Ajay Awtaney, managing director at Nakashi Superlative Luminaries, speaks about the importance of having the right lights and the project with Sharjah Central Mall

Tell us about the Sharjah Central Mall (SCM) and your win?
Sharjah Central, a 42,000sqm retail and leisure destination, in the heart of Sharjah, is a large-scale project by Line Investments & Property, a shopping mall development and management division of Lulu Group. Once completed the mall will include a 10,000 sqm hypermarket, a 5,700sqm department store, a 3,600sqm cinema, a 3,300sqm family entertainment centre and 1,800 parking spaces. The project is expected to be completed in the next three months. We, at Nakashi, are proud to be associated with the Sharjah Central Mall project. Our expertise lies in large-scale commercial, industrial, and residential projects and winning this project is a testament to our company’s capabilities and commitment to quality. The developer’s project team was in search of lighting suppliers who have the experience and capability to provide high-quality products that can be customised to blend with the aesthetics of the unique boat shape concept of the mall. Nakashi in the last 10 years has delivered projects that met the above criteria. This opportunity was unique as many design companies in the region were not able to supply the design and technical specifications, giving Nakashi the edge to prove its capability as an end-to-end LED lighting solution provider.

Sharjah Central Mall

What makes lighting a particularly important factor in malls and shopping centres?
Lighting plays an integral role in delivering an exclusive retail experience. It is designed to set the right ambience for customers to feel comfortable, stay longer and experience the different products and services the mall has to offer. The right amount of illumination can affect moods, when customers are relaxed and enjoying, they will spend more time in the mall. From the fa ade to radiant public spaces, parking areas, internal domes and arches, retail outlets and restaurants all create an impact and the synergy of all give the full impact. To create this high-quality experience, malls and shopping centres need to ensure lighting solutions are of high-quality, no sub-standard materials are used, environment-friendly products are installed, and most importantly all this is provided at competitive pricing. Lighting is a long-term investment.

What is unique about SCM’s lighting project?
The mall architecture and design concept have traditional wooden boats and a grandiose entrance. The impressive design needs accentuated lighting effects. Nakashi invested a lot of time and design consultations to provide the best-LED products to create a unique effect. We are waiting with bated breath to experience its magnificence. What lighting did Nakashi provide to the project and why? We provided a variety of LED products for Sharjah Central such as customised programmable lighting fixtures with colour adjustment features to create the dramatic effects, lighting with DMX programming, and flexible strips for the ceiling coves, for columns in the mall, railings along the sides, and outdoor facade.

What were some of the challenges faced on this project?
The designers had specific lighting requirements for the distinctive design of the custom structure in the mall. Achieving that was a challenge for Nakashi. The project expected accurate light intensity for the feature so that it is not too bright to hurt the eye, neither too little to make it look uninteresting. To meet this exclusive design specification, we created a unique mould to get the shape of the lighting fixture and engineered it in a manner to ensure quality and a long life span. Once this was achieved, the next challenge was programming the lighting because the length of the feature was exceptionally long to control the programming from the unit in the base. We installed chips in each fixture along with the structure which made it possible to achieve the desired result.

Tell us what the key lighting feature in SCM is.
Besides the lighting of the custom structure, we provided LED flexible strips of various power and protection ratings, uniquely suitable for different areas of the mall while making sure the colour consistency was maintained throughout.

What is Nakashi’s advance LED technology about?
Nakashi’s uniqueness lies in incorporating the latest LED lighting technologies and design elements and bring the best of international standards to the UAE market. All lighting fixtures provided by Nakashi have the best build quality and finishing. The raw materials are sourced from manufacturers who are leaders in their industry. For example, LEDs used in flexible strips have phosphor sourced from the US and uses 99.9% pure gold wire for encapsulation. These LEDs can emit numerous colours (a technology solution that is simply not available with other suppliers in the region). This can integrate into interior design ideas and maintain strong colour consistency along with providing a long lifespan. Similarly, the LED Spot Downlights use a dense aluminium body with Citizen LED, having an excellent anti-glare feature and offer a seven-year-long warranty, whereas, LED Neon Flex, being the best outdoor linear lighting solution, can withstand harsh weather conditions and strong direct sunlight, a one-of-its-kind product with a 10-year warranty.

With sustainability being a very crucial element in the UAE and around the globe today, how is Nakashi contributing to sustainable lighting?
LED technology itself is known to save energy compared to conventional lamps and fixtures. By using the best quality raw materials, Nakashi ensures to provide its customers with a durable product with a life span of 10-15 years, thus eliminating costs of repeated replacements, while maintaining the design aesthetics. This makes the process of lighting very sustainable in today’s challenging times. What are some of the upcoming projects Nakashi is involved in? We have several projects in the pipeline including hospitals, hotels, private villas, and an amusement park. Some of the prestigious projects Nakashi has been associated with are IMG World, Jumeirah Hotels, AW Rostamani, and MAC cosmetics. Our satisfied customers and their kind referrals help us to do better and keep going.