Primer

Product as a Service: Buying the Lumen, Not the Lightbulb

Proponents of the circular economy point to PaaS as one of the strongest tools we have to take control of our energy and material waste.

May 30, 2017

What if instead of buying a light bulb you paid a company to provide you with light? That’s the idea behind product as a service (PaaS)—a business model that could extend to any type of building product and seeks to bring about a circular economy.

This is how it works. An owner specifies the desired performance level for a certain system. For lighting this might include illumination level, occupancy responsiveness, and maintenance obligations. Then a service provider chooses and installs a system that meets those specifications. In the lighting example, owners would choose lumens; providers would pick the luminaires.