Abu Dhabi is full of contradictions. Despite a devoted mix of forward-thinking, eco-savvy organizations, students and government officials that strive hard to bring the emirate in line with the realities of the 21st century, society overall maintains an unabashed commitment to the very good life.
Of course, not all Emiratis are driving a white gold mercedes, but an overall lack of economic hardship is reflected in much of the capital’s architecture. Including the 5 star Yas Hotel on Yas Island, which is wrapped in a dazzling crown of 5,000 LED panels.
While recent research shows that LED lights are not always healthy, especially for young children, there are several environmental benefits to using them.
Because they emit light in a specific direction and remain cold, according to National Geographic, they are exceptionally more efficient than incandescent or fluorescent light bulbs, for example, which both lose the majority of their energy through heat.
A high-powered white LED light can last for up to 50,000 hours, compared to an incandescent bulb that only lasts up to 2,000 hours, which can translate into enormous energy and cost savings.
Arup installed one of the Middle East and North African region’s most sophisticated LED light array on the roof of the 5 Star Yas Hotel. The shell grid comprises a total of 5,000 LED panels that extend to the vehicle and pedestrian bridges, all of which are monitored by a smart control system that organizes 19,000 video channels and pixel mapping.
Constructed at the site of the Yas Marina Formula 1 racing track, the Yas Hotel’s LED lighting system was carefully designed to mitigate glare – especially in November when the sun is low – which could prove hazardous to the racers.
Whilst there’s no real need to have a crown full of LEDs, the USD 1-2 million system results in massive energy savings when compared to either the incandescent or fluorescent alternative. And it’s a beautiful display of the technology’s potential, not to mention the fine tuning of Arup Acoustics.
Photos ©Bjorn Moreman