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EU FP7 Project: cycLED (Cycling Resources Embedded in Systems Containing Light Emitting Diodes)

Unit(s) of assessment: Art and Design: History, Practice and Theory

Research theme: Sustainable Futures

School: School of Architecture, Design and the Built Environment


The cycLED project is financially supported by the European commission's FP7 Eco-Innovation programme. The project consortium consists of thirteen teams from seven EU countries, with project funding €5,426,163.00 including grant €4,044,370.00 from the European Commission. As a key partner of cycLED project consortium, the Advanced Design and Manufacturing Engineering Centre of Nottingham leads the work package 'Production and manufacture of LEDs' and contributes to other work packages with the centre's extensive expertise in sustainable design, lifecycle assessment and eco-lighting.

The energy saving potential for light emitting diodes (LEDs) is significant, and the strategic importance of the LED technology is reflected in the current and upcoming market development. However, LED-based product systems contain many resources like indium, gallium or rare earth metals. Some of these substances are classified as critical raw materials. Therefore, as the projected expansion of LED technologies and markets continues, optimising resource flows and addressing societal issues is a key challenge to be addressed.


The consortium follows a four-step strategy:

  1. Material flow and network analysis: the consortium conducts a material flow of target metals considering the production of LEDs, the integration of the LEDs into LED products, use phase, and End-of-Life. The hot spots of resource losses will be systematically identified.
  2. Solutions for eco-innovation: eco-innovative technological solutions for reducing the resource losses at different life cycle stages (production, use, recycling) will be developed, as well as methods and tools that help increase the resource efficiency.
  3. Support for implementation of eco-innovation: innovative business models, a life-cycle based eco-innovation approach for producers, as well as regulatory and non-regulatory barriers to exploitation will be investigated.
  4. Monitoring of eco-innovation progress: a set of simple and easy to handle indicators will enable monitoring the environmental and economic hot spots.

Addressing the Challenge

The cycLED project aims to optimise the flows of resources over all life-cycle phases of LED products. This project will achieve this by; contributing to decoupling the growth of European LED markets from resource depletion, offering technical optimisations to maximise the resource efficiency of LED products and also developing tools and methods to access the recycling potential and increase the resource productivity in the production of LEDs.

Key research topics include:

  • Increased recycling of scarce key metals in LED production
  • Optimised reliability and life time of LED products
  • Reduced resource losses in production, use and recycling
  • Solutions for eco-innovation


Professor Daizhong Su is Professor of Design Engineering and Head of the Advanced Design and Manufacturing Engineering Centre. As a principal investigator or co-investigator, Professor Su successfully conducted/conducts a number of collaborative research projects supported by the European Commission, research councils, governmental departments, regional development agencies, industries, and other external funding bodies.

Professor Su has collaborated with a range of national and international organisations, including well recognised research institutions such as Fraunhofer and Wuppertal Institute; large industrial companies such as Philips Lighting, Boots, Ecover, and Chemineer; prestigious institutes/universities in China such as the State Key Laboratory of Mechanical Transmission, Harbin Institute of Technology, and Chongqing Academy of Science and Technology.

Making a Difference

The cycLED project research focuses on life cycle phases (production and manufacturing, assembling, use and material recycling) to improve resource flows. These results will be combined to develop and implement solutions regarding product design for eco-innovation, adaptation of business models and overcoming barriers to the use of eco-innovative LED products.

Expected results include:

  • reduction of environmental impacts
  • increase of the resource efficiency
  • reduction of production costs
  • closed-loop resource management
  • separate collection of LEDs and LED products
  • overcoming legal, trade and geopolitical barriers for eco-innovative LED products
  • increased competitiveness and capacity building.


The project consortium members include:

Related staff


  • Jose Casamayor, Daizhong Su and Zhongming Ren, 'A comparative life cycle assessment of LED lighting products'. Lighting Research and Technology. Article first published online: May 12, 2017. DOI: Publisher: Sage
  • Daizhong Su, Jose Casamayor and Xuemin Xu, 2015, ‘Utilisation of a toolbox for computer aided development of LED lighting products’, International Journal of Mechanical and Production Engineering (IJMPE), volume 3, issue 4, pp56-61
  • Casamayor, J., Su, D. and Sarshar, M., 'Extending lifespan of LED Lighting Products', journal ‘Architectural Engineering and Design Management’, Talor & Francis, vol. 11, issue 2, March 2015, pp105-122
  • Casamayor, J.L. and Su, D., ‘Integration of eco-design tools into the development of eco-lighting products’, Journal of Cleaner Production, 47 (2013), pp. 32-42, Elsevier
  • Jose Casamayor and Daizhong Su, 2011, ‘Environmental impact assessment of lighting product’, Key Engineering Materials. vol 486 (2011), Trans Tech Publications, pp. 171-174.