The project cycLED aims at optimising the flows of resources over all life-cycle phases of Light Emitting Diodes (LED) products. The energy saving potential for LEDs is significant, and the strategic importance of the LED technology is reflected in the current and upcoming market development. However, LED-based product systems contain many resources like indium, gallium or rare earth metals. Some of these substances are classified as critical raw materials at EU level. Therefore, if the current expansion of LED technologies is most welcomed from an economic and energy point of view, it requires optimising resource flows and addressing key societal issues.

To strengthen the emerging LED market in Europe, cycLED focuses on improvement of the material flows and policy measures to remove barriers for LED technology dissemination. Innovation is needed to achieve an efficient management of the different materials used in LED systems, so that the growth of the LED-related markets is decoupled from resource depletion. A material flow analysis will first be conducted to obtain an overview of the most relevant materials contained in LED products, their origin and the situation regarding recycling. Further research will focus on the different life-cycle phases (production and manufacturing, assembling, use and material recycling) to provide overall solutions to improve the resource flows.

These results will be combined to develop and implement solutions regarding product design for eco-innovation, adaptation of business models and overcoming of barriers to diffusion. Work packages dedicated to the development of indicators measuring the eco-innovation and to the dissemination of the results will accompany the research. The impacts of cycLED relate to resource savings, reduction of production costs, increase of competitiveness, creation of jobs and capacity building.

  • Funding: European Commission (FP7-ENV-2011-ECO-INNOVATION). Amount: 4,5 M€.
  • Duration: 42 months (beginning: 1 January 2012).
  • Partners: Coordinated by Fraunhofer IZM, University of Wales (EDC Institute), Nottingham Trent University (Research Group Product Design), Philips Lighting, Umicore NV, …
  • Web page: Forthcoming.