycling, product heterogeneity comes at a cost price, more materials, and they stick together, usually using adhesives and foams, and it is very difficult to separate them using mechanical processes. : Plastics, glass, ceramics, aluminum, copper, etc., as well as PCBs."
The recycling of LED luminaires has attracted attention at the Eucolight conference. “To this end, delegates learned about the future technology and choices of LED and LED recycling technology,” reports Eucolight.