LED Lighting technology in Africa

March 16, 2016

Technologies are advancing day and night. The LED light projects in various parts of East and Southern Africa are examples of the greener future, which involves technology that does more with less.We have reached the stage where something as ordinary as light bulbs have evolved into intelligent devices. Light bulbs are being designed to be more sensitive and reactive to its surroundings, making it economically, environmentally and societally relevant.LEDs are an exciting low-carbon technologies that can change many aspects of our lives for the better.Electric vehicles are another part of the set. In time, they are expected to reduce the cost of refuelling and car maintenance to a fraction of petrol vehicles, especially as oil prices rise and the technology develops further and gets cheaper. With no tail pipe, electric vehicles will remove much of the air pollution from our streets, improving public health in the process. Similarly, smart-grid technologies and energy efficiency also hold huge promise to cut carbon while improving our services.Each of these new smart technologies has one thing in common: they have the potential to lower emissions while improving our lives.In countries like Tanzania, Zambia, Kenya, South Africa, the technology called networked intelligent LED lighting systems, which is equipped with sensors that can feel and hear is being adopted fast.

In Dar Es Salaam, commercial capital of Tanzania, street lamps on a dark streets have fully activated sensor that can react to sudden sounds and movements. If an individual is walking alone at night say in Bibi Titi Mohammed road on the way home and hears a cry for help from another person, the sound made will trigger the street lamp to shine brighter than usual and serve as an alert.This is part of the Internet of Things , a network of technological devices that has the capacity to communicate and exchange data via the Internet allowing remote control and access to particular infrastructures, in this case, the light bulb. A European company, a cloud-based solution provider, has developed a tool targeted and designed to collect and analyse exactly the kind of data needed for illuminated ‘smart cities.’ With the LED lighting systems, communities can save on resources and benefit the environment.Many people believe that becoming green means sacrifice. But we believe the evidence is to the contrary. Research and development has delivered, and is continuing to deliver, innovations that allow better performance using fewer resources. This is the promise of the clean revolution and it’s already come to a street near you.The ability of humans to innovate is one of our defining features. But if we are to get new ideas off the ground quickly, we need to ensure we focus on the opportunities as well as the challenges. This means bold leadership from business and government to support new environmental technologies, demonstrate their effectiveness and show that it can be done.

The light bulbs in African countries are an exciting step and there are many other areas including but not limited to energy, manufacturing, transport, for example that have technologies waiting to go.Due to the use of LED lights in the street lamps, they are set to save millions of dollars in running costs.The same type of technology is now lighting up homes. Sensors can assess room occupancy, regulating lighting to save energy and automatically adjust for the comfort of the occupants.Furthermore, energy companies like UMEME in Uganda, Kenya Power and Lighting Company in Uganda, TANESCO in Tanzania are already working on an advanced portfolio of intelligent lighting that allow consumers to synchronise smartphones and tablets to home lighting solutions. If a person forgets to turn off the lights before leaving the house in the morning or is planning to go away from home over the weekend, there’s a possibility to remotely turn the lights on and off using a mobile device, saving energy during the day and perhaps keeping away burglars in the wee hours of the night.Lighting communities in Africa is not simply a question of aesthetics and simply brightening spaces, it goes to the core of what they should provide a safe, happy environment in which residents can live and thrive. Through intelligent lighting, people have more control over places that should feel most comfortable and secure communities, cities and homes.Smart LED lighting solutions don’t just offer convenience, but an efficient lighting solution for a smarter, sustainable future. It doesn’t only promise a brighter community, it also helps provide a safer world.

Contador Harrison