Lamps4U supplies quality, energy efficient and environment-friendly lamps, as well as a range of solutions for the lighting industry across different industries. They have two product lines – Eurolux and Genlux. These lamps carry the Emirates Quality Mark (EQM) and/or South African Bureau of Standard (SABS) certifications. The company also has a range of products to manage and recycle spent lamps, such as The Bulb Eater, as well as Vaporshield boxes and Vaporlok bags to ensure that these lamps are disposed in a safe and environmentally friendly manner. Company CEO Mahesh Patel explains this programme as well as discussing some of challenges and forecasts in this sector.
Tell us about your new recycling initiative.
In the lighting industry, an increased awareness of the usage of energy efficient lights is driving the need for the safe disposal of spent lamps. Over 50% of the spent lamps from commercial and residential areas were being dumped in the landfills, which harms the environment. To reduce this landfill contamination, we offer a better environmental solution through our programme - Lampswithbenefits. The disposal units are designed to have zero impact on the environment whilst managing the hazardous materials. Lampswithbenefits provides the equipment, safe storage and transport containers to enable clients – large and small - to safely dispose of their spent lamps.
Which segments should be using the safe disposal initiative?
We have a range of solutions for businesses and consumers. Our objective, with support from Dubai Municipality, is to reach out to the Facilities Management sector, real estate, hospitality, schools and universities, hospitals and construction sites, to name a few. We also want to reach out to residential areas with lamp disposal boxes and every single household with lamp disposal bags.
Where do you see the future of the lighting sector, with regards to sustainable practices?
The increasing demand for sustainable and energy-efficient solutions and lower energy prices have made LED and CFL lights commodities of choice. With the advances in technology, high prices for sustainable lighting products will fall, thereby reducing energy consumption costs. As initiatives from governments and municipalities continue to grow, there will be a sharp increase in demand across the residential and commercial markets for these sustainable solutions, as well as recycling units. The recent initiative announced by Dubai Municipality to replace 10 million conventional lamps in buildings with LED lamps has encouraged businesses and residents to take sustainability more seriously. Energy efficient and eco-friendly lighting solutions are already at the forefront of the trend and it has created a billion-dollar industry that will continue to be driven by social and market forces.
Why is it so important to recycle spent lamps?
All types of spent bulbs and lamps, whether commercial or residential, were dumped along with the regular waste, which was discarded in the landfills. Traditional lamps contain mercury and other substances that are harmful to human health. If they are left in the landfill, these harmful chemicals escape into the environment, causing pollution. The toxic materials can enter the water table through the soil, thereby making their way to the food chain, particularly marine life and drinking water.
We developed our Lampswithbenefits programme to reduce the harmful effect of these chemicals and toxic materials.
What challenges do you see in the market when it comes to a ‘recycling mindset’ among commercial end-users?
Recycling is one strategy for end-of-life waste management. Recent studies demonstrate a substantial increase in the rate of recycling, be it lights, plastic, paper, etc. The recycling trends are likely to grow. However, some significant challenges still exist, from technological factors and also from economic or social behaviour issues relating to the collection of recyclable wastes, as well as substituting core materials. Moreover, challenges like infrastructure, which is still very much in the development phase, needs to be improved. Recycling is still at an informative stage - it needs to develop into a habit.
How has the new Green Building and LEED culture legislations affected the lighting sector?
Lighting is one of the most critical elements of an indoor space and the difference between good and bad lighting can make or break comfort, mood and overall happiness at home or the workspace. In this regard, the Green Building legislations and LEED culture have had a direct impact on the lighting sector. Awareness drives and laws are changing consumer behaviour from using traditional or incandescent bulbs to choosing LEDs or CFLs. LED lighting contributes to energy savings and sustainability by improving working conditions through deliberately directed light and lowering the energy needed to power lighting fixtures. For facilities management, this means direct savings in terms of money and time.
What do you believe is the market outlook for the lighting sector in the GCC going forward into 2017?
The growing need for sustainability has led to increasing demand for smart and green infrastructure technology. According to market intelligence firm, Frost & Sullivan, the GCC’s lighting systems market is projected to reach $3.5 billion by 2020. Governments are supporting drives to adopt LED and solar lighting technologies. Huge investments are being made in residential and commercial infrastructure projects that demand energy-efficient and environmental-friendly lighting solutions.