UAE Lighting Standard | WWF

UAE Lighting Standard

Energy-efficient lightbulb

What is the UAE lighting standard?

The UAE Lighting Standard prevents low-quality indoor light bulbs from entering the market, and instead ensures that light bulbs available are energy-efficient, high quality, safe, have limited hazardous chemicals and can be safely disposed of.
High-efficiency light bulbs that will be available in the country include:
  • Compact Fluorescent Lamps (CFLs) - which are more much efficient than incandescent bulbs
  • Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs) - which offer higher efficiency and have a much longer lifespans than most lamps
  • Halogens - which are also more efficient than traditional incandescent bulbs

Implementation of the standard

The standard will be effective since its publication in the official gazette, and will feature a six-month roll-out by Emirates Authority for Standardisation and Metrology (ESMA) who will be coordinating with stakeholders, manufacturers, retailers and other authorities to implement the standard.

All lighting products entering the UAE and manufactured locally must include 3rd party product certifications, with correct labelling that clearly specific the specs of the product. Any bulbs that do not meet the minimum requirements will be excluded. Proper market surveillance and monitoring, including random sample testing will also be conducted to ensure effective implementation.

Why do we need a lighting standard?

The UAE has one of the highest ecological footprints in the world and with households responsible for 57% of it and lighting accounting for 20% of household energy consumption globally, implementing a lighting standard can help make an impactful difference.

The lighting standard addresses the high consumption of energy form indoor lighting products that are extensively used in the residential sector, in an effective and low cost manner.

Impacts and benefits from the UAE Lighting Standard

A study of lighting standards implemented in other countries proves that they provide huge energy saving rewards and are efficient to implement.
The lighting standard allows the UAE to reduce its footprint in a tangible and impactful way by:
  • Reducing the country’s energy consumption by 500MW annually, which means not needing to use an average gas power station for 6 months.
  • Significantly lowering carbon emissions equivalent to removing 165,000 cars off the road every year.
  • Resulting in financial savings of approx AED668* million per year in net savings from households’ reduced electric bills and in government savings from reduced subsidies.
  • By saving a medium-sized villa in Dubai up to AED 2,315 per year on electricity bills.
Based on conservative usage and only include the residential sector so greater benefits are likely to be achieved as the standard will impact on commercial and public sectors as well. 

How was it developed?

The standard was born out of the Ecological Footprint Initiative; a public-private partnership to help lower the country’s Ecological Footprint.


To design the lighting standard, the initiative undertook a comprehensive lighting assessment extensively looked into the lighting used in the residential sector, gathered local data from the government entities of each emirate, as well as statistical authorities and the utility/lighting bodies. The initiative also considered international best-practices which prove how adopting lighting standards are a low-cost option to save energy.

To identify a policy and regulatory framework for the lighting standard, and benchmark a UAE lighting standard based on its economic and technical potential, as well as its potential sustainability impact, the partnership gathered extensive buy-in from key stakeholders in the lighting industry, different government entities and regional regulatory bodies.

We collaborated with innovative research agency RTI International to conduct a baseline study on existing lighting usage, the potential benefits of a lighting standard, and information about policy and regulation frameworks in the UAE. If you are interested in reading more about how the UAE Lighting Standard came to fruition, all of these findings, methodologies and assumptions have been compiled into our report, “Development of a Lighting Regulation in the UAE”.

Policy Brief

We have developed this briefing for policy makers, providing recommendations for impactful implementation of the lighting standard. It also includes details on the role of demand side management policies in the UAE, research results conducted by the UAE’s Ecological Footprint Initiative (EFI) to support the Emirates Authority for Standardization and Metrology (ESMA) in the development of the “UAE Regulation on Lighting Products, and details of key components included in the regulation. This document is intended for government and regulatory bodies involved in energy policy work, energy and water utility companies, environmental authorities, municipalities, producers of lighting products, standardisation bodies, and any other entities that would like to understand how this regulation can be fully implemented in the UAE.

Partners Involved

• Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi
• Ministry of Environment and Water
• Global Footprint Network
• Emirates Authority for Standardisation and Metrology

Did you know?

Here are some figures that illustrate the energy saving potential of the UAE Lighting Standard.
  • Carbon emissions will be lowered, equivalent to removing 165,000 cars off the road every year.
  • A medium-sized villa in Dubai can save up to AED 2,315 per year on electricity bills.