Efficient Public Lighting

Wajih Smadi from our Dubai studio participated in a panel's discussion at the Middle East Lighting Design Summit last April, which focused on the growing importance of efficient public lighting. Here is a summary of the core ideas discussed.

Lighting Consultants should ensure that lighting schemes are not only aesthetically pleasing, but also efficient and safe for communities. A pragmatic implementation of control design technologies is necessary from the early stages of design. A comprehensive understanding of the urban space is key to successfully integrate feature elements in the nightscape and project the intended atmosphere.

A critical point discussed was the dilemma of keeping the budget in check while taking advantage of the latest technologies to achieve an efficient lighting scheme. Feasibility studies have shown that incorporating these technologies in existing installations can provide a return of the investment in two years thanks to the running cost reductions achieved.

It is vital that the Lighting Consultant is involved in the evaluation of alternatives during the tender process. Some alternatives might seem compliant and more cost-effective at first glance, but the small unnoticeable details could make them the most expensive solution in the long run, or end up in a poor lighting result. Stakeholders should be educated on these details to make an informed decision. The technological aspect should always be considered to achieve better energy savings and enhance the human-centric quality aspect of the luminaires.

Another key aspect which needs to be factored while designing public lighting schemes is the cultural and social context. The lighting enhancement at the Emaar Boulevard was used as an example, where numerous lighting interventions were placed along the sidewalks to invite pedestrians to explore, foster human interaction and reinforce urban cohesion.

The lighting summit was a great opportunity to share ideas and experiences from various professionals within the lighting industry.