Where the waterproof option eliminates the repair by the user (but increases the lifespan because water does not enter the lamp), the self-repair option eliminates being waterproof since the parts need to be accessible. The solution lies somewhere in the middle. The product itself should be a long lasting product, but this could still be perceived by the user as a consumable. So if the user wants to “consume” the product, a system needs to be created where this is possible – but still created a long product lifespan (at multiple users for example).
The current bicycle lamp for the lower segment is not circular. This is because the total product life span is relatively short, and after the End-of-Life the product is thrown away in the trash, on the street of put in the drawer at home (waiting to be repaired?). To make this product more circular I will focus on the product life span and on the End-of-Life scenario.
The product life span
There are two reasons for the shorter than necessary lifespan of the bicycle lamp now: (1) rain that enter the product and (2) the battery that is the part with the shortest lifespan of the product.
When user cycle through the rain or leave the bicycle lamp on their bicycle after use, this could cause internal damage of the product. The life span can also be reduced when the user forgets to turn the bicycle lamp off, or accidently turns it on while the lamp is in his or her bag.
This shortened lifespan of the bicycle lamp is also caused by the battery, the part with the shortest lifespan. At the moment, it is relatively easy to replace, but the question is if the user will actually do this. Because it is such a cheap product, the user could prefer buying a new one over repairing an “old” one. The specification that it is easy to replace, makes the product vulnerable for water damage. Because of the specification being able to replace the battery, which would increase the lifespan of the product, the entire product’s lifespan will decrease because the End-of-Life could be caused by water damage.
At the moment, the bicycle lamp will be incinerated and otherwise will be held in a drawer or thrown on the street. Even though it holds a lithium battery, there are no channels of repair, refurbishment, remanufacturing or recycling. This also means that the LED, which has the highest impact –see LCA, is also disposed while it is not even close to the End-of-Life.
On the one hand, to make this product more circular it is important being able to replace or recharge the battery. On the other hand, this makes the product less resistant against the rain – decreasing the lifespan.
There are two directions:
#1 increasing the product lifespan by charging/replacing different parts
#2 increasing the product lifespan by protecting it against the weather conditions
During this project I will investigate which direction would be more suitable for this product (and in combination with a business model).