Vi fick chansen att ställa fem frågor till Nigel Parry som har över 40 års erfarenhet inom europeiska gatubelysningsmarknaden och som nu är aktuell som talare under Gatubelysningsforum 2018. I nedan intervju delar Nigel bl.a. med sig av sina tankar om skillnaden mellan den svenska och brittiska gatubelysningsmarknaden samt talarämnet Kompatibilitet – Funktionalitet – Hållbarhet.
Can you briefly explain your role and experience within the street lighting industry?
I have been in the street lighting industry for over 40 years, starting with a manufacturer, before moving to the public sector for 25 years, then joining a consultant/contractor before returning to the manufacturing business with OrangeTek. I also have been active in the professional side of the business and was national President of the UK institution of Lighting Engineers in 2002, and a tutor on their exterior lighting diploma. More recently I have become involved with CIE and act as Editor for Division 4.
How would you say that the British street lighting market has evolved over the last 5 years?
The UK market has become an early adopter of the LED technology, although with regional variations. The pattern for this time has been large scale deployment on a one 4 one basis to change to LED, across the Urban centres. Locations such as Manchester, Birmingham and Leicester have completed complete upgrades to LEDs to replace the old Sodium, usually combined with dimming technology, so that the energy savings are often around 70%. This has been aided by National Government initiatives to make funding easily available for these large scale changes.
What do you think is the biggest difference right now between the British and the Swedish street light industry?
There aren’t great differences between the two markets, but Sweden has been a little more cautious in adopting the new technology of LED and wireless control systems than the UK and thus may benefit from a more mature market. The other glaring difference, is the lack of any national (government) imperative to make energy savings by changing to the new technology. The EU has issued a number of reports outlining the benefits of an early adoption of the LED technology, but not countries have taken the opportunity to support the change.
Your lecture at the conference will address Compatibility – Functionality – Sustainability in luminaires and control systems, why is this subject relevant in today’s street light market?
I believe we are entering a new phase of LED street lights that are more flexible than what first appeared. When LEDs first appeared, it was important to get the right light distribution pattern(lens), with the right number of LEDs to give you the required illumination on the street, and each street is slightly different, so each luminaire had to be ordered per street. This led to longer delivery times and wholesalers could no longer stock ‘general’ products. What is happening now is that the same luminaire can now change its output and even the lenses easily, so that off the shelf solutions are again available with all the associated benefits. What we do need to be careful of is not adopting a throw away approach. As the cost of light gets cheaper and cheaper, then temptation may be to leave lights on longer, or even replace cheap luminaires every 6 years and dump the old ones. A more sustainable approach is to ensure that what is deployed now is recyclable and even better reusable when it gets towards end of life. The aluminium bodies will last many years (40+), the new generation LEDs will last well past twenty years, with only a little light depreciation. It is only the drivers that will need replacing on a regular basis.
Finally, do you have any useful tips for organizations that are undergoing or will be undergoing maintenance in their street light operations and are getting ready to choose luminaires and control systems?
There are some basics that will help everyone and first one is to get your inventory of the street lights up to date, in part so you know accurately what you have to change and what is your current energy load. The next step should be to try out a few manufacturers options, it is sad to say that even today not all manufacturers tell the whole truth about their products and I would say that the only way to be certain of what you are getting is to get independent test results and to try them out on site and measure the energy and light output yourselves. It is a lot easier than it may sound.