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Lamps and the Environment
Atmospheric pollution
Every kWh of electrical energy saved prevents the release of 0.7kg of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. In addition, there are reduced emissions of gases such as sulphur and nitrogen oxides which contribute to ‘acid rain’. The saving of 7 TWh of electrical energy per year corresponds to a reduction in mercury emissions from power stations, as a result of burning less fossil fuel, of approximately 200kg per year. This is over 3 times the amount of mercury contained in the energy efficient light sources used.
Sky-glow pollution
Skyward light wastes energy and affects astronomical observations and appreciation of the night sky. LIA leads the call forluminaires and lighting installations that make good use of the output of lamps, and put light where it is required. For roadway lighting, less obtrusive light can be achieved by using high pressure sodium lamps in place of low pressure sodium lamps. This is due to the better optical control possible from the more compact arc tube.
Material use efficiency
Over the years, lamp manufacturers have been able to progressively reduce the amount of materials used and also increase the service lives of lamps. This reduces the requirement for the non-renewable materials used in lamp construction. In the case of tungsten, the introduction of long-life CFLs has reduced the requirement for tungsten filaments for short-life GLS lamps.
LIA lamp manufacturers design product packaging which minimises the use of materials consistent with protection of the product and safe handling. Recycled packaging materials are used in packaging design whenever possible. This is an important part of CE Marking and the Ecolabel scheme.
Material sensitive to the environment
The element of principal public concern is mercury, an essential constituent of most discharge lamps. Lamp manufacturers have progressively reduced the quantity of mercury in fluorescent lamps, and a 90% reduction in quantity has been achieved over the last 20 years. Cadmium was eliminated from fluorescent lamps in the early 1980s.
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