LED lighting has vast potential in India

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As India is a fast-growing economy, the power consumption across the country is likely to surge rapidly in the coming years. As of December 2010, India had an installed power generation capacity of only 165,000 MW and per capita energy consumption stood at 612 kWh. With the changes in demand and consumption, it is believed that by 2030, India will need nearly 950,000 MW of power. However, the government is likely to miss even its modest target to add approximately 78,000 MW of installed generating capacity by 2012.

By Rebika Singam

Tuesday, July 12, 2011: Looking at the slow pace of progress, it seems a very difficult task to achieve the targeted installed capacity of 950,000 MW of power generation. India, therefore, has to look for alternative power generation sources and consider the use of energy efficient products like light emitting diode (LED) products, which are also environment friendly since they have no mercury and heavy metals.
“LED lighting has vast potential in India due to power shortages and high electricity costs. Therefore, LED for lighting is already a hot business area,” says Ajay Goel, CEO, Goldwyn. “However, even the bigger lighting players have still not tapped this market aggressively. The government needs to start massive campaigns to spread awareness about its usage,” he adds.

How LED lights can help

We can save 60-75 per cent of the power we consume by using energy efficient LED lights. The directional nature of light produced by LEDs allows the design of luminaries with higher overall efficiency. LEDs do not contain any filament and in any application, they start up instantly. LED lights can also be dimmed to save even more energy.In conventional lights such as compact fluorescent lamps (CFL) and halogen bulbs, reflectors need to be used to increase the light output ratio (LOR), in spite of which the typical LOR is 60. But in LED lights, there is no need for many reflectors as LEDs are unidirectional. The old belief that CFLs are energy efficient is just half the truth. They are energy efficient only when compared to incandescent/halogen bulbs. The lack of awareness about this fact leads to consumers using CFLs even in place of tubelights, which does not help in saving energy. CFLs give lumens per watt and, hence, are not commercially viable, leading to waste of energy. An LED light can give up to 130 lumens per watt, making it commercially viable. Also, because LEDs are directional in nature, they can deliver energy savings of up to 65 per cent on an average and are available in all temperature ranges.

Other advantages of LEDs

We all know that cool white LEDs, a byproduct of blue LEDs, give higher lumens as they are solid state devices when compared to warm white LEDs. Lumen depreciation is also much lower since they are solid state devices and their life expectancy is higher compared to other LEDs. If an LED luminary is made in a well designed way, it can give 50,000 hours of life. On the other hand, there are LED drivers available with a life expectancy of 25,000 hours. Thus, a lot of R&D has been carried out to enhance the life expectancy of LED drivers.

Opportunities in the future

According to Ajay Goel, demand for LED lighting is higher in western India, but of late, demand from southern and northern India is also picking up fast. Most of the demand for LED lighting comes from government departments, private organisations, key industry sectors, as well as value chain partners such as building contractors, consultants and architects. This is because India is witnessing a boom in real estate and in infrastructure development. This is accelerating the growth of the lighting industry.

“The demand for LED lights is very high in this domain. It is a proven fact that despite the recession, demand for LED lights was quite good. We registered a 275 per cent growth in our LED lighting business even during the recession. In 2011-12, we expect a 500 per cent growth in our LED lighting business,” says Ajay Goel. “If we alone can grow by 275 per cent, then you can imagine how fast the market is picking up, as there are many others like us in the industry,” he adds.

So we can conclude that the use of LEDs can save nearly 80 MW of electricity and reduce an organisation’s carbon footprint as well. However, there are some obstacles to using LED lights as currently, 100 per cent of the power LEDs are being imported. There is immense scope and potential in the market for power LEDs in India as now it is expected to reach a phenomenal figure in the next few years.
The government should focus more on tax incentives to encourage indigenous manufacturing. Magnetic components used in LED products like inductors and coils are hardly manufactured in India. Companies should now look for more components that are manufactured in India, rather than importing from abroad. As India does not have good metal core PCB manufacturers, there are opportunities for companies that can provide good quality products in this domain. Components such as electrolytic capacitors are also much in demand.

Currently, the Indian LED industry is striving to lower energy consumption and reduce manufacturing costs. But in the near future, LED luminaries will improve both aesthetically as well as technologically, with automatic controls, thermal management and lower costs. This will further promote wider applicability, mass availability, and greater affordability.

This article is based on the talks given by Ajay Goel, CEO, Goldwyn, at the ELCINA-EFY CEO Summit in February 2011, in New Delhi.

Electronics Bazaar, South Asia’s No.1 Electronics B2B magazine

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