The future of lighting rests on light emitting diodes (LEDs). LEDs use almost 90 per cent less electricity than conventional bulbs, last beyond 10 years and produce a spectrum of light that is unparalleled. Besides being ecofriendly light sources, LEDs proffer benefits like long life, low maintenance and energy efficiency. Hence, LEDs are the future requirement of India to save power.
By Jesus Milton Rousseau S & Saurabh Sharma
Parag Kulkarni, vice president, lighting and furniture business, Wipro Consumer Care and Lighting, adds, “Through the ‘force green’ initiative, Wipro is urging customers to use an ecologically sustainable technology like LED for their future lighting requirements.”
Vijay Kumar Gupta, managing director, Kwality Photonics Pvt Ltd, a 25-year-old manufacturer of LED displays and power LEDs for lighting, adds, “Customers should be educated about comparing the cost of ownership, rather than the initial price of lamps.” Earlier, LEDs were employed chiefly for decorative purposes. However, continuous research and development (R&D) in LED technology has placed LEDs in every office and home, for every lighting application. LED luminaries for general lighting are the current trend sweeping the Indian LED lighting domain.
The requirement for LEDs is growing in outdoor lighting, especially in street and urban architectural lighting. Currently, outdoor architectural lighting uses the maximum amount of LED solutions, both in terms of value and volume. The government is the biggest consumer of LEDs. Other major clients include iron and steel, chemical and software firms as well as power plants. “The government sectors, as well as some big private companies have started using LED based products as they want to use energy saving green products,” comments Monish Satwe, director-operations, JP Electronic Devices (I) Pvt Ltd, a distributor of semiconductors, which has recently started a new division offering LED lighting solutions.
Gupta adds, “The most promising vertical is energy efficient lighting in green buildings and commercial buildings. We also expect the Prime Minister’s climate initiative for India will give a fillip to the municipalities to go for solar LED lighting in a major way and reap the benefits of saved energy for over 10 years, while the investment is recovered within the first year.” Gupta opines the banning of incandescent GLS bulbs will create market opportunities for LED replacement lamps. terns, lights, solar lanterns, decorative lights, fancy lights and garden lights available in the market.
The latest development in the arena of LED lighting is the use of polychip LEDs and the knit bond thin wafer LED (which gives higher uniformity and quality). “The knit bond thin wafer LED series, 10W90W, in the form of MR 16, 2X18, 2X26, 2X36W CFL and PL lamps, are used in down lighters and general lights, street lights, ceiling lights, tube lights and flood lights. In the polychip LED series, a wide range of products from 10W-200W are used for street lights, flood lights, focus lights, industrial high/medium/low bay lights, explosive proof lights, high mast lights, flood lights and building wall washers,” informs P Ramachandran, managing director, Luke Electronic Devices Pvt Ltd, an eminent manufacturer of LED lamps, displays and other optoelectronic components.
Lately, a transition has been noted from DC current based LEDs to AC LEDs. Satwe remarks, “All LED lights are used with DC currents and hence, need drivers to formulate end products. However, now, the industry is moving towards AC LEDs, which will be used directly on 110/220V, making it easier to produce finished products.”
The market has also started to witness the surge of high power LEDs and super power LEDs. These LEDs can be driven at hundreds of mA, even at one ampere of current, thus they are capable of producing very high lumen. The LEDs consuming more than 10w are considered to be super LEDs as they have the capability to light up much larger areas than ordinary LEDs.
A high power LED is capable of replacing incandescent lamps, and if used strategically it can also replace search lights. Super power LEDs can single handedly replace a complete light fixture like a search light. “Wipro has introduced the ‘Kolors’ range of LED luminaries for indoor and outdoor lighting. The latest trend is to offer LEDs with higher luminous efficacy (Lm/W), luminaries with improved heat dissipation techniques and electronic gear to deliver desired lighting performance,” states Kulkarni. Citizen has also produced a 13.3w LED with a lumen output of 1335lm and claims that it is the most energy efficient super power LED. This LED does not have to go through an electronics assembling process as it can be directly mounted on to the heat sink and only needs a single optical solution. This is very useful for street and floodlighting and LED bulbs that require high CRI (colour rendering index).
Satwe claims, “We are introducing light engine module (LEM) based products, which are ideal for use in manufacturing of various lighting products. Our LEM products make excellent replacements for traditional light sources, without compromising on quality.”
According to Joshy PP, managing director, Promptec Renewable Energy Solutions Pvt Ltd, a provider of various LED lightings for both AC and DC power sources, “We are the only firm in India with a dedicated LED development centre. Our latest developments include controlling LED lights with dimming functions.” LEDs having more than 50 lumen are being sold in lamps intended to replace incandescent, halogen and even fluorescent style lights as high power LEDs are becoming more cost competitive. “High power LEDs have the capability to replace traditional lighting sources as they have longer lives and have very less power consumption. Moreover these high power LEDs can light up larger areas due to their capacity of producing very high lumens,” says Sunil Kumar, owner of Semitech Opto Devices, a distributor of LEDs.
Companies also extend exclusive support to customers. “We test all aspects of the light—heat management, light output, LED driver output, etc,” says Joshy. Kulkarni adds, “For its LED range, Wipro renders exclusive support, in terms of site visits and audits, lighting design and product demonstration.”
Gupta adds futuristically, “The art and science of making LED chips will change dramatically, once the phosphor layers are built into the LED chip itself. Nanotechnology based LEDs could be of lower efficiency but would be cost effective on dollars/lumen basis.”
Cost effective option
Purchasing from Indian manufacturers is a more cost effective option for Indian customers as compared to sourcing products from international companies. “Today, due to the advanced research and development taking place in India, reputed manufacturers are capable of offering the latest technologies and designs to their customers,” says Kulkarni.
Joshy adds, “As long as one is able to distinguish between various quality parameters such as brightness level, heat management, the quality of the material used in the luminary, LED driver efficiency and LED quality, it does not matter whether one buys it from India or abroad.”
Cost effective option
Cheaper LEDs can be imported but with no guarantee on the performance. If one desires guaranteed LED products, he will have to import from established and reputed manufacturers, who use high quality materials and offer backup support. However, in that case, the cost of the products will be much higher than that of the Indian ones. Therefore, for the purchase of LEDs, it is best to stick to India.
Electronics Bazaar, South Asia’s No.1 Electronics B2B magazine