Shanghai-Yunnan, 22nd January 2010
TodayI am travelling to Yunnan to visit the sites of two of our hospitality projects. It is a near 5 hour journey out of Shanghai with a transit stop in Kunming, plenty of time to think! The reason I am heading this blog with the title “LED economy” is that I was wondering whether the application of LED (or new technologies in general) is economically and proportionally linked to the distance away from the developed world centers. While I am not saying that Yunnan province is under developed, it is obviously a more rural area and not as fast paced and leading edge compared to world cities such as Shanghai, Paris or New York. Hence you would expect the economy of scale in the use of new technologies such as LED to be at a much lower level. Is that really so?
I believe that it has much to do also with expectation levels. We don’t really expect the same facilities, comfort and luxury in the rural countryside as in the city. Needs are different. Priorities are different. I mentioned lighting levels in my blog yesterday. I remember well one of my early lighting designs for an office building in Pakistan. At the time (I was working for Philips’ lighting design centre in Eindhoven then) promoting 500 lux as the norm for office lighting seemed well out of place with most local offices I visited, struggling to get past 50 lux!
Are people expecting LED as the new norm in more “rural” areas? Not really… they just need light! Light at an affordable cost. However interestingly with sometimes limited power supply available LED is possibly becoming more popular applied in combination with solar energy then in big cities.
PS just came back from my dinner with the client. Would you believe the only lighting in the outdoor restaurant pavilion were two bare incandescent lamps, some colored rope light and some tree lights! Not much indeed but it was certainly enough for ambiance