Too much of a shine

PUBLISHED : Monday, 26 March, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 26 March, 2007, 12:00am

Goldsmiths have been told they could save money and energy by not relying so heavily on power-consuming spotlights.

Friends of the Earth environmental affairs manager Chu Hon-keung said excessive display lighting was a traditional way of promoting products in Hong Kong, particularly among goldsmiths.

He questioned the need for as many as 200 spotlights hung above the display panels at the 300 sq ft 3-D Gold jewel shop in Jordan Road.

Some shopping malls also were ignoring calls to save energy to mitigate climate change and improve air quality, and continued to turn on hundreds of lights at midnight when there were few or no shoppers, he said.

Energy used by shops for lighting increased by 34 per cent from 1994 to 2004, while the figure for the whole commercial sector had increased by 40 per cent, the Electrical and Mechanical Services Department said.

Mr Chu said an energy-saving light bulb such as an LED lamp could save 90 per cent of electricity consumption compared with tungsten lamps. Just replacing one bulb could save about HK$400 a year.

Asked how to keep jewellery displays attractive and be energy-efficient at the same time, lighting specialist Henry Chung Shu-hung said they could choose to put some newly designed jewellery under the spotlights. The associate dean in the faculty of science and engineering at City University also advised reducing the lighting levels of other areas for health reasons.