LED Lighting Industry Scenario

The LED will move forward and within lighting technology, make an important contribution to energy conservation and conventional light sources will survive in small niches. - Anil Valia, Gulab Jha

Picture Courtesy: www.pxhere.com

Within a period of just a few years the LED has become the dominant artificial light source and has taken over all the conventional light sources like incandescent bulb, CFL, fluorescent lamps, high pressure sodium lamp and metal halide lamp and also in nearly all fields of lighting applications like residential, commercial, offices, retail, hospitality, industries, roads and now even sports lighting. We have witnessed a disruptive change which has made any previous technology obsolete. How much further will this trend go? What is an LED capable of and what is it not able to do? The LED will move forward and within lighting technology, make an important contribution to energy conservation and conventional light sources will survive in small niches.

Trends Defining Market Scenario

Unfortunately, the users and lighting industry is so much fascinated with energy saving almost all are neglecting the fact that lighting is for people and not empty space – which ever may be the applications as mentioned above. One side we talk of Human Centric Lighting and other side we use poor quality – variation in light quality and colour consistency like CCT, use of Full ANSI Box to 5 SDCM (standard deviation of colour matching, also called MacAdam ellipses) poor CRI and so on. In all areas, LEDs are retrofitted with poor quality and less price but resulting energy savings keeping energy managers and utilities happy with saving money but at the cost of quality as required by users. This may not last longer with technological innovations happening at rapid pace which will change the market scenario.

LED Products & Lighting Quality

Being widely used and easy available these LED lights are terribly used with poor products in India and in turns give poor results and hence the industry is looking at drastic changes in term of higher quality. Over the course of 2016 and early 2017, the packaged LED industry has continued the march to specialisation while also pushing to all new levels of light or power output and efficacy. It is an advancement in light quality and spectral power distribution (SPD) that are most exciting when it comes to general lighting applications and even specialty uses such as lighting for health and wellbeing. There is not only great improvement in Lumen at Chip Level but delivered lumen is also improving with right use of thermal management and optics.

LM8, LM79 & TM 21 is implemented to give improved life of LED chip and also the luminaires. Emphasis is given on colour quality and practically all applications are now demanding Macadam ellipes 3 or less, CRI more than 90 and R9 also 90+. Now TM 30 being out, CRI is getting outdated and being replaced with Rf & Rg. With this trend in other art of the world, users in India too will demand so.

In India, the government has made it compulsory to have BIS certification of all LED lights sold in which is in a way to improve the quality and a minimum standard set so that the consumers get the same quality products bought from any manufacturer or brand. There is already a plan to upgrade the testing methodology and standard by IEC/CIE and in turn BIS will also modify the existing standards.

Technological Innovations

There are lot of new thing currently happening in lighting industry which will change the lighting world we see today.

  • New Raw Material

With further research in Metallurgy, several new materials are ready to be used for example a raw material to change the lighting industry includes Nobel prize recipient Shuji Nakamura, whose violet LED use a base of gallium nitride as against sapphire to render better colours, product longevity and efficiency. Another material such as graphene that are making entry with a big bang.

  • Driverless technology

LED lights comes with driver but the current trend is that some companies are introducing products which run on mains means with built in driver or without separate driver. The trend will be to use low voltage DC grid for applications like Home lighting and avoiding use of driver.

  • Lighting Control

Till date we have seen dimming of various light sources like bulb CFL, Fluorescent lamps etc, with dimmers, 0-10V and DALI. Then with DMX LED colour changing lighting in indoor and outdoor architectural lighting applications is possible.

Now with the use of LEDs in different applications, the control system has to come out from the so-called box and has become wireless remote control. Today Smart Lighting Technology uses platforms like Bluetooth, BLE, BLE Mesh, Zigbee, and Wi Fi. These technologies are user friendly with flexibility and of course, it is affordable as compared to wired systems.

  • Lighting Connectivity

Currently, smart and connectivity is the latest buzz word around the corner and across the globe. Same thing is happening in lighting technology too and it will bring in the futuristic technologies ahead of the schedule. Lights will be controlled remotely or via voice. One will have complete control on the function and application of lights. These features will make the lights an integral part of the smart homes, smart city and so on. Connectivity and digitalisation allows for new forms of work, leading to more personalised working hours, new flexible working methods and variable work locations. This transition brings new challenges in creating optimum conditions for users that increase well-being and inspire top performance.

Technologies are Power over Ethernet (POE), IoT (Internet of Things), Visible Lighting Control (VLC), LiFietc. Each has its own hardware and software and will rule the lighting industry.

  • Human Centric Lighting (HCL)

Light has a great effect on humans. Not only does it allow us to see. Light stimulates us and influences our moods and activity levels. With continuous research on the effect of lights on the human behaviour and body metabolism study are in progress on effects of lights, wave spectrum and how the certain colors of lights effect the moods, productivity and more importantly the health of the person working under the lights. Human Centric Lighting solutions can support the human circadian rhythm, enhance concentration, prevent sleeping disorders and improve our overall well-being.

The new use of light is made possible because of the new knowledge on the biological effects of light, and because of recent innovations in lighting technology. With the introduction of LEDs, or Light Emitting Diodes, tuneable white light can be achieved in an energy-efficient manner, which is easy to control with advanced control systems. New, smart, connected lighting systems create endless possibilities with better user control.

