By Richa Chakravarty
LED product manufacturers in India have come together to work towards accelerating manufacturing in the LED sector and to address the issues of the growing sector. Forming the LED products Manufacturers’ Association (LEDMA) under the presidency of Dr Ramana Rao (chairman and managing director of MIC Electronics), the members aim to promote awareness about solid state lighting and introduce energy efficient lighting systems.
LEDMA also seeks to draw the government’s attention towards subsidies for LED lighting products and hopes to help waive off taxes like solar product manufacturers do. The association further plans to build a zonal presence in the future. The LED market in India is worth $130 billion, which is projected to take a huge leap to $200 billion by 2020.
Commenting on the objectives of LEDMA, Dr Ramana Rao says, “LEDMA’s ultimate goal is to bring out the technically best and most reliable LED products in the country. To put India on the global map of the LED industry, it is important to establish a strong and comprehensive indigenous manufacturing base. The association will regulate the working of the Indian LED industry to ensure its quality product delivery, its adherence to international standards and its success in the long run.”
LEDMA intends to take up the challenge of developing standards for LED products, which is absent across the globe. The association is working with the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) and the Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE) to formulate the standards to be followed by all LED manufacturers in the country.
LEDMA also aims to set up a test laboratory for LED products. “To further boost manufacturing, an independent laboratory is being set up at the Central Power Research Institute (CPRI), Bengaluru,” informs G B Pradhan, additional secretary, Ministry of Power.
Commenting on LEDMA’s aim of making people aware of the benefits of LED technology, Rao says, “India is yet to learn about the benefits of this technology. Educating people and helping them shift to LED lights, which consume just 15 per cent of the total energy consumed by incandescent bulbs, is a task we manufacturers will have to take up. All LED products should be manufactured keeping Indian needs in mind. Also, to put India on par with other developing nations, both the government and the manufacturers will have to work together.”
According to V Muthuswamy, general secretary, LEDMA, there are 280 manufacturers of LED products in India. “Right now, India does not have the facility to make LED chips. LEDMA will first try to put up facilities for LED packaging and then we will work towards manufacturing LEDs,” he says.
Soumendu Sinha, country business manager, product development and EMS, Amara Raja, a member of LEDMA, elaborates, “As a member, we will support LEDMA and take it to the next generation level. As manufacturers, we are committed to lowering the initial cost of procurement, which will come down slowly. Other than that, we are making people aware of the benefits of LEDs by participating in different exhibitions, through the print and various other media. Besides, in rural areas we are promoting LEDs through skits and dramas.”