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View Points | March 2017

The future of LED Lighting

Rising consumer awareness about cost-effectiveness and eco-friendliness of LED lights will continue to drive volume sales, feels Rajesh Uttamchandani, Director, Syska LED.

Convincing consumers to switch to LED lighting is an interesting proposition. On paper, it seems a no-brainer. Post understanding the economical and environmental advantages related to LED lighting, it seems like a rational choice to immediately switch over. So why aren't people rushing to retrofit their homes? What can the lighting industry do to incentivise the average person to 'do the right thing' and install LED lights in their home and offices?

India Scene
While no other technology has enabled us to explore these exciting, new opportunities with lighting, we know we need to guide consumers through this fundamental lifestyle shift from the way they've lit their homes for more than 100 years. Brands need to put consumer needs and preferences first, to further propel consumer adoption! LED lighting is still in a very nascent stage, and a new technology with respect to other conventional lighting sources. Hence, consumers are yet to understand the benefits and adopt it. However, many are now doing so as they see how this technology can change their way of living.

Although, the use of LED lighting in domestic applications is picking up slowly, and may take more time, it has already started finding applications in the commercial, retail, industrial, infrastructure and real estate sectors. Hence, the buying trends in LED lighting markets in India is picking up keenly in metropolitan cities, compared to the tier II and III cities.

Some of these trends include; energy efficiency - which has fuelled demand due to rising consumer awareness. Falling prices have lead to demand, thus increasing the buying power of customers, which in turn has led to increased penetration across different sectors in India.

Being mindful of the fact that the first investment on LED lighting is costlier as compared to conventional lights, the returns on LED bulbs is becoming increasingly attractive as prices continue to drop. One key highlight is the government's contribution in reducing price. Additionally, efforts like the recent reduction of VAT from 12.5 per cent to 5 per cent on LED products by the Delhi government have also aided the fall in prices.

Technology Trends
However these trends are further influenced by advanced technologies, as there is so much going on in lighting these days beyond just light. A key advancement in the approach; especially with LEDs comprehensively in the mainstream, makes controls the next frontier in lighting.

Call it smart, connected, or what you like - the point is that your lights can be controlled. Dimmers and sensors have been around for donkey's years, but the challenge now is to make them more sophisticated, get them to communicate with other devices and make sure people use them.

The next advancement is thus integration with the Internet of Things (IoT), wherein your LED lights also stays connected. Other developments to watch out for these days are the built-in light sources, that don't have to be replaced often; followed by 'no wires', as everything is going wireless these days, and lighting control is no exception. It is particularly appealing for retrofit projects and even traditional wired control systems. Furthermore, it is going to be common for the user's control device to be wireless - like a tablet or phone.

Lastly it goes beyond light. Lighting isn't just about light any more - it is about data. Technologies such as Li-Fi (like Wi-Fi, using light) and indoor positioning (that tracks people's position using LED luminaires and their smart phones) are both based on visible light communication.

Applications Galore
The applications of this efficient and environmental friendly light source are endless. They can be divided into various segments such as - street and outdoor lighting, architectural lighting, retail and shops, portable lighting and accent lighting.

Also in times of growing environmental awareness, the ecological consciousness of LEDs directly meets the demands of today's society. The absence of hear emission and UV radiation, renders LED safe and suitable for everyday use, a new solution of energy saving and environmentally friendly lighting.

To summarise, with manufacturing costs witnessing a decline every year and various government initiatives backing adoption, the LED lighting market in India is anticipated to grow robustly through 2020. Moreover, rising consumer awareness about cost-effectiveness and eco-friendliness of LED lights would continue to drive volume sales from the residential and well as commercial sectors.

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