How I (Martin) specify external LEDs in Abu Dhabi | 14 April 2011

Masterplan for the new Capital City District in Abu Dhabi, which will be lit using LEDs wherever possible

It’s well known that LEDs perform badly in hotter temperatures, so how do designers specify them in the Middle East? Martin Valentine lighting expert to the Abu Dhabi Municipality reveals his secrets

When I arrived in Abu Dhabi I found very little in the way of performance specifications for LED luminaires at local government or consultant level.

Then, mid 2010, there was a decree issued that LED technology was to be used wherever possible in the public realm. I decided to resolve the two issues by defining a performance benchmark for external LED lighting fixtures to cover the extreme environmental conditions we have in the UAE, which can include summer temperatures of 50°C with 100 per cent humidity. At night it can still exceed 40°C with no drop in humidity. We often have dust and sand storms, thick morning fog and heavy condensation day and night. Also, we have salt and corrosive acids in the soil which are transferred to the air in storms.

Despite the hostile environment, manufacturers and suppliers try to sell me LED street lights and other external LED fittings for municipal projects. Not a single one of these products has been designed specifically for the Middle East market. The majority were designed for the US, Europe, Australia and Asia.


However, I have a responsibility to ensure these products will work over here. The system I have put in place covers all external LED luminaire types. It comprises a company questionnaire to collect information such as company background, philosophy, work practices and client references. Then there are questions on the company’s LED and driver components including procurement, testing, binning and the technology in their fixtures. Finally a full performance specification must be supplied for the fixture.

This system can be used in advance of projects so the supplier can be added to an approved list. Or the sheets are passed to consultants when designing and specifying so they can go to any fixture supplier if they are not yet on the approved list. Finally the sheets are passed to contractors to ensure that, if they offer alternative fittings, they too have to get their intended suppliers to complete the sheets.

If the fixtures do not meet the minimum standard set out in the performance benchmarking system, or the responses are evasive or dishonest, then that fixture will not be used. You wouldn’t believe some of the rubbish being peddled over here. Some LED fixtures fail after four to six weeks.

As far as I’m aware this is the most stringent system anywhere in the Middle East… perhaps even anywhere.

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About ecoapollo
this is diana zhang from China, with more wishes of beatiful world, so chose to do the pro-enviroment biz(led lighting), bless all!

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