Understanding energy efficient lighting as an outcome of dynamics of social practices

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Abstract

In policy-making, reducing energy consumption from lighting is largely treated as a matter of optimizing products. However, since lighting is a highly cultural and socio-material phenomenon, this article argues that current ways of using light cannot be attributed to the properties of the light sources alone. It is therefore important to understand how and why lighting is used in particular ways, and what that implies for energy-consumption.
This article explores how current Danish ways of ‘illuminating’ have come about as a result of dynamics within and across various household- and professional practices, by presenting a historical account of particular spatio-temporal moments in the development of domestic lighting. The analysis unfolds how a number of lighting-related practices seem to have influenced each other and that these practices have been (re-) configured in particular ways due to certain social-political arrangements (such as breaks with dominant philosophical tendencies in lifestyles as well as lighting design), culturaldiscursive arrangements (such as emphasis on increasing energy demand vs. emphasis on decreasing energy demand), and material-economic arrangements (such as the design of buildings, configurations of electrical grids and infrastructures).
In developing this account, particular attention is paid to how the performativity of practices with a shared goal of ‘doing light within the home’ is embedded in as well as emerging from the constitution, institutionalization and modifications of these wider practice-arrangements related to the provisioning and consumption of lighting. In doing so, this research extends the current field of social practice theoretical understandings of innovation and consumption dynamics.
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In policy-making, reducing energy consumption from lighting is largely treated as a matter of optimizing products. However, since lighting is a highly cultural and socio-material phenomenon, this article argues that current ways of using light cannot be attributed to the properties of the light sources alone. It is therefore important to understand how and why lighting is used in particular ways, and what that implies for energy-consumption.
This article explores how current Danish ways of ‘illuminating’ have come about as a result of dynamics within and across various household- and professional practices, by presenting a historical account of particular spatio-temporal moments in the development of domestic lighting. The analysis unfolds how a number of lighting-related practices seem to have influenced each other and that these practices have been (re-) configured in particular ways due to certain social-political arrangements (such as breaks with dominant philosophical tendencies in lifestyles as well as lighting design), culturaldiscursive arrangements (such as emphasis on increasing energy demand vs. emphasis on decreasing energy demand), and material-economic arrangements (such as the design of buildings, configurations of electrical grids and infrastructures).
In developing this account, particular attention is paid to how the performativity of practices with a shared goal of ‘doing light within the home’ is embedded in as well as emerging from the constitution, institutionalization and modifications of these wider practice-arrangements related to the provisioning and consumption of lighting. In doing so, this research extends the current field of social practice theoretical understandings of innovation and consumption dynamics.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Cleaner Production
Volume165
Pages (from-to)1097-1106
ISSN0959-6526
DOI
StatePublished - 1 Nov 2017
Publication categoryResearch
Peer-reviewedYes
ID: 261240657