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2012 Edition, January 1, 2012

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Design Guide for Sustainable Lighting: An Introduction to the Environmental Impacts of Lighting

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Product Details:

  • Revision: 2012 Edition, January 1, 2012
  • Published Date: January 2012
  • Status: Active, Most Current
  • Document Language: English
  • Published By: Illuminating Engineering Society (IES)
  • Page Count: 58
  • ANSI Approved: No
  • DoD Adopted: No

Description / Abstract:



Sustainability is an essential environmental, economic, and social issue representing the next natural progression into our evolving lighting standards and practice.

Applying sustainability to lighting design requires us to re-evaluate many of our systems choices in terms of their potential impact on the environment. Lighting systems impact the environment in a variety of ways. For example, lighting accounts for 26% of commercial building electricity demand . The percentage of source fuels varies significantly from state to state, however; overall in the US, 45% of this electricity is generated through the combustion of coal and another 23% by natural gas3. Both methods emit CO2 and other greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, contributing to climate change and each are now scheduled to be regulated by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). CO2 emissions from coalfired electricity generation comprise nearly 80% of the total CO2 emissions produced by the generation of electricity in the United States2. The manufacturing process for lighting products consumes raw materials and energy. Products must be packaged, transported and installed. Ultimately lighting products must be disposed, recycled or re-used at the end of useful life. Additionally, it is known that portions of the lighting spectrum variously affect the growth, development, and well being of plants, animals, and humans. All of these considerations and more relate to sustainability

and can profoundly influence our lighting equipment and design choices and, ultimately, how those choices impact the environment.

For those elements that already have extensive documentation, this guide refers the reader to primary sources for detailed information, such as IES DG-18- 08 Light + Design: A Guide to Designing Quality Lighting for People and Buildings, the Advanced Lighting Guidelines Online (www.algonline.org) and the IES Lighting Handbook, 10th Edition, which provide excellent guidance on lighting quality, energy efficiency, and daylighting. Other topics such as environmental impacts of manufacturing practices are new considerations. For these topics, this Design Guide will introduce the concept, provide guidance where possible and provide a basis for further dialogue and advancement.