3S WP 2013-22 Jensen – Social practices in energy-related transitions?

Reducing energy consumption from lighting is, in policy making, largely treated as a matter ofoptimizing the individual lighting product. However, this paper argues that since lighting is a highly cultural, historical and socio-material phenomenon, energy efficient (or intensive) lighting patterns evolve from something more and something else than what the individual lighting product provides. This is an important distinction as current lighting patterns have yet to become significantly more energy efficient, in spite of a general increase in energy efficiency of lighting products. Looking at lighting patterns as something that is both an outcome of several routinized performances of social practices such as cooking, dining and crafting, as well as several standardized systems supporting underlying norms for and nature of dwelling sizes, working hours, energy supply and lighting design, this paper opens up for a discussion of how and why current lighting patterns have come about.

Jensen, C. L. (2013) Social Practices in Energy Related Transitions? The Complex Example of Electrical Lighting, 3S Working Paper 2013-22 (Norwich: Science, Society and Sustainability Research Group)