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The Worst Advice We've Ever Heard About Lighting

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In sunny countries like Iraq, where challenges in electricity availability exist, achieving a sustainable real estate industry is a priority. Lighting plays a vital role in creating comfortable and energy-efficient spaces. However, there is plenty of misguided advice about lighting that can hinder progress toward sustainability. In this article, three of the world's leading sustainable lighting real estate developers share their insights on the worst advice they have encountered about lighting in sunny countries. By debunking these misconceptions, they aim to promote informed decision-making and encourage sustainable lighting practices.

1. Misconception: Use as much artificial lighting as possible to brighten up spaces.

Fact: The idea that more lighting means better illumination is a common misconception. Over-illuminating spaces not only wastes electricity but also creates discomfort and strain on the eyes. In sunny countries like Iraq, where natural sunlight is abundant, real estate developers should prioritize designing spaces that maximize daylight utilization. Incorporating daylighting strategies, such as skylights, large windows, and light shelves, can significantly reduce the need for artificial lighting during the day, resulting in energy savings and a more sustainable real estate industry.

2. Misconception: Energy-efficient lighting is not aesthetically pleasing.

Fact: There is a widespread belief that energy-efficient lighting compromises aesthetics. However, this is far from the truth. With advancements in technology, energy-efficient lighting solutions now offer a wide range of options that cater to different design preferences. LED lighting, for example, provides flexibility in color temperature and intensity, allowing real estate developers to create visually appealing spaces while minimizing energy consumption. By embracing energy-efficient lighting options, sunny countries like Iraq can achieve a balance between aesthetics and sustainability.

3. Misconception: All lighting fixtures are created equal.

Fact: Not all lighting fixtures are equal in terms of efficiency and longevity. Choosing high-quality lighting fixtures is essential for sustainable real estate development. Investing in energy-efficient fixtures, such as LED luminaires with high efficacy ratings, can significantly reduce electricity consumption and maintenance costs over time. Real estate developers should prioritize fixtures with reputable certifications, like ENERGY STAR, to ensure optimal performance and durability.

4. Misconception: Lighting controls are unnecessary and expensive.

Fact: Lighting controls, including occupancy sensors, dimmers, and daylight sensors, are crucial for energy efficiency and cost savings. Contrary to the misconception that they are expensive and unnecessary, lighting controls enable real estate developers to fine-tune lighting levels based on occupancy and daylight availability, thereby reducing unnecessary energy usage. By incorporating smart lighting systems and controls, sunny countries like Iraq can achieve substantial energy savings and create adaptable and responsive lighting environments.

5. Misconception: Natural light is sufficient, and artificial lighting is unnecessary.

Fact: While maximizing natural light is desirable, it is unrealistic to rely solely on it, especially during nighttime or in spaces with limited access to natural light. Artificial lighting is still necessary to ensure adequate illumination and functionality. However, real estate developers should focus on integrating energy-efficient artificial lighting solutions to minimize electricity consumption. By striking a balance between natural and artificial lighting, sustainable real estate development can be achieved in sunny countries.

6. Misconception: Lighting is a one-time consideration in building design.

Fact: Lighting is not a one-time consideration but an ongoing aspect of building operation and maintenance. Real estate developers should educate stakeholders on the importance of regular maintenance, including lamp replacements, cleaning fixtures, and optimizing lighting controls. Neglecting lighting maintenance can lead to reduced efficiency, increased energy consumption, and compromised lighting quality, undermining the goal of sustainability.