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Sub-Saharan Africa is the proud holder of seven out of the 10 fastest growing economies in the world, along with a growing middle class and a number of rising mega cities. Street lighting for these swelling urban areas is therefore becoming an increasing necessity for improved traffic flow and safety in public spaces, writes Nicolette Pombo-van Zyl.

public-lighting
Street lights on metal pole in Nairobi

Cities around the world are being judged by the quality and reliability of lighting installations and the ability to adequately maintain them. Therefore, the authorities responsible for public lighting must take the total cost of ownership of an installation into account as this is critical to making the right decisions upfront for an installation to be cost effective and allow for affordable maintenance. Another key consideration is the colour of the luminaire. Due to the higher lumen output of a sodium lamp, African cities seem to have accepted a lower colour rendering in Europe the for the most part is required, which is why more white light installation is evidence along with metal halide lamps being in operation. However, with the advancements made in LED lighting all that is changing. It is now possible to achieve a higher lumen output and still have a very high colour index value, with the added bonus of energy saving, which is currently the driving force in lighting worldwide.

Stamping out public lighting's carbon footprint

With the large amount of energy being consumed worldwide by lighting and in particular street lighting, it is critical that cities and municipalities determine strategies to reduce the resulting carbon footprint. It is possible to achieve this through the high efficiency values for lighting that are now coming into the market place. Although the cause of climate change cannot be placed solely at the feet of the lighting industry to control...

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