#TheDalyDose Guide to Lamp Repair, Circular Economy and Practical Sustainability

Posted by Ali Daly on 14th Nov 2023

#TheDalyDose Guide to Lamp Repair, Circular Economy and Practical Sustainability

 #TheDalyDose Guide to Lamp Repair, Circular Economy and Practical Sustainability

Welcome back to #TheDalyDose, where our commitment to a sustainable future continues to grow. Following Ali's inspiring Instagram Reels video, where she skillfully repaired an old lamp brought into our store, we delve deeper into the world of sustainability. Ali's demonstration showcased practical repair skills and brought to life the concepts we're exploring today. 

In a world that often compels us to buy new and the throwaway culture we often find ourselves in, the act of repairing a lamp turns into a small act of the circular and nod to sustainable living that also reminds you that you can repair a plug and save a few quid. As part of our #TheDalyDose series, We’ve got a lot to unpack (and unscrew) as we delve deeper into the realm of lamp repair. We’ll explore its environmental impact, its roots in the Circular Economy, and the practical steps to undertake this eco-friendly project whilst shedding light (pun intended) on the hows, the whys, and the tools of our trade to empower you to give your old lamp a second lease on life. So, grab your toolkit, and let’s get cracking on this eco-friendly endeavour and explore how the #CircularEconomy, #SustainableLiving, and #LampRepair are intertwined.

Circular Economy

We're living in a world that's starting to feel the pinch of its own consumption habits. Moving away from the traditional 'take-make-dispose' model, Ireland is embracing a new paradigm that harmonizes with our commitment to preserving our natural heritage.

The Circular Economy isn't just a concept; it's a living practice in Ireland. Local initiatives, like Dublin's Zero Waste movement and An Mheitheal Rothar's Bicycle Recycling Initiative, exemplify how reusing and recycling are becoming part of our daily lives. 

Dublin's Zero Waste Movement is making significant strides in environmental sustainability with the 'Moving Towards Zero Dublin Challenge'. This initiative, accessible through the Go Zero Waste app, invites Dubliners to engage in up to 30 actions aimed at reducing waste and cultivating sustainable habits. Participants in the challenge can earn points and win prizes, supporting local businesses committed to sustainable practices. The app, a not-for-profit venture part of the Open Data Climate Action Challenge, acts as a digital tool connecting citizens to local zero waste businesses and services. It features over 100 locations across Dublin, promoting sustainable living and showcasing how technology can aid in environmental conservation.

The Go Zero Waste app is instrumental in reducing the 13 million tonnes of waste generated annually across Ireland, encouraging Dubliners to join the local Zero Waste community. It allows users to register businesses that align with zero waste principles, such as bulk shopping, BYO container usage, and repair services. This initiative not only highlights the importance of individual action in waste reduction but also underscores the role of community collaboration in achieving sustainability goals.

For more information on the 'Moving Towards Zero Dublin Challenge' and to participate, visit Moving Towards Zero. To learn more about the Go Zero Waste app and download it, head to Go Zero Waste.

The An Mheitheal Rothar's Bicycle Recycling Initiative, led by An Mheitheal Rothar, a social enterprise based in Galway city, focuses on recycling bicycles. They have expanded their bicycle recycling initiative at the University of Galway's community workshop and a retail outlet at Galway Shopping Centre. The 'Recycle Your Cycle' initiative, launched in 2018, involves repairing and upcycling second-hand bikes. This project not only promotes cycling but also contributes to the circular economy by reducing waste. Community Finance Ireland supported the expansion of this initiative, allowing for investment in new bike stock and enhancing services like providing free second-hand bikes for students and offering free training and upcycled bikes to the local community

These examples are not just inspiring; they are proof of how we, as a community, can lead the way in sustainable living.

This ethos extends beyond just recycling. The act of repair, especially in everyday items like a flickering lamp, is a testament to this shift. By choosing to repair, you're not merely fixing an object; you're contributing to a larger movement. In Ireland, this means actively participating in preserving our environment for future generations, reducing the strain on our landfills, and curbing the environmental impacts of constant consumption.

Right to Repair Movement

Consumer rights, and the 'Right to Repair' movement is gaining significant momentum.This movement advocates for the ability to repair our own gadgets, extending their lifespan and reinforcing a shift towards actionable Circular Economy practices. It's more than just awareness; it's about concrete steps towards sustainability.

