Insights / 08.11.19

Aluminium vs Plastic in the Construction Industry

By now we’re sure you’re aware of the global push to reduce plastic usage. You may already be doing small (or big) things outside the office to reconsider and change the products you use, but perhaps this is yet to translate across to the products you specify or purchase at work?

Pricing pressures are enticing manufacturers and purchasers to increasingly choose plastic for downlights and other lighting products. However, the more plastic is used, the less aluminium and glass is used.

Plastic and its pitfalls

“The first global analysis in 2017 of all plastics ever made—and their fate. Of the 8.3 billion metric tons that have been produced, 6.3 billion metric tons has become plastic waste. Of that, only 9% has been recycled. The vast majority—79%—is accumulating in landfills or sloughing off in the natural environment as litter. Meaning; at some point, much of it ends up in the oceans”

Source: National Geographic

Why choose aluminium?

The recycling and reproduction costs of aluminium are surprisingly effective, making it an ideal base product for many global industries.

  • Aluminium has unique recycling qualities: the quality of aluminium is not impaired by recycling -it can be repeatedly recycled.
  • Aluminium recycling saves energy: remelting used aluminium saves up to 95% of the energy needed to produce the primary product.
  • Aluminium recycling is economical: it uses less energy and recycling is self-supported because of the high value of used aluminium.

Source: European Aluminium Association.

How is Lumen8 playing a part?

This year at Lumen8 we are making a conscientious effort to play our part and reduce our use of plastic. This applies to both our products and the packaging they are contained within.

If you are interested in fittings that reduce plastic use, these 3 fittings are excellent examples:

  • Zuli is a high-quality LED profile, ideal for office spaces. This luminaire features an aluminium louvre to reduce glare and distribute light.
  • Flat8 is an aluminium extrusion that can be utilised in residential or commercial joinery. The best thing about this profile is, it doesn’t require a plastic diffuser in order to conceal the LED strip from view due to its design.
  • The Solis and Solis R6R downlights have been designed with a glass diffuser, aluminium reflector and aluminium body as opposed to plastic.