Tunable-white lighting is one of the biggest trends in applications like commercial lighting, hospitality lighting, educational institutes and hospitals. LED developers have taken a serious grip on the photo-biological research being produced by university departments and other groups. We know more about the way that humans function than ever before and you might say that it is fortunate for the LED community that the science appears to support a practical technology that is perfectly suited to LED exploitation.

The reality is that tunable light will soon become as common as dimming. There are varying degrees of quality. People will begin to encounter HCL more, and they will soon come to expect it in the spaces where they spend prolonged amounts of time. That means new construction will soon demand this option in the design and specification stage. Also, retrofit opportunities must be available to existing buildings.

The end goal for a facility’s lighting, new or old, should be that it fades into the background in such a way that the built environment feels just as visually comfortable as the lighting in our natural environments — with abilities to simulate the daily transitions outside within the indoor space. And in the moments where manual adjustment is needed, the system can be optimised and altered to suit the specific task at hand.

Opportunities

Lighting industry in India has generated a lot of opportunity. LED lights have massively entered into residential, commercial, streetlight and yard lighting but still it has to go long way. In industrial lighting, still it has not entered the way it has changed the LED lights usages in other sectors and therefore, there is a big scope in industrial application. With wireless Smart Lighting, LED industry can improve its profitability as compared to selling standard products like bulb and down lights. By entering into Human Centric Lighting for various sectors like offices, hospitality, educational institutes as well as healthcare industry can gain. With new technologies like POE LiFi, VLC, the lighting to smart city lighting, smart mall or retail lighting and so on and also collaboration with IT sectors, data & technology share and transfer, etc. This is the right time to invest in these technologies to be ready for the future.

Challenges

Currently, poor quality raw material and finished products are sold in the market to consumers at cheap prices but these products are spoiling the market and ill effects on the consumer well-being on long-term basis which is unvisible now.

The sector is facing a biggest challenge of manufacturing of raw material like LED chip, its packaging driver components, optics and diffusers, etc locally in India. Currently, approximately 60 to 70 per cent of raw material is imported and final assembly is locally done in India. This is not ‘Make in India’. Due to dependency on the imports the raw material quality, consistency in supply etc are sometimes difficult to manage. Frequent changes in the government policies also hampering the implementation of the manufacturing plan and setback for many companies. India has a huge potential to become a manufacturing hub for entire LED supply chain but need high capital investment. The government needs to roll out industry friendly policies and schemes to encourage such investments. The combined efforts will only work for ‘Make in India’ program successful.

Year 2018 – 2019 is very crucial year for Indian lighting industry as lot of new smart and wireless technologies will enter Indian Lighting Industry in a big way.

Lighting industry should invest in R&D, and manufacturing some of these technologies or some components locally in India for various applications. Small scales manufacturer who are associated with lighting industry should come together and start cluster-based products for LED, drivers and other components as an individually they will not be able to stand in fast changing lighting industry. They should work cohesively and go for mass production of components or finished products and supply across the globe.

In near future, the lighting industry will move toward digitalisation so the sector should be ready to adapt to new technologies and integrate their products and services. Further, lighting industry should also be ready to offer the solutions to customers instead of just selling their products. They will have to offer complete solutions right from design to installation and commissioning of lighting products and systems to end users.

Outlook for the Sector 2018-19

India LED lighting market is projected to grow at a CAGR of 25 to 30 per cent in value terms during 2018-2022 on account of increasing government initiatives to boost LED adoption and growing awareness regarding lower power consumption of LED lighting products.

As per market research and Elcoma, the LED lighting market in India is expected to reach to INR 220 billion by the year 2020. If we talk in term of contribution, then 30 per cent is from commercial segment, 20 per cent from residential, 30 per cent street lighting and 20 per cent from industrial lighting.

According to a Press Information Bureau (PIB) announcement, by 2019, 770 million LED bulbs and 35 million LED streetlights will be deployed to replace conventional lights. Under the DeenDayal Upadhyaya Gram Jyoti Yojana (DDUGJY), 27.3 million LED bulbs have to be distributed to BPL households. Over 2.1 million conventional streetlights have already been replaced with LED streetlights across the country under the Street Lighting National Programme (SLNP).

LED Lighting Education & Skill Development

Lighting professionals are not expert in Electronics and Electronics professionals have no knowledge about lighting. This is creating huge gap in technology reaching to end customers. LED lighting industry needs to focus on training the new talent for the industry as there is scarcity of quality manpower at all levels to drive the lighting business. There should be regular training internally and externally on products, technologies, soft skills and so on.

This calls for skill development centres which is needed more not only at manufacturing level but installation and commissioning level as well as maintenance level for technicians.  Similarly, education for electrical consultant, architects and interior designers, application engineers, marketing persons, traders and so on different types of training courses are required which can be termed as midcareer education to learn about new technology for various applications. For this various associations in Electronics, electrical, lighting, utilities and other such fields should take initiative to create several training centres in all the states in India. The teaching material and training the teachers will be the hurdle besides investment in premises, training workshop, testing equipment and so on.