Next-generation LED lighting systems are undeniably game-changers
Flexible design and amazing efficiency have made sure their popularity is always on the rise
Energy-efficient LED lighting is changing the way people think about lighting. Modern lighting technologies play an active role in accenting spaces or creating a pleasing atmosphere for people to thrive in. The LED industry in India is bullish on its growth pros-pects owing to the increasing awareness about LED products amongst consumers – be it for homes, offices or public spaces. The major shift in the LED space has been the trans-formation from a product-based solution to a comprehen-sive connected lighting solution, paving the way for a fully digital world. In addition to these functionalities, LEDs also have a lower cost of ownership, higher durability, longer life and deliver an enhanced lighting experience as compared to conventional solutions. Sumit Joshi, vice chairman and managing director, Philips Lighting India, states, “LEDs are fast becoming the one-stop solution for all lighting requirements, since they are not only restricted to home decor – but also cater to professional seg-ments like street lighting, retail and industrial lighting.”There was a huge improvement last year in LED manu-facturing and sales. Cost-wise, there was a dip in the retail price, backed by lower costs of components and increased volumes – leading to economy of numbers. Technologically, too, there have been significant innovations at the chip level, which have made the products more efficient. “The differ-ence is in thermals and lumens, wherein better quality gives you even lower heat dissipation and increased light output at lower wattages. Some of the other advancements include products like Filament LED lamps that have been designed for décor enhancements and better aesthetics,” states Tushar Gupta, executive director, NTL Lemnis.
Smarter and better
Latest innovations in LEDs like Smart Lighting are making lights more intuitive and interactive. Anirudh Kajaria, business head, Century LED, adds, “The LED lighting market has undergone a robust change in the past few years. Novel-ties in lighting solutions are emerging every day to give wings to our concepts of contemporary decorating needs.”By 2030, the primary energy supply, at a conservative estimate, will need to grow about four times and electricity supply by five to seven times of today’s consumption. In theprofessional sector, the efficient LED is already invincible for its exemplary light output. Jayanth Jain, MD & CEO, GM Modular, states, “With newer introductions, there has been a revolution in the LED technology with regular down lights, panel lights, surface lights, chandelier lights, LED street lights and other residential and industrial applications.”Also, the lower costs become an inevitable advantage over the rest of the light sources, and that further curbs the impact on climate damage and lowers switching costs to LED tech-nology. Gradually, it will supersede all other light sources such as fluorescent and discharge lamps in every sphere. Product designer Vibhor Sogani of Studio Vibhor Sogani feels that, while LEDs have been seeing a lot of changes over the past few years, the interesting thing for him is that the sizes of the modules have reduced. “They have become smarter and better. The outdoor versions have become user-friendly, but the thing that has stood out most for me is the warm-dim LED’s which behave like halogens when you dim them. This really excites me, since nothing else really matches the colour rendition of a halogen.”Worldwide, LED lights are being used increasingly in the automotive industry, particularly in advanced forward light-ing where adaptive beam headlights minimise glare while optimising illumination for drivers. These arrays of LEDs are controlled by forward-sensing technology and boost driver safety. A microcontroller dims LEDs for oncoming drivers (or vehicles that are following), while typically keeping the high beam on for other zones on the road. VP Mahendru, chairman & managing director, EON Electric Ltd, says, “EON LED battens have been gradually gaining ground globally in the past year or two. While approved in Europe but in limited use, the industry norms are under finalisation in the USA. Such systems possess tremendous potential to ensure safety of traffic on highways.”
Creating an efficient ambience
Different wavelengths of LED light can cause different reac-tions that have medical and sociological benefits. Blue light, for example, can make one feel alert; and energetic yellow wavelengths can help one relax and fall asleep. Red wave-lengths have therapeutic value for the skin. The benefits are many, and the malleable nature of LED lighting means that we can match the lighting to our requirements. Gupta observes, “Today, all studies prove that LED light balances circadian rhythms. In other words, since it mimics natural light, it promotes a sense of well-being and induces effective working conditions and no depletion of energy. Again, since there is constant light, there is a lower inci-dence of health issues at the workplace – leading to better productivity. Some other proven benefits include improved concentration, energy, health and well-being.
”When companies look at revamping office spaces. optimis-ing work force productivity is stressed on – where lighting plays a key role. Kajaria says, “The lighting in a workplace has a considerable contribution to the office atmosphere. Adequate lighting can increase productivity up to a favour-able percentage with a better isolation of problems, making employees more alert and managing their stress levels. Efficient lighting allows employees to concentrate better and can decrease errors by 30-60%.”Most LED lights are BIS (Bureau of Indian Standards) ap-proved, which certifies the product quality and safety. Some of the proven benefits of LEDs are that they are ecologically friendly, decrease occurrence of headache, increase learning performance, increase productivity, and decrease the levels of anxiety and stress.