From 2021, the European Commission’s Ecodesign regulations (Read more) began boosting repair options for everyday items, including home appliances. These regulations ensure longer-lasting products and the availability of spare parts for up to a decade, a game-changer in product lifecycle management.

Furthering this initiative, the European Commission proposed a comprehensive 'right to repair', making repairs during and beyond the warranty period easier and more cost-effective. This proposal, awaiting adoption by the European Parliament and Council, is poised to revolutionize consumer habits by making repairs a more convenient and economical choice than replacements. (Read more)

In Ireland, the movement is echoed by the Community Resources Network Ireland (CRNI), which supports members in mainstreaming reuse and repair. Backed by the Environmental Protection Agency under the Circular Economy Programme, and with initiatives like the Green + Social Virtual Trade Fair, Ireland is actively fostering an ecosystem where repair and reuse are not just options but preferred practices. (Read more)

This evolving narrative is not just reshaping consumer rights but also paving the way for more sustainable production and consumption patterns. By advocating for repairable products, we transition from passive awareness to active participation in the Circular Economy, resonating with global sustainability goals and Ireland's commitment to environmental stewardship.

Repair, Reuse, Recycle

The Circular Economy has a catchy mantra: 'Repair, Reuse, Recycle'. This trio of Rs encapsulates the journey of keeping products, lamps included, in use for as long as possible, before giving a nod to recycling. Repair is the first step in this eco-friendly dance, keeping products in use longer and promoting a culture of sustainability3.

There’s also a communal beat to the Circular Economy rhythm. Community repair initiatives not only support product lifetime extension but foster a sense of community and shared learning in the sustainable living saga4. The Circular Economy isn't just a fancy phrase; it’s a call to action. Through the simple act of lamp repair, we glimpse how each one of us can contribute to this sustainable economic model. In Ireland, the Circular Economy's mantra of 'Repair, Reuse, Recycle' resonates deeply with our cultural ethos of community and sustainability. This philosophy is vividly reflected in local initiatives like Repair Café Dublin, where the simple act of repairing a lamp becomes a collective step towards a more sustainable future.


Why Lamp Repair Matters

The act of repairing a lamp isn't just a journey back in time to the days of DIY; it's a substantial step towards reducing the environmental footprint. Lighting products have a significant environmental impact across multiple areas such as primary energy consumption, toxicological effects, global warming potential, and environmental acidification 1. The plot thickens with the generation of hazardous waste, especially in the case of fluorescent lamps, which are still widely used and contribute to a significant amount of hazardous waste if not handled properly at the end of their life 2.

Extending Product Lifetimes

One of the avenues to mitigate the environmental impact is by extending the lifetimes of lighting products. The longer a lamp serves its purpose, the less frequently it needs to be replaced, reducing the demand for new products and the resources required to produce them. This longevity also translates to less waste generated, as fewer lamps find their way to the landfill. When lamps do reach the end of their life, their journey doesn’t have to end there. With a bit of TLC (tender lamp care), lamps can be repaired and continue to brighten our spaces 3.

Resource Efficiency

The life cycle of a lighting product is a saga of resource consumption—from the extraction of raw materials to the energy consumed during production and use. Repairing lamps is a strategy that aims to optimise the use of these resources by prolonging the life of the product, hence reducing the need for new materials and the energy associated with the production of new lamps 4.

Reducing Waste

By extending the life of LED lamps, we are not only conserving resources but also significantly reducing waste from spent LED lamps, which are categorised as hazardous waste. Repair, therefore, becomes an environmentally friendly act, a green thumb of approval in our efforts to reduce waste and mitigate the environmental impacts associated with the disposal of lighting products 5.

Community Engagement

Besides the environmental benefits, repairing lamps can be a community-driven initiative. It creates a platform for shared learning, problem-solving, and promotes a culture of sustainability within the community. When we repair, we are not just fixing lamps; we are lighting the way towards a culture of sustainability, one repair at a time.

Economic Implications

Economically, repairing lamps can be a cost-effective alternative to buying new. It encourages a culture of ‘making do’ and appreciating the value of what we have, fostering a mindset of resourcefulness and frugality that can have broader economic benefits. Lamp repair is not merely a nod to nostalgia; it's an eco-conscious choice that reflects a deeper understanding of the environmental implications of our consumption choices. It’s a narrative of resource conservation, waste reduction, community engagement, and economic sense. And as we unscrew the bolts and delve into the how-to of lamp repair in the following section, we are not just tinkering with a lamp; we are tinkering with the idea of a sustainable lifestyle.

