How should Lighting Africa target its Eco Design Notes?

We began producing the Lighting Africa (now Lighting Global) Technical Notes and Eco Design Notes in 2010 as a resource for stakeholders in the off-grid lighting market. The topics range from measuring light in a laboratory to the toxicity of batteries, and have been driven by feedback from the market.  

Today, you have an opportunity to help guide the next round of Eco Design Notes—a series of informative and targeted articles that focuses on improving product design from an ecological or health perspective—by completing a short online survey

The current Eco Design Notes are available here for reference:

If people have comments appropriate for further discussion here on Luminanet, have at it!  This forum would be a great additional piece of information beyond the survey...

When the survey is over I'll come back here to give a sense of what we found...

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Nice to see this focus for the next round of Notes.....  

Here are a few quick things that come to mind (I'll add them to the survey as well):

  • Design/construction  to maximize product lifespan
  • Design/construction to maximize product recyclability (beyond batteries)
  • Consideration (and labeling?) of embodied energy / energy payback
  • Eco-friendly packaging
  • Child safety (swallowable parts and such....)
  • Pros/cons of local assembly (not sure if this qualifies as "Eco....")
  • Embedded data-communications abilities (e.g., to help verify carbon credits)

excellent points!

Thank you, Peter. This is very useful.

It would be great to make available the following tools:
(I'm working on this, though, it will be faster with collaboration)

- suggested recycled plastic raw materials suppliers that producers can buy from
  (maybe this - ,

- low-cost devices and instructions that anyone who wants to test solar lanterns performance can use,
  and then report back feedback (this will increase the sampling size)

- feedback from the villagers (

- interview low-end product makers and help them become better

Could the good work you've done on embodied energy be turned into a spreadsheet methodology offered to help manufacturers self-assess this issue?  It could be accompanied by an Eco Design Note explaining how to use the tool, and providing some benchmarks (good, bad, ugly) that uses can compare to.

Good idea...we can look in to that (maybe making things simpler in some places too) as a tool.  It is a simple enough model that we could do something in google docs maybe so it is a living spreadsheet.  

Great that the report is out now!



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