Experts from the lighting industry — designers as well as manufacturers — discuss various facets of LED lighting
Environment-friendliness of LEDS, their impact in rural areas and relevance to contemporary living are the topics of interest
Are there enough environment-friendly technologies/options in LED segment?
Tushar Gupta: LED lighting by itself is the most environmen-tally-friendly technology available across the globe. It has no mercury, and emits no ultra-violet rays and no Infrared rays (IR LEDs are also now available for medical benefits). In addition, it is hugely energy saving. So, for the foreseeable future, it will be LEDs and their various formats that will rule as the primary source of electric lights.
Anirudh Kajaria: LED light bulbs have seen plenty of growth in recent years with the varied advantages these bulbs possess in comparison to other modes of conventional lighting. With every new generation of technology, there is a huge gain in terms of efficiency and lifespan. Costs have come down considerably, and the technology has delivered more options to consumers. Advanced environment-friendly technologies, used in the LED industry, have helped us in eliminating our carbon footprint drastically, with emissions coming down by over half a billion tons in 2017, as a study suggests. In addition to this, LED lighting is one of the most efficient lighting solutions avail-able in the market. According to the Department of Energy, widespread use of LED technology could result in saving up energy, equal to the output of 44 large electric power plants.There is a second factor to induce environmentally-sound technologies: the formation of waste. LED lights have a much longer lifespan than conventional modes of lighting. Bulbs with longer lifespans do not have to be replaced at a regular pace. This technology reduces the amount of waste created by each household and business. To sum up, LED lighting solutions allow us to bind the amount of energy we consume when lighting up our home or office. They are a sturdier and more efficient option than incandescent and fluorescent bulbs in practically every measurable way.
Vibhor Sogani: LEDs are environment-friendly because they consume much less power than fluorescent lights and run cooler – for instance, you could pretty much light up an entire house in 100W.Having said that, one has to be smart about it since, typically, with LEDs, if the application is incorrect, there would be a lot of light loss.
What is the future of LEDs in rural areas?
Gupta: I am of the opinion that we have not even started work in the rural areas. While EESLs (Energy Efficiency Services Limited) work is commendable in the rural sector, wherein LED is reaching even remote villages, a major factor that is important to consider is the availability of electric supply in these areas. In this context, we believe that solar LED lamps can play a major role. Solar LED lighting in all its applications – lanterns, torch and street lights – have immense potential. There is already some activity happening in the field, but it also requires the government’s impetus to go [mass-produced]. Once the pricing becomes more affordable, we feel that the rural consumer will be more amenable to it.
Kajaria: Under Government of India’s UJALA (Unnat Jyoti by Affordable LEDs for All) scheme, the country intends to save around 20,000 mW, which will ensure 24×7 access to power in rural areas. Additionally, large-scale and transparent procurement has led to a notable decrease in the cost of LED bulbs. In rural areas, street and household lighting are amongst many essential requirements towards a better livelihood and advancement. Installation of LEDs in rural areas is a far more sustainable choice due to its longevity. This evolution is driven by a cumulative number of government initiatives for energy conservation, rising consumer awareness about energy-efficient products, and innovative products offered by the industry that are in sync with the overall trend of digitisation.
VP Mahendru: The future of LEDs in the rural areas is as bright as it is in the towns, if not more. Last year, the Hon-ourable Prime Minister launched a Rs.16,000 crore scheme, Saubhagya, offering free power connections to village homes across the nation that are still without access to electric-ity. Coupled with the UJALA scheme, targets for replacing around 770 million incandescent lamps with LED bulbs is already on the anvil. Clearly, the future of LEDs couldn’t have been brighter in rural areas.
Jayanth Jain: India imports more than 70% of its oil and natural gas and relies on coal for more than half of its electricity generation. With economic growth comes demand for more consumption, and this is where LEDs changed the spending scenario in rural areas. The LED technology has brought plenty of new replacement products from the primitive incandescent lighting used in rural areas. LED technology, on the whole, effortlessly replaces the old lighting products. It is going to be an illuminating future here on, given that LEDs are among the most energy-efficient lighting sources, and last longer than other light bulbs. An LED bulb can cut energy consumption by over 80% when compared to conventional light bulbs and can last up to 25% longer. The sustainable technology innovation wave has just begun, and there are gradual improvements in resource productivity that are contributing towards sustainability.
Can old sources of lighting be totally replaced with LED technology in retail, industrial and residential applications?
Gupta: Today, almost all applications of traditional lighting are replaced by LED lighting. Whether it is retail, industrial or residential, almost all of the range has been replaced by LEDs. In the residential segment, major products are lamps, battens and panels, for which LED replacements are widely available. In the industrial segments, the major products are highbays, well-glass, tube lights and industrial battens, where all have been either retrofitted or replaced by LED products. Similarly in the retail segment, all major products such as spot lights, track lights, etc, have been replaced by LED products. We at NTL Lemnis have more than 250 products primarily targeted at each of these segments.
Kajaria: The prospects of LED lighting industry is purely driven by aspirational needs of the contemporary world. While there is a requirement for a smarter and more connected lifestyle, the rising consciousness towards energy efficiency also paves the way for a great future for LED lighting industry. The evolution of customer preference is (impacting) LED lights. Residential applications of these lighting options, preferably bulbs and battens, come with better lumen quality and ex-tended longevity. There are products which are specially made for retail. Showrooms also use different lighting fixtures like COB (chips on board) and spot lights. High wattage LED bulbs have already been introduced in the market, which replace CFLs in the smaller shops. In addition to this, LED lighting solutions can be used effectively in outsized industrial spaces as even-illumination speeds up production and helps avoid on-the-job mishaps. Technological advances in this sector, along with low-cost maintenance, helps in smooth functioning at work. These LED lighting fixtures can enhance the overall lighting experience coupled with the convenience of longer life and improved aesthetics.
Jain: The influence of LED lighting in the contemporary world is endless. The LED technology has brought plenty of new replacement products from the primitive incandescent lighting. LED lighting provides up to 75% energy saving with instant start and without any flicker. They are environmentally friendly, non-toxic, lead and mercury free. This technology, on the whole, effortlessly replaces the old lighting products from industrial and residential applications. One of the most important features of LED is the lumen output – or brightness, in simple terms, that doesn’t decrease or depreciate with LED as opposed to fluorescent technology. Industrial lighting con-sumes more energy, and this is where LED comes as a saviour.
Sogani: LEDs have matured and the brands dealing with them have been working towards what we call ‘technically zero defect’ modules which don’t fail as much, are easily available and the costs more palatable. In my opinion, LED technology has the potential to replace old sources of lighting in various applications and environments