New lights are more energy-efficient and have reduced environmental costs
Nearly Dh3 billion will be saved over the next two decades as energy-efficient LED street lights replace conventional street lamps in the emirate of Abu Dhabi, senior officials said in the capital today (November 22).
The cost savings will arise from lower maintenance and replacement costs, financial outlay and environmental impacts as existing fixtures are retrofitted with LED lamps, said Martin Valentine, lighting expert at the Municipality of Abu Dhabi City.
“We’ve calculated that it will take Dh267 million a year to operate and maintain our existing street lights. Retrofitting them with LED fixtures will reduce the average annual spending to Dh44 million,” he said.
Valentine was speaking at the Middle East Smart Lighting and Energy Summit, which is being held under the patronage of the Municipality of Abu Dhabi City as part of UAE National Innovation Week. The two-day conference will see government officials meet lighting and energy industry professionals to discuss trends and challenges in the sector.
Speaking to Gulf News on the sidelines of the event, Valentine said that a tender has already been issued to retrofit 350,000 street lights on Abu Dhabi island.
“Our data shows that this will allow for more than 80 per cent cost savings, despite the increased energy consumption costs that are applicable from January 2015. In future, we will also work to retrofit 80,000 lights on Abu Dhabi highways,” the official said.
In addition to greater energy efficiency, LED lights need to be replaced much less frequently, about once in 14 years or so. Officials said the new lighting would also reduce light pollution, and eye strain for motorists.
“When streets are too brightly lit, drivers need to focus harder to see surrounding areas, which causes strain. In addition, tree growth and insect cycles are negatively affected with too much lighting, and this eventually harms the natural ecosystem,” Valentine explained.
The LED lights being installed are therefore part of a sustainable municipal lighting strategy that not only lights public areas and roads adequately but also makes them look more pleasant and attractive. The standards were introduced by the emirate’s municipal sector regulator, the Department of Municipal Affairs, in 2010 and revised in 2014.
“These standards are being used to sustainably light up Khalifa City, which includes 450,000 street lights to be installed by the end of the year,” said Hussain Al Saeedi, head of sustainability standards and specifications for infrastructure and assets at the municipality.
Other projects in the capital that include the installation of about 100,000 LED fixtures have also been approved by the municipality.