LED lighting: R&D and manufacturing need to be in sync with consumer needs

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LED lighting cannot progress in isolation. It has to evolve by addressing consumer requirements, and by building up credibility through setting up of standards

By Kartiki Negi

LED lighting-consumerWednesday, August 20, 2014: LEDs are one of the fastest evolving lighting technologies today. They can change the way we live, just like mobile phones did a few years ago. With new technologies, such as colour rendering index (CRI) and correlated colour temperature (CCT), the efficiency of LEDs is increasing constantly, while their prices are dropping.

Addressing the ‘LED Seminar: A to Z about Manufacturing of LED Products in India,’ which was held on February 22, 2014, during the EFY Expo 2014, Ramadas Patil, head-SSL business, Moser Baer, said, “A lot of importance is being given to LED technology, but one major aspect that has been left out is product design, in relation to fixtures. It is an established fact that there are different kinds of LED lights for different applications. Similarly, manufacturers have to give emphasis to the fixtures and their specifications.”

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Even if we have LEDs with high lumens per watt, a poorly designed product can reduce the LEDs’ efficiency tremendously. And the right design can provide the best efficiency even with low efficiency LED light sources. We should look at the total product design including the optics, the type of LEDs, the space in which we house it and its thermal properties,” said Ramadas Patil.

Thus, there is a need for manufacturers to be in sync with consumer needs. Besides, since consumers are as yet unaware of the full potential of LED lighting, manufacturers have to educate them on what kind of LED lights will suit their requirements. “There is an urgent need for research and development to be aligned with consumer needs. LED lighting cannot progress in isolation. It has to go hand in hand with the product specifications and consumer requirements,” said Ramadas Patil.

Right solutions for applications

As LED lighting witnesses robust growth, the market has become flooded with several kinds of lighting fixtures with different specifications, shapes, sizes and wattages. Thus, it is very important for manufacturers to educate the customers on how to choose the right kind of lighting product for a particular application. Otherwise, customers tend to get confused, which might lead to choosing the wrong fixture, and its failure will only cause the consumer to become disillusioned with LED lights.

One has to spread awareness about the features of the product offered. Customers must become fully aware of what kind of LED fixtures or illumination levels will meet their requirements—whether these are for indoor or for outdoor applications.

Need for standards

At the moment, the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS), the Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE), and the Department of Electronics and Information Technology (DeitY) are all working towards developing standards but, they generally focus on source LED. Standardisation bodies should now take up the task of developing standards for applications as well. This will create proper synergy between materials, products and the application.

The Led level: At the LED level, focus should be around lumens, lumen per watt, CRI, CCT, thermal properties etc.

The electronics level: At the electronics level, more importance should be given to harmonics, interferences, power factor, protection against over voltage and surges, etc.

The optics level: At the optics level, one needs to look at optimum light distribution and utilisation with very minimal wastage and light pollution.

The product level: At the total product level, importance should be given to installation, maintenance and safety of the user.

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

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