A new adaptive lighting initiative at Maerua Mall is one of several energy-efficiency measures being adopted by its Namibian owner, Oryx Properties. Oryx recently gave the green light for the replacement of all fluorescent lighting in Maerua’s parking areas with LED (light-emitting diode) motion sensor tubes.

Whenever people or moving cars are not present, the sensor lights either dim down to 30% capacity or switch off completely. Apart from electricity thus saved, the LED bulbs have a three-year guarantee and a lifetime of 50 000 hours, proving a considerable reduction in replacement and maintenance costs.

A comparison of the older and newer technologies cannot fail to impress. The electricity consumption speed of a conventional fluorescent tube is around 59 Watt per hour, whereas a LED motion sensor tube at full power consumes 21 Watt per hour and only 7 Watt per hour while in dim mode.

With Maerua’s fluorescent installation comprising 1800 individual tubes, each running 20 hours per day, at least 2109 kWh (kilowatt-hours) were being expended each day. According to Jochen Henke, owner of Lights & Energy Networking who installed the new system, the LED array will require a mere 378 kWh and will run for 10 hours maximum per day, resulting in a daily saving of at least 1731 kWh. That almost equals the power used by the average Namibian over a whole year!

In environmental terms, the move to more accountable energy use makes sense. A large part of Namibia’s electricity still derives from coal-fired power stations, which daily consume substantial amounts of coal and water while producing tons of waste in the form of ash and CO₂ emissions. The daily lessening of the environmental burden represented by Maerua’s switch to energy-efficient adaptive lighting alone is a case in point.

Coal saved per day 935kg

Water saved per day 2,327 litres

Ash not produced per day 268kg

Carbon emissions not produced 1,714kg

Namibia produces about half of its electricity and imports the rest, variously from Zambia, Zimbabwe, South Africa and Mozambique. Until recently, we have enjoyed a steady supply, but the well-known woes of the South African supplier Eskom has already resulted in escalating tariffs for Namibian consumers.

Through this single initiative, Oryx has made great strides to lessen the impact on the environment. Oryx as a responsible corporate citizen will continue to apply sustainable business practices, which among others include the protection of the environment through the adoption of green building initiatives where practically possible.

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