P08427: LED Lighting Technologies for a Sustainable Entrepreneurial Venture

Design for the Environment and Sustainability

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Initial Life Cycle Analysis

Initial Life Cycle Analysis Power Point Slides

Final Life Cycle Analysis

To determine the environmental and health related effects and benefits of the proposed lighting solution, a lifecycle assessment using Simapro Life Cycle Assessment Tool was conducted. Simapro was used to compare the proposed LED prototype with the kerosene lamps currently used. With this tool impacts on ecology, resource depletion and human health associated with the individual components of each system are compiled. These factors are compared using the metric of Eco-points. A score of one hundred Eco-points is the equivalent of the environmental impacts attributed an average UK citizen per year. Eco-points are generally used to compare products and material options as well as track improvements in a system.

Kerosene Lamp v. Proposed Lighting System

Kerosene Lamp v. Proposed Lighting System

The above figure shows a graph comparing the compiled Eco-point scores of a typical kerosene lamp and the proposed LED lighting system. The functional unit for this lifecycle assessment was the usage of one lighting system for two years. One lighting system is here defined as one light module and one-twentieth of a power module. Included in the LED light lifecycle are the recycling and disposal phase and a percentage of the charging station required for its effective use. Not included in the kerosene lantern lifecycle are the transportation of the glass lantern unit and the potential for volatile organic compound emissions of varying types created from the burning of kerosene. As quite clearly illustrated in the above graph the proposed lighting system has a greatly diminished environmental impact when compared to the kerosene lamps currently used (~0.5 Eco-points versus ~21.5). This is primarily attributed to the production and burning of kerosene.

Economic Analysis

In order to determine the economic benefit to the proposed LED lighting system over the currently used kerosene lamps a basic economic assessment was preformed. The estimated first generation LED prototype retail cost is under $20 per unit. It is estimated that approximately 20% of this cost can be used to support local fabrication and retail activities. Although the initial cost is higher than a kerosene lantern which typically is $4, the economic benefit of the LED system is in the lower on-going operating cost. SOIL estimates that it costs approximately $0.13 per hour for the use of a kerosene lamp. The proposed LED system is estimated to cost less than $0.03 per hour using a business model where a microenterprise collects fees for charging units. In addition the LED units will provide far superior lighting. For the case where a family replaces a kerosene lamp with a LED unit for three hours a night, the simple payback will be almost immediate, less than two months. The annual energy savings for a family could be nearly $100, a substantial economic benefit to the local economy that would no longer rely on imported fuel. The table below shows the comparative costs for the use of the kerosene and LED lighting systems.
Operational Cost Comparison
Kerosene LED
Base Cost $4.00 $20.00
Operational Cost $0.13/hr $0.03/hr
2 month cost @ 3hrs/night $27.40 $25.40
1 year cost @ 3hrs/night $146.35 $52.85

The proposed central charging system prototype is expected to retail at $100, assuming the use of a locally available bicycle or obtaining bicycles through the numerous recycling programs in the U.S. A microenterprise could be setup to recharge units at $0.20 per charge. The charging unit should be able to charge over 30 units per eight hour work day, resulting in a simple payback of less than a month and an annual income generation potential of over $1,500, well above the regional average of less than $2 per day. The microenterprise central charging system would also create a local expert who could service and retail units. This enterprise would have a financial incentive in ensuring the sustainability of the lighting units.

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