January 23, 2023

Sustainability: Upcycling and Remanufacturing

What are the benefits of remanufacturing?

Here at DRK Lighting, we understand the importance of lighting solutions that are not just energy-efficient but low-waste and sustainable. This is why we are so keen to promote upcycling, remanufacturing and conversions. Our ambition is to not only deliver significant energy savings but also to extend the lifetime of products, reducing waste and further minimising our and the lighting industries’ ecological footprint. 

While these three terms are often used interchangeably, we would like to explain the distinctions. Upcycling involves crafting a unique product of higher value than the original. Remanufacturing requires producing a final product that is at least equivalent to, if not better than, the original. This product consists of reused, repaired and brand-new parts and can be replicated on a larger scale. The British Standards Institution caveat also ensures ’a warranty at least equal to that of a newly manufactured equivalent’. Finally, conversions consist of upgrading the light source in a pre-existing product to LED; new technologies do not mean new products are a prerequisite.

One way we encourage this circular economy is through an energy-saving and cost-effective solution to CAT-A and CAT-B fittings. If DRK Lighting provides both A and B, we will take away CAT-A and offer a rebate. We will then transfer that CAT-A product to another CAT-A site. Our aim is to achieve both energy efficiency and resource efficiency through sustainable practices. We minimise the use of new raw materials in our fittings. This helps us to increase the lifecycle of products, so rather than discarding them, we will find ways of reusing them. We prioritise reuse and refurbishment, for example, converting incandescent fittings to LED, and when all else fails – we recycle. Recycling is the least energy-efficient option and sits at the bottom of the waste hierarchy.


DRK Lighting’s Upcycling and Remanufacturing Process

Our services are case-specific, but each must pass through the processes of collection, cleaning, inspection, disassembly, component reprocessing, and reassembly. All followed by rigorous testing. The DRK team can undertake anything from specially made glass to a new coat of paint in any RAL colour; we can modernise older lighting or restore them to their vintage glory. We take on conversions of any fittings from standard to emergency and Dali Empro, replace broken glass or polycarbonate diffusers or other components and clean and paint any luminaires. We convert fluorescent to retrofit LEDs and have solutions for low voltage and mains lighting to be upgraded to Dali, Dali Addressable Emergency or any other dimming control method.


Royal Woolwich Arsenal Historic Building light fitting’s being upcycled by the DRK team

The benefits of adopting more sustainable lighting practices span environmental, social and economic factors. Environmentally, it reduces the demand for material extraction and processing and improves the collection rate of used lighting equipment. It reduces the transportation of products and increases the transparency of remanufacturing, ensuring it adheres to environmental legislation. Socially, it improves the trust between end-users and the lighting industry. In turn, end-users and our clients that choose to support this circular economy. Lastly, the economic benefits include a reduced cost, reimbursement from CAT-A to CAT-B fittings and the economic advantages of greater insulation from international supply tariffs and disruptions.


Royal Woolwich Arsenal Historic Building upcycled light fitting’s installed

Upcycling, remanufacturing and conversions are instrumental in paving the way for the lighting industry to reduce its carbon footprint and carve out our path for the future. It is also advantageous for our clients, the end-users and the planet. Therefore at DRK Lighting, it is something we are eager to promote.

If your business would like a more sustainable approach to your light fittings, or you would like to find out more, please don’t hesitate to get in touch at info@drklighting.co.uk or give us a call on 0207 018 2202 between 7 am-6 pm.