Global lighting industry leaders talk LED progress in Dubai

30 June 2014

LONDON: Government and industry met in Dubai to discuss low carbon LED lighting, and made important headway on tackling barriers to wide scale adoption in the region.

An LED (light-emitting diode) consultation workshop was held on May 29 in Dubai, in partnership with the Dubai Supreme Council of Energy (DSCE) and The Climate Group, to promote the use of energy efficient street lighting in Dubai, the UAE and beyond.

The global industrial and commercial LED lighting market is expected to reach £51.3 million by 2019, so the workshop comes at a critical time when industry leaders should be paving the way for LED scale-up in the region.

Senior lighting directors who attended shared key industry insights, in particular important progress around LEDs’ ability to work at high wattages in the extreme heat that is typical of the region, and has been a remaining barrier to uptake of the low carbon technology.

The workshop began with an opening address by HE Ahmad Buti Al Muhairbi, Secretary General of Dubai Supreme Council of Energy, in which he set out Dubai’s commitment to an ambitious strategy for energy efficiency and demand side management.

This was followed by presentations from organizations that are responsible for street lighting across Dubai, starting with ‘Demand Side Management Strategy for Dubai’, which given by Faisal Ali Rashid, Director of Demand Side Management of the DSCE. Next came presentations from the RTA by Abdulkhaliq Al Shamsi and Salim Al Rimawi, and from the Dubai Municipality by Mustafa Mahmoud Abdul Aziz.

After providing some background for Dubai’s street lighting goals, the discussion then switched to the more technical aspects of LEDs.

A presentation from the Philips Lighting Middle East team explained the principles of LED operation and the importance of heat management for lights used in the extreme local environment. This is because despite the fact LEDs operate safely across a broad range of applications, questions remain around high Wattage (150W and above) LEDs’ ability to operate long-term in extreme conditions.

Examples were shown of how ‘heat transfer’ modeling and testing helps ensure LED lights are designed, fitted and tested with heat management systems that are most appropriate to their environment.

Another critical scenario highlighted was operating in extreme temperatures and unexpected circumstances. For example, if high wattage LEDs are turned on (intentionally or accidentally) at full current in the middle of the day, the over-heated lights could result in permanent damage to the bulbs. To avoid this a key technique presented was implementation of a protection circuit that continuously monitors the LED temperature, and dims the light if outside temperatures rise above a certain level.

Technical discussions then shifted to smart controls and centralized management systems, and the potential benefits and future-proofing they provide.

Examples and case studies of the use of LEDs in the UAE were also showcased. Martin Valentine of Abu Dhabi Municipality presented slides on the successful roll-out of (low and high Wattage) LEDs in Abu Dhabi, and was pleased to highlight not only an energy efficient system that was delivering on expectation, but had been in operation in desert climates over extended periods - and they had not experienced a single LED luminaire failure.

The core message to take away from the session was that solutions are available and in operation today. Lessons learned however, are that appropriate LED luminaire specification and design for the local environment is critical – and each adopter must set appropriate procurement quality thresholds.

A senior representative from Leotek then gave an international perspective with an update on the Los Angeles LED installations, highlighting the key messages learned; namely that energy savings are real, and the city residents and police have reported improved night visibility. However, he also warned that not all manufacturer’s claims may be true, so should always be verified by early testing and trials.

Finally, switching to challenges and financing of LED projects in UAE, Alfonso D'Andretta from Philips concluded by presenting an effective business case for LED street lighting, and Stephane le Gentil, of Eithad Energy Services provided special insight into funding of projects in the UAE.

Presentations and documents from the events

Read more about the LED Consultation 

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