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Carl Dalhammar

Carl Dalhammar

Senior lecturer

Carl Dalhammar

Optimal durability in least life cycle cost methods : the case of LED lamps


  • Jessika Luth Richter
  • Robert van Buskirk
  • Carl Dalhammar
  • Peter Bennich

Summary, in English

In the European Union (EU), mandatory durability ecodesign requirements have recently been set for some products, including lighting products; further development of durability standards is also expected in the future. Durability standards can bring environmental and consumer benefits, but the question remains about what optimal durability is. In this paper, the product lifetime aspect of durability is considered, and optimal lifetimes in relation to least life cycle cost (LCC) for the consumer are analysed. The paper focusses the analysis on a case of LED lamps available in an online market in December 2016 and models optimal lifetimes from an LCC perspective. The statistical error of the regression does not allow for calculation of the optima with precision, but the calculation indicates optimal lifetime is close to 25,000 hours. The influence of smaller discount rates and more intensive use of the product are also modelled, which indicate that durability is desirable in intense-use scenarios in particular. The usefulness of the method is discussed and the findings are compared to previous literature and studies examining durability and increased lifetimes for products, including those using an alternative approach of life cycle assessment (LCA). The initial results of this LCC method indicate that longer lifetimes than those currently required by legal standards in the EU could be appropriate for LED lamps. As such, the advantages and disadvantages of different policy instruments to stimulate increased durability are also discussed. The paper concludes with suggestions for potential future research and further policy development.


  • The International Institute for Industrial Environmental Economics

Publishing year







Energy Efficiency





Document type

Journal article




  • Environmental Management


  • Circular economy
  • Durability
  • Ecodesign directive
  • Ecodesign standards
  • Life cycle cost
  • Light-emitting diode (LED) lamps
  • Planned obsolescence
  • Product lifetime
  • Product policy
  • Resource efficiency




  • ISSN: 1570-646X