It’s about time: carbon emissions from buildings must be drastically reduced in the coming years. Authorities are now working intensively on laws and regulations for the implementation of energy-saving measures by building owners. Given the major impact of lighting on energy consumption, upgrading to modern lighting guarantees quick results. However, the effect of light on people is also increasingly becoming an important topic on agendas across the board.

“We have become more aware of the effects of light,” said Willem Dammers, Managing Director of TRILUX Benelux, a family business originally from Germany with around 100 years of experience in the manufacture of professional lighting. “We spend so much time in buildings that it is increasingly plausible to take a close look at lighting – to create working conditions in which staff can perform at their best. Add to this the requirements of the authorities in terms of energy performance, and light has become an important issue on the agenda of building owners. However, there is not always the option to invest in a lighting system.”

Using instead of owning

Dammers sees this as an important new development: using light instead of investing in a lighting system. This “pay for use” approach ties in directly with developments surrounding circularity. “We are currently increasingly offering light as a service: there are no more investments in light – instead, the system works through invoicing based on use. This means that the entire responsibility in terms of service life and quality lies with us as the manufacturer for an agreed period of time. That’s a big advantage from the customer’s point of view, especially since technology is evolving extremely quickly. The risks associated with this development thus remain with the producer.”

Long-term cooperation

In service concepts of this nature, it is important that manufacturers and users enter into a longer-term cooperation. Dammers is convinced that this trend is a good fit for TRILUX: “We are a family business and always have a long-term relationship with our customers. We also have our own production facility in Germany. This ensures flexibility and the ability to think long-term. It is our mission to make light accessible to everyone. We want to provide everyone with healthy and sustainable light.”

The Green House

A fine example of Dammers’ vision is currently being put into practice in Utrecht. The Green House is a circular restaurant concept that takes all the above aspects into account. As part of this circular restaurant concept, TRILUX is responsible for the lighting function as one of the “pay for use” partners. “The developers of the concept asked us to contemplate a circular lighting solution for the amazing restaurant pavilion with them. It wasn’t just about providing light, but also about being responsible for the light for over 15 years. After 15 years, the pavilion will disappear again – and we will have to find a new use for our lighting. We like the challenge in terms of flexibility, it’s a good fit for our company,” affirmed Dammers

Circularity in practice

Circularity sounds a bit like a buzzword, but within this concept it becomes something concrete. “There is a lot of talk about sustainability and circular economy, but rarely is anything actually done,” stated Willem Dammers. “We use products that can be recycled to the maximum, and we will maintain the products we use during the partnership and upgrade them if necessary. This is new to us as well, but the partnership provides an opportunity for all pay-for-use partners to effectively put the concept into practice.”

Incentives for producers and users

“We’re also constantly adding new functionality to the light,” Dammers continued. “Since we are committing to be a pay-for-use partner as part of the project, we are also responsible for ensuring that the system functions ideally during the term of the partnership – making it even more energy efficient, for instance, or enabling new business models featuring the end user by adding functionality.” We want to develop something pioneering here that we can pass on to the next generations!”

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The Green House - circular lighting in practice