Future Designs on how LED can help retrofit works
David Clements, managing director of Future Designs, tells fmME how retrofit operations can benefit from advancements in the lighting sector
fmME: What are the advantages of retrofitting a structure’s lighting components?
There are significant advantages of retrofitting existing lighting fixtures with latest LED technology. Energy and carbon reduction increase the life of LED over fluorescent or halogen and help save raw materials. For instance, reusing the steel in an existing luminaire carcass drastically reduces the use of natural resources, so retrofitting is a win-win means of updating lighting.
fmME: What are the latest trends in the regional light manufacturing industry?
The major trend without doubt is the way LED solutions have surpassed fluorescent as the lighting medium of choice across the UAE and GCC regions. We are beginning to use 3D printing, enabling us to take initial concepts to a form of reality quickly, which aids us in early development stages of luminaire design.
fmME: How has the focus on sustainability in the Middle East impacted you?
LED has been grasped by the Middle East. The drive in this region to become sensitive to the world’s environmental issues has seen LED technology become the choice for many end users and professionals that specify lighting. The UAE’s Estidama is driving energy saving and carbon use reduction, addressing sustainability as a core principle.
fmME: How is your supply chain organised in the Middle East?
We have worked in the UAE for over 12 years. Our first major project was the Exxon Mobil headquarters building in Doha, and this was followed by a major project in Abu Dhabi for Urban Planning Council. Some time after this we were introduced to Acoulite, a major supplier of lighting products in the GCC region, and nearly four years ago we formed an alliance partnership with them.
This is proving to be hugely successful for us and we could not ask to work alongside a more dedicated professional organisation. Through Acoulite we cover all of the UAE and GCC region, for sales, technical, and after-sales support.
fmME: Do you expect demand for internationally-manufactured products to grow in the Middle East?
Without doubt, the infrastructure and investment that Dubai Expo 2020 and 2022 FIFA World Cup Qatar are attracting is quite staggering and shows the commitment by the heads of these countries to ensuring their success. Lighting products from the UK and Europe seem to be making major inroads in the region due to the high product quality and after-care that is locally available.
fmME: What does this mean for Future Designs’ operations in the years to come?
We are in discussions now of the feasibility of setting up a manufacturing facility in the GCC market. Led by the UAE, the entire region is actively promoting its desire to welcome organisations like ours to bring manufacturing skills, and I can see us doing this within a span of two years.