It was recently announced that Dubai will be the first Middle Eastern city to host a World Expo trade convention, which happens in 2020.
With sustainability set to be one of the three core themes at the event, the World Expo site will be built using the latest cleantech available.
This aspiration to become more sustainable reflects the underlining trend among businesses in the UAE to adopt eco building methods and technology.
One method to help achieve this goal is to carefully select and approve high-quality lighting, which can add significant value to buildings by reducing operational costs, lowering energy consumption and enhancing satisfaction and productivity.
Over the past couple of years we have come to expect high levels of lighting performance from the many advanced building designs across the UAE — such as the Burj Khalifa.
However, more recently, light emitting diodes (LED’s) in particular, have become more popular as they offer a simple way to reduce energy usage while enhancing lighting capabilities. LED’s can help businesses cut both the energy they use and the carbon emitted from traditional lighting, reducing costs and making the building more energy efficient.
Only last month, Dubai Municipality, one of the main administrative departments in the Emirate of Dubai, decided to convert all of its lighting in its 262 buildings to LED’s. These lighting units use less energy than traditional light sources and offer the most efficient lumen per watt measurement. They also give off significantly less heat than metal halide and halogens, reducing the need for air conditioning.
LED’s which are well engineered and thermally managed, last considerably longer, and do not need to be replaced as frequently as incandescent bulbs. Quality LEDs are designed to last for up to 90,000 hours compared to fluorescent tubes, which last between 12,000 and 20,000 hours. Additionally, LEDs are maintenance free so there is no down time or costs for re-lamping.
Smart controls are also becoming more popular. In particular, businesses should approve daylight controls that maximise the use of natural sunlight. The majority of these switches include motion sensors, meaning that lights will remain off when a building is empty. This combination of both daylight and motion sensors can save 45 percent of a building’s (lighting) energy usage, making it a worthwhile long-term investment.
Becoming more energy efficient will help businesses protect and sustain their profits for years to come and help to improve everyones’ experience. However, this will not materialise unless organisations begin to adopt energy conservation principles as part of their core values.
LED’s are one of today’s most energy-efficient and rapidly-developing lighting technologies, and they play a positive role in shaping the look and feel of a business, the efficiency of a building and a dramatic reduction in energy bills.
The UAE is taking huge and positive steps towards sustainability. Let’s hope other countries take note and follow their example.
(John Carruthers is the Managing Director, Lietcorp MENA)