Abu Dhabi: Over the next few years, energy-efficient LED lights will replace more than 350,000 street lighting fixtures across the emirate of Abu Dhabi, Gulf News has learnt.
These include the retrofitting of nearly 43,000 street lamps in Abu Dhabi island, and a tender to operate and install the lights as part of this flagship project will be issued within the year, the Municipality of Abu Dhabi City announced in a statement issued on Monday.
“There are about 40,000 LED fixtures already installed across Abu Dhabi, including on Yas Island and other areas, and the goal is to retrofit the rest through a series of public-private partnerships. The flagship project covers Abu Dhabi island as this area has been extensively surveyed,” Martin Valentine, lighting expert at the Municipality, told Gulf News.
“There will be a set of other tenders to retrofit the existing lights, including in Al Ain and Al Dhafra region, and on all highways,” he added.
As reported by Gulf News in 2015, Abu Dhabi’s municipal sector regulator, the Department of Municipal Affairs and Transport (DMAT), expects to save nearly Dh3 billion over the next two decades by replacing conventional street lamps, typically sodium vapour or metal halide lamps, with LED lights. The cost savings are expected to arise from lower maintenance and replacement costs, and reduced environmental impact.
Valentine said at the time that it costs Dh267 million each year to operate and maintain the existing street lights. In contrast, only Dh44 million will have to be spent annually to maintain LED fixtures.
The Municipality will therefore organise a workshop next month (September) to reach out to companies and professional associations in the lighting sector. According to today’s statement, the scope of work for the flagship project will include the design, supply, and installation of fixtures, as well as the financing of a smart central control system for the new lighting units.
In addition to being energy-efficient, LED lights need to be replaced much less frequently, about once in 14 years or so. They also help reduce light pollution, and counter 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 installation of LED lights is 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 DMAT in 2010 and revised in 2014.