Life cycle analysis of an OSRAM compact fluorescent lamp

OSRAM DULUX Superstar Classic A


Product name  OSRAM DULUX Superstar Classic A*
Average Lifetime  10 000 h
Lumen  400
Watt  8
* Comparable product in today´s product range: DULUXSTAR STICK

Compact fluorescent lamps are low pressure gas discharge lamps in which the invisible UV radiation generated by the discharge process is converted into visible radiation, i.e. light, with the aid of phosphors. An electronic control gear is integrated into the base of the lamp and controls all aspects of lamp operation. Compact fluorescent lamps are among the most efficient household lamps.

Material Composition
Glass 17.79 g 40.78 %
Ferrous metal 0.5 g 1.15 %
Aluminum - -
Non-ferrous metal (exc. Al) 0.0133 g 0.03 %
Cement 2.84 g 6.51 %
Plastic 9.93 g 22.76 %
Electronic components 12.24 g 28.06 %
Resin compound - -
Mercury 0.0025 g 0.01 %
Other (incl. special chem.) 0.31 g 0.71 %
Total 43.63 g 100 %


Environmental impact of production

The following table depicts the environmental impact of the compact fluorescent lamp during production, including the Cumulated Energy Demand (CED) of this life cycle stage.

Compact fluorescent lamps are often the subject of public scrutiny as they contain minute amounts of toxic mercury. However, these lamp types are intended to be recycled after use, which prevents the mercury from polluting the environment. For this reason, the mercury content is not included in this life cycle analysis. The examined lamp contains 2.5 mg mercury, but this should be considered in relation to the mercury emissions of other lamp types during use.

Environmental Impacts
Cumulated Energy Demand (CED) MJ 14,688
Global Warming Potential (GWP) kg CO2 eq. 0,88
Acidification Potential (AP) kg SO2 eq. 0,0048
Eutrophication Potential (EP) kg PO4 eq. 0,00024
Photochemical Ozone Creation Potential (POCP) kg ethene eq. 0,00028
Human Toxicity Potential (HTP) kg DCB eq. 0,284
Abiotic Depletion Potential (ADP) kg Sb eq. 0,0052


Cumulated Energy Demand of the use phase
The Cumulated (primary) Energy Demand during the use phase is calculated from the wattage of the lamp, its averagelifetime and the energy mix.

Calculation of the CED
1 Electrical power consumption during life 8 WEl • 10 000 h = 80 000 Wh = 80 kWhEl
2 Energy mix
(includes average power plant efficiency)
1 kWhEl requires 3.29 kWhPrim
3 Cumulated Energy Demand 80 kWhEl • 3.29 = 263.2 kWhPrim = 947.5 MJ


CED and Global Warming Potential of the use and manufacturing phase

The graphs below outline the Cumulated Energy Demand and the Global Warming Potential of the use phase in comparison to the manufacturing phase. For the calculation of the CO2 emissions resulting from the use phase, an electricity mix of 0.55 kg CO2 per kWhEl was taken as a basis. Of course electricity production during use is also responsible for other environmental impact categories, but this depends very much on where the lamp is used. For this reason we have only depicted the CO2 impact, which may also vary depending on the location of use.

Equally depending on the electricity mix, a compact fluorescent lamp may also be responsible for mercury emissions during use. This is due to the comparatively high ratio of coal power plants in some electricity mixes, which emit mercury by burning lignite or hard coal to produce electricity. Nevertheless, in comparison to incandescent and halogen lamps, compact fluorescent lamps are associated with far less mercury emissions during use. This is due to their energy efficiency which is responsible for saving up to 80 percent of electricity and thus for reducing mercury emissions resulting from electricity production by coal power plants. In many regions of the world, the mercury thus 'saved' is more than contained in a compact fluorescent lamp.

Applicability of this life cycle analysis

In contrast to incandescent and halogen lamps, different types of compact fluorescent lamps may indeed have different impacts during production. In general, compact fluorescent lamps with a higher wattage require longer glass tubes for the discharge process and may contain more complex electronics. For example, a complex, high-wattage lamp may weigh twice as much as the analyzed lamp. However, the use phase continues to be the most influential life cycle stage with the greatest impact, so it is much more important to calculate the effect of this phase. For this purpose, it is merely necessary to recalculate the Cumulated Energy Demand based on the wattage of the lamps, according to the three steps illustrated in the table above.

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