People in India and across the globe have celebrated World Environment Day on 5th June, which underlined the need to be more aware of how human activities impact the world that we live in and the crucial need to move to a less wasteful and destructive way of life. One of the better ways to save the environment is to turn energy efficient and that should apply across the spectrum of activities humankind indulges in. The case for lighting has acquired great significance and in an email interaction, with Financial Express Online’s Akash Sinha, V P Mahendru, Chairman, EON Electric, highlights how we could all contribute by using LED bulbs and save approximately Rs.43,750 crore annually. Here are the excerpts:
What kind of savings can be generated in India by using LED Lights?
With the objective of achieving government’s target of 24X7 electricity supply, energy conservation is more crucial than equivalent quantum of energy generation. LED bulbs can play a great role here by controlling peak power demand in our country by 10,000 MW daily. If incandescent lamps are replaced by energy-efficient LED Bulbs, it can save almost 100 billion units of power annually, thereby saving up to $7 billion (approx. Rs.43,750 crore) per year.
Why and how LEDs are eco-friendly choice?
The biggest benefit of LED lights is that unlike CFLs, LEDs do not contain mercury, which in fact is a great threat to the environment. With no proper system currently in India for collection and safe disposal of CFLs, these are gathered and transported haphazardly and as such often end up breaking and spilling the mercury during transportation process. Broken CFL bulbs run the risk of mercury leakage and can thus pose a grave threat to all life forms within the environment, apart from contaminating ground water resources and posing toxic threat for decades and generations to come. None of these dangers holds true for LED Bulbs.
In his recent statement Union Power Minister Piyush Goyal also acknowledged that if all Indian households switch to LED lights in the next three-to-four years which is very much practical and doable, it would curb carbon dioxide emissions by 60 million tonnes each year.
What should customers focus on while purchasing LEDs?
LED light users need to note that unlike other light sources where the bulb wattage denotes the brightness of the bulb, in the case of LED bulbs’ brightness is determined by the lumens of light and not by wattage which only highlights consumption of power. In other words, a 7-watt LED bulb would emit much brighter light than CFL light of similar wattage.
However, the users should avoid cheap LED bulbs. While these may seem a bargain, actually, they are not, because cheap LED bulbs use poor quality chips that fail soon. High-quality LED lights don’t die out prematurely. Good LED bulbs may seem expensive to begin with, but over a period, the higher upfront payments are soon recovered through lower power bills and long life of good quality LED bulbs.
How affordable are LED lights?
Initially, because of higher price of LEDs, there was a perception that CFLs are efficient, affordable and more suitable source of light than LEDs. However, with LED lighting revolution taking place in our country and with the growing use of LED bulbs, the awareness among the consumers is increasing. People are now more aware about the efficiency of LED lights in delivering more lumens of light per watt of electric power, and the environment friendly aspect of LED lighting.
The government’s move to offer incentives for changing over their incandescent bulbs and CFLs with LED Bulbs charging a nominal cost is highly appreciated. The government’s vision was clear that by replacing billions of such inefficient incandescent bulbs and CFLs with LED lights, they avoid pressing investment of thousands of crores of rupees which were in demand to be invested to provide the public the additional power to make it available 24×7 which they are now able to provide by changing over from incandescent bulbs / CFLs to highly energy efficient LED bulbs and thus save the extra electric energy.
What is the life span and durability of LEDs?
Life span of an LED is vastly longer than that of CFLs or incandescent bulbs. Generally life expectancy of LED lights is 50,000 hrs, that means if we use LED light for 10 hours a day, this should be 13.7 years. The durability of LED lights is based upon the fact that they do not contain filaments, like conventional bulbs, which burn / fuse when overheated. As LEDs are solid state, they hold up well to vibrations, wider variations in input voltage, and continue to spread their cool light whereas traditional bulbs and CFLs often fail and stop functioning. However, one of the major reasons affecting the durability of LEDs is quality. Chances are that even LED lights can fail before completing their lifespan if they are made of poor quality raw materials.
Do LEDs emits UV radiations?
LED lights do not emit any UV radiation. Therefore, they are not harmful to people who have specific sensitivity for certain UV radiations. In this respect, LED based light sources provide outstanding advantages over traditional incandescent, halogen and Compact Fluorescent lamps, apart from ensuring long life for these LED Lights.
Can LED be used in streetlights and construction sites?
LED Lights have altered the landscape of the lighting industry especially in the Street Lights segment. The lights now available with inbuilt sensors can now sense the traffic on the road and adjust their dimness or full light accordingly. The LED Street Lights also consume much less power compared to other varieties of Street Lights. Such LED Lights being unidirectional provide light in the centre of the Street as also in the centre of the two adjacent Street Lights poles making the streets safer as this is where light is most required.
Can LEDs be used with solar energy?
Solar power being an inexhaustible, reliable, non-polluting source of power has a huge scope for Indian energy market. The combination of LEDs and solar energy will definitely alter the lighting industry. It will act as best option for the rural and remote areas where electricity supply is very erratic. Solar Energy also promotes green energy.
What are EON Electric’s future plan?
We are aiming to produce and market over Rs 1,000 crore worth of LED lights and lighting products within next two years. EON has also been awarded government tenders to replace Sodium Vapour and other lights by LED street lights. We are also focusing on exports.