DOE Program to Develop Eco-friendly LED Products, Recycling Procedures

April 15, 2009
Will create best practices for lamp and luminaire design

The National Center for Manufacturing Sciences (NCMS) in conjunction with a Department of Energy grant for product life cycle design for solid-state lighting, has joined with ilumisys, Inc., a developer and producer of next-generation solid-state lighting technology to develop eco-friendly LED products.

The purpose of the DOE grant of more than $590,000 to the National Center for Manufacturing Sciences is to develop a sustainable design and manufacturing strategy that addresses product use, recycling and disposal scenarios for LED-based lighting.

"NCMS has been successfully commercializing and standardizing innovative technology for decades," said Rick Jarman, president and CEO of NCMS. "This partnership with ilumisys will strengthen the growing solid-state lighting industry both in Michigan and nationwide."

In conjunction with ilumisys, NCMS plans to build collaborations for applied research and development activities involving the implementation of sustainable design practices into LED lighting products. Support activities include program technical and management services, including leveraging other programs within the DOE to complement existing efforts.

"Many companies are beginning to design and manufacture solid-state lighting, but there is no acknowledged set of best practices for lamp and luminaire design," said Dave Simon, president of ilumisys. "This partnership, which addresses not just the complete end-use product but also the recycling and disposal issues, is a huge step for LED lighting."

"We are going to take a very systems-level approach to help guide product decisions such as material selection, fastening methods, and manufacturing methods to help ensure that finished products using LED technology have a truly beneficial effect on carbon footprint and other environmental issues," Simon added.

In addition to providing an energy efficient alternative, the ilumisys products are mercury-free. The 500 million to 600 million fluorescent tubes discarded annually in the U.S. introduce an estimated two to four tons of mercury to the environment, despite industry and government efforts to limit mercury content and encourage recycling.

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