Presented by the Designers Lighting Forum of New York

March 19–20, 2024
New York Hilton Midtown, New York City

2022 How Manufacturers and Specifiers can Support Sustainability and Circular Economy through Design for Disassembly

How Manufacturers and Specifiers Can Support Sustainability and Circular Economy Through Design for Disassembly

Kate Hickcox, PNNL and Aaron Smith, Finelite Inc.

Virtual Monday
March 14, 2022
2:30PM - 3:30PM


1 LU | Elective

Design for Disassembly (DfD) is a product development process that allows for upgradeability and supports re-use / recycling / remanufacturing of components at the end of a product life. DfD practice can increase the purity of recovered material, aid in safe disposal of hazardous components, aid in the remanufacturing of subassemblies for reuse, and help to make recovery processes economically viable thereby supporting both circular economy and other sustainability goals. Designers and manufacturers can engineer products with DfD and EoL considerations in mind. Specifiers can support sustainability goals by looking for products with these features.

Learning Objectives

  • Understand the benefits of DfD approach: Increase lighting energy efficiency and allow for additional efficiency increases over time, increase useable installed lifetime of the luminaire, reduce the use of materials with high environmental impact (such as PVC, phthalates and other chemicals of concern).
  • Be empowered to leverage DfD to achieve sustainability goals for the production, product, packaging and at the project level (installation, modularity and end of life)
  • Leverage the value of incorporating good DfD practice early in product development
  • Incorporate DfD into specification practice, empowering lighting specifiers to meet sustainability goals by impacting operational or embodied carbon.


Kate Hickcox
Lighting Research Scientist, PNNL

Kate Hickcox joined PNNL as a Lighting Research Scientist in 2020. She is a creative thinker in the field of lighting, with over 15 years of experience in both lighting research and lighting design. No matter which hat she’s wearing, her goals are simple – to provide equitable and universal lighting solutions that support humans and the environment. Kate’s unique background blends the artistic with the practical and allows for discovery of unique design solutions and innovative research-based strategies.

She has authored or co-authored many technical publications/reports and has presented seminars at LightFair International, IALD, LEDucation and the IES on topics including lighting and sustainability, designing for darkness, glare and brightness perception, lighting and acoustics as well as lighting quality metrics.

She is currently the Treasurer of the IES Portland Maine Section, Secretary of the IES Technical Committee: Discomfort Glare in Outdoor Nighttime Environments and lead of the DGONE Pedestrian-scale sub-committee. Kate is a contributing member of the IES Sustainability Committee which is currently re-writing the TM on lighting and sustainability.

Aaron Smith
VP of Technology and R&D, Finelite Inc.

Aaron Smith is the VP of Technology and R&D at Finelite and an alumni of the Lighting Research Center. He supports the development of energy efficient, high quality, and sustainable lighting. He also supports Finelite’s new technology integration, new product development, and research efforts.