Middle East’s unique lighting needs provides a galore of opportunities to the lighting industry in the region. According to a recent report on the lighting market, the industry estimates indicate that the global lighting market will grow at a CAGR of 13 per cent until 2018, propelled by the increased use of energy-efficient LED lighting across public and private sector projects. Electricity consumption in the MENA region is also set for faster growth, with over USD 200 billion in planned investments in the region’s power sector by 2020.
Global forecasts for the total LED market predict an annual growth of five per cent till 2016, and three per cent thereafter until 2020. With the popularity of LED lighting on the rise in both indoor and outdoor lighting, the region is poised to experience tremendous growth, with a market that is potentially worth USD 350 million by 2017, predicts the report. With sustainability being the new mantra, LED lights have become an obvious and a popular choice to conserve energy. Esam R Al Mazroei, Managing Director of Bahri & Mazroei, states that sustainability means a better company, a better community, a better country and a better planet. “It is today a buzzword in a number of government and private entities as it is economical, works in favour of the environment and is recognition that you are an environmentally friendly organization. LEDs form the most significant technology change in the lighting industry. Besides conserving energy, LEDs show off colours better – when used to light up products they show products off in a better light. When used to show off clothing – they throw up the texture extremely well. They make food much more appealing. In short it shows you off in good light – which is what effective lighting is all about,” says Mazroei.
Eqbal Al Yousuf,
President, Al Yousuf Group
While they are effective one wonders if there other alternative lighting options that can help one save energy. Solar lighting is slowly but surely gaining in popularity. There have been several cases where we have installed solar lighting with LED solutions. It is a win-win situation for the client where he saves on hard wiring and is able to save on energy costs without having to compromise on lighting levels. To truly understand the cost effectiveness of LED technology in lighting it is important to consider total lamp replacement, energy usage and maintenance costs over the expected life of the LED device.
This form of analysis provides a clear comparison of the real costs of ownership between LED lights and traditional incandescent or halogen options where the benefits of LED technology become apparent. “So, if you consider the lower electricity consumption, lower maintenance cost and longer operational life you will find that LED is extremely effective with energy saving when compared against conventional lighting,” says Eqbal Al Yousuf, President, Al Yousuf Group.
For those who are aware of the benefits of LED do know that it is not just about lower energy consumption and cost saving. LED also has many other benefits like lower heat output, minimized light pollution, no harmful rays such as infrared and ultraviolet, reduced carbon emissions, better light quality etc. “LEDs have numerous advantages over conventional lighting including longer life, higher lumen output, energy efficient and low maintenance costs. From an energy angle, LEDs produce no heat and this has a positive impact on the AC load which ultimately results in less strain on the building’s HVAC System and results in reduced power consumption. From a designer point of view, LEDs have virtually unshackled the designer – the light fitting is no longer restricted by the size of the light source,” says Mazroei.
While most offices and residential buildings have already started opting for LED fixtures, Yousuf explains that now the technology is developing to support even public and large areas like flood lights for football fields and street lights in highways as well. Intelligent lighting solutions with Lighting Controls are other current trends in LED industry. Research in recent times has shown that having the control system reduced electrical consumption up to 42 percent, thus lighting controls present a great opportunity for improved returns, at the same time making areas greener, more efficient and productive.
“Many lighting applications require standards of visual comfort, visual ergonomy and user orientation which cannot be met by conventional interior lighting. What’s required is a flexible lighting capable of delivering the right light at the right time. The lighting needs to operate in different control states, so individual luminaires or groups of luminaires need to be separately addressable,” says Mazroei. He goes on to add, “Lighting management encompasses all systems, controlling and regulating them. For a better result, a combination of lighting management tools such as pre-programmed lighting scenes for different activities, motion detectors, and daylightdependent regulation of lighting levels by dimming and/or partial deactivation might be used.”
Going green is not just a cliché when it comes to today’s projects. It’s becoming a way of life for architects, lighting designers, specifying engineers, electrical contractors and facility managers that are embracing LED. The world of lighting and lighting control has changed drastically of what it used to be five years ago. Today, one can safely say that lighting industry has really switched from being a lamp or bulb business to a system driven model.