Online Communities

Platforms like Reddit, Pinterest, and dedicated forums are brimming with ideas, DIY guides, and a camaraderie among individuals who share a penchant for repair and sustainability. Engaging with these online communities can offer a plethora of insights, support, and a shared enthusiasm as you embark on your lamp repair venture.

Repair Cafés and Workshops

Exciting times are on the horizon! We are in the process of planning Repair Cafés and workshop courses right here in our store. These sessions are geared towards not only lamp repair but embracing the ethos of ‘repair, reuse, recycle’. It’s a fantastic opportunity to learn, share skills, and immerse in the practical application of Circular Economy principles, all while being part of a vibrant, like-minded community. Stay tuned for more details, and if you’re keen on joining us, sign up here for updates and more information.

How-To Guide

In this how-to guide, we’ve broken down the process of lamp repair into manageable steps, providing resources and addressing common questions that may arise during the repair journey. This guide aims to empower readers to take on lamp repair projects with confidence, embodying the spirit of the #CircularEconomy, #SustainableLiving, and #LampRepair.

1. Identify the Problem:

  • A careful inspection of your lamp will help identify the root cause of its malfunction. Common culprits could be faulty wiring, a damaged plug, or a dysfunctional switch.

2. Gather Your Tools:

  • Arm yourself with the basic tools like a screwdriver, wire stripper, wire nuts, and a multimeter for electrical testing.

3. Safety First:

  • Unplug the lamp before you begin any repair work to steer clear of electric shock.

4. Disassemble the Lamp:

  • Gently take apart the necessary components of the lamp to access the area that requires repair.

5. Repair or Replace:

  • Depending on the issue at hand, you might need to repair or replace certain components, be it rewiring the lamp or swapping out the switch.

6. Reassemble and Test:

  • Once the repair work is done, put the lamp back together and give it a test run to ensure it’s now in working order.

7. Seek Professional Help if Necessary:

  • If at any point you find yourself unsure or in over your head, don't hesitate to seek professional assistance. We at #TheDalyDose in Limerick City are seasoned in repairing lamps and other lighting fixtures like chandeliers. Pop into our store for an assessment or repair service; we’d be more than happy to lend a helping hand in diagnosing and fixing the problem.

Recommended Resources:


1. Is lamp repair cost-effective compared to buying a new lamp?

  • Repairing a lamp is generally more cost-effective and environmentally friendly compared to buying a new one, especially if the lamp holds sentimental value or boasts a high-quality design.

2. Can any lamp be repaired?

  • Most lamps can be repaired unless they are severely damaged or house proprietary components that are hard to replace.

3. Is it safe to repair a lamp at home?

  • Safety should always be your priority. If you're unsure about any step, it's wise to consult a professional.

4. Do I need special tools for lamp repair?

  • Basic tools should suffice for most repairs, though a multimeter can be a handy companion for diagnosing electrical issues.

5. Where can I learn more about lamp repair?

  • Online platforms, YouTube tutorials, community workshops, and of course, our store in Limerick City are great avenues to delve deeper into the art of lamp repair.

Remember, it's not always about having the expertise, but about having the willingness to learn and to seek help when needed. If at any point you find yourself in a fix, feel free to drop by our store in Limerick City. We’re here to assist, whether it's diagnosing a problem or taking on the repair job for you. Our doors are always open to help you keep your cherished lamps shining bright, and to foster a supportive community of repair enthusiasts.

  1. Dublin's Zero Waste movement: This website represents a movement focused on reducing waste in Dublin, Ireland. It offers resources and information on how to minimize waste in everyday life, promoting sustainability and environmental responsibility within the Dublin community.
  2. An Mheitheal Rothar (The Bicycle Community)An Mheitheal Rothar (The Bicycle Community) is a non-profit organization in Galway, Ireland that promotes cycling through a variety of initiatives, including bike sales and repairs, bike recycling, and educational workshops. They also have a retail shop that sells new and used bikes, as well as a variety of cycling accessories.
  3. Repair Café Ireland: Repair Café Dublin is a community-driven initiative that promotes the repair of various items, including electronics and household goods, to reduce waste. It fosters a culture of repairing over replacing, aligning with the principles of the Circular Economy, and encouraging community engagement and learning