While LEDs are offered in a variety of base colours such as red, green, blue and amber, they can also be blended together to produce millions of colour options without 5including specific filters for each. With more developments in this technology, LEDs will continue to be ideal solutions for interactive signage, signalling, advertising hoardings and decorative illumination of buildings.To attract the market, GM Modular has been coming up with a great line of products. Jain explains, “GM introduced high-quality LED lighting solutions with down lights, sur-face and panel lights, LED streetlights, flood lights and more for a wide variety of residential and industrial applications. The whole idea was to reduce costs and make LEDs afford-able for domestic consumers.” GM developed an LED that lasts about 30 times longer than the regular incandescent lamp. It has higher luminosity with which a 3.5W LED can replace a 40W incandescent lamp. This development helps lessen maintenance and save more than 85% of energy.More value addition is definitely possible in the mechani-cal category. The movement from glass dome to plastics has already helped lower costs. Photometry element of LEDs and LED PCBs (printed circuit boards) has greatly improved the output emitted by the luminaires, allowing brighter light per watt. As for the electronics components, the more ad-vanced they get, the better quality light output is achievable. “Developing the nano technology will help in reducing the electronic circuit design and making it more compact. This, in turn, will lead to more flexibility in designing the lumi-naires – and we are working in this direction,” says Gupta.A typical 84W fluorescent lamp or a 36W fluorescent tube can be effectively replaced by 36W LED bulb and 18W LED batten. “In addition to this, 27W and 40W LED bulbs are now available in the same price ranges as CFL bulbs, and with better lumen output. Similarly, a 14W LED bulb can re-place a 100W incandescent bulb efficiently,” says Mahendru.
Emotional connect with lighting
Architect Luis Barragán gave us the term “emotional archi-tecture” to express art and architecture’s emotional appeal – an aspect made more visible by lighting. High-quality lighting can express certain emotions. Jain believes, “The upcoming trend in the lighting segment has already become invincible for its exemplary light output and low energy consumption. With the freedom to adjust the lighting, the intensity, the colour, the direction, LED lighting has taken a big leap. This gives scope for building connections between lighting design and the user’s comfort level.”People are becoming more conscious of the fact that lighting is actually the fourth dimension of architecture.
Sogani states that, earlier, lighting just lit up spaces. “With the advent and introduction of an array of lights, profession-als are also addressing this particular aspect. There are, of course, different layers of lighting in any project – functional, ambient and emotional. When you address the emotion, you also automatically address the function.”For any kind of visual communication, lighting plays an important part. The emotional connect really comes from a sensory connect and, amongst the senses, vision plays a predominant role. What we see and how we see it becomes dependent on the light associated with the object/artist/brand/monument in question. Gupta believes, “There has to be ideal contrast ratio between the main product and the surroundings to create an impact on the viewers. Amalga-mation of different CCTs (Correlated Colour Temperature), CRIs (Colour Rendering Index) and beam patterns to light up the façade or a monument/architecture can create different emotional connections. Lighting is one the most impor-tant ingredients of the visual media.
”Quality lighting has the capacity to mould common perceptions of style, spaciousness and serenity of a particular place. The right lighting fixtures can enhance the desired ambience of a space, adding to its utility and beauty. How-ever, lack of efficient lighting can trigger depression. Recent studies show that spending excessive time solely in harsh artificial light can cause nervousness and uneasiness. Regardless of our professions, light affects our lives in many ways. Kajaria states, “Lighting connoisseurs and de-signers are employed to generate a perfect ambience in every architecture application. A creative space can be optimised using LED dimmers. Studies suggest that emotions are elic-ited more intensely under bright lights and, contrarily, dim-ming the lights reduce emotionality in everyday decisions.”
Though there are varied factors that can affect our health due to unbalanced lighting, there are ways to connect ourselves better with suitable lighting. Hence, efficient lighting adds to the value of selective retention – as it connects us emotionally with the other elements of design.With new applications and features, different sensors are becoming the norm with LED lighting, such as motion sen-sors, IR sensors, photo-sensors, etc. Dimmers and lighting controls that lead to flexibility of usage and customization according to requirement, are also gaining prominence. Mostly used for mood lighting, Smart Lighting is a better way to save energy and continues to garner much interest. Connected lighting (network connectivity and intelligent lighting) integrated with LED luminaires is likely to become the reality in India with the advent of Smart cities.Innovative LED lighting solutions are driving the market forward with their amazing lifetimes, low energy consump-tion and quality of light, providing businesses with the opportunity to retrofit or upgrade existing fixtures to LED and improve their bottom line, experience high ROI (return on investment) and lessen the impact that their business has on the environment.