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LED lighting can reduce country’s electricity demand by 40 per cent

Venugopal Pillai ,  Tuesday, June 18, 2013, 12:38 Hrs  [IST]

Sumit Joshi—Sumit Joshi, Senior Director Marketing, Philips Lighting India

As the global leader in lighting, Philips is driving the shift from conventional inefficient lighting to highly energy-efficient and environmental friendly LED-based lighting. We have Sumit Joshi discussing the LED lighting business in India – its acceptance and growth. Joshi, while giving an overview of what Philips has to offer in the LED lighting business, also strongly advocates the use of LED lighting. For an energy-starved nation like India, LED lighting can bring about unthinkably high energy savings, Joshi explains. An interview by Venugopal Pillai.

Philips has been a household name in the lighting business. Tell us in brief about the various lighting solutions in the current portfolio.
The lighting industry is witnessing a major transformation with the increased awareness around the energy efficiency and LED lighting. Philips is constantly engaged in developing innovative and sustainable lighting solutions. Philips provides energy efficient lighting solutions for all segments — road lighting, office & industrial, hospitality and home. It has been instrumental in enhancing sustainability through innovations in lighting technology. To give a few examples, Philips GreenLite Smart is a breakthrough technology that has been developed to make the roads safer and environment friendly. At the same time, the Philips Living Colors Gen 2 range can create different moods at your home with 16 million different colours and can also adjust the intensity of light as it is adjustable to the wall dimmers.

LED lighting products promise superior efficiency compared with incandescent and even CFLs. Tell us about how the LED lighting market is shaping up in India?
LEDs show a lot of promise as the technology of future and it holds a great potential to revolutionize the lighting landscape of India. The Indian market for LED lighting is expected to grow to $400 million by 2015 (at a rate of 53 per cent per annum), making it one of the fastest growing sectors. LED solutions have found a great early reception in India across lighting applications and will find greater demand across all applications including professional as well as home users segment. The digital capabilities of LEDs will allow for tremendous customization in terms of light output to provide optimum light coverage.

Philips LightingDo you think that prices of LED lighting will come down in the years ahead – perhaps due to technology shifts, economies of scale, etc?

The growth of LED will also be largely driven by an increase in government investments in energy efficient lighting systems and technological innovations to make it affordable. The initial cost of LEDs is high as compared to the other regular lights but it proves to be much more economical as it saves a lot of energy and maintenance cost in the long run. Prices of LED lighting systems have fallen by over 30 per cent in the last two to three years due to constant improvements in technology. There will be a marked improvement in savings if the normal light bulbs are changed with the new LED technology. It will reduce the country’s electricity demand by as much as 40 per cent.

Urban bodies are beginning to take up LED street lighting projects. Please discuss recent projects undertaken by Philips.
Philips has undertaken many projects in India and has gained significant market momentum for its professional LED lighting solutions with multiple new customers in various industries including roads and infrastructure, hospitality, offices and retail, and city beautification. Some of these projects include, road lighting in Jaipur Mahindra World City and more recently, in Tamil Nadu where we have finished installing about 19,000 solar LED street lights across the states. Philips holds about 100-years of expertise in lighting. The expertise combined with the company’s advanced capabilities across the entire lighting vale chain — from light sources to total lighting solutions — makes Philips the first choice for lighting.
Philips Lighting India Gate
Talking about real estate, do you think that developers are conscious of energy-efficient lighting and factoring the same in the design stage itself?
Green buildings are designed to reduce the overall impact of the built environment on human and natural environment health. Green buildings attract more tenants, increase real-estate value, and meet sustainability commitments of developers and cities. Philips works closely with the industry bodies like GRIHA and TERI to promote the importance of the green buildings. Philips enables ‘Green Buildings’ by turning innovative lighting solutions into people benefits in ways that are environmentally responsible and cost-effective, as well as inspirational.

Philips LightingTell us in brief about renewable energy-based lighting solutions by Philips.
Philips has developed a portfolio of cost effective renewable energy lighting systems which provide high quality light with very minimal environmental impact. Renewable energy lighting solutions have little direct carbon footprint and uses natural commodities, such as sunlight or manpower, to generate electricity. It reduces the need for hazardous substances that are required to power fuel based alternatives. Philips solar lighting solutions in the rural areas allow people to use the light during the night time to do their chores like reading. In the urban areas, solar lighting solutions act as the backup for emergency power disruption.

Lighting today is not just for functional illumination but also for creating ambience. In all this, energy efficiency is now the topmost priority. How do you see LED lighting fitting into this scheme of things and becoming perhaps the future of lighting?
LED lights are making way to our homes to enables us to create a cost effective personalized environment at home. These lights give our homes different themes for different occasions. Philips LivingColors lamp is an example of how LED-based lights can create striking light effects for different occasions. It fills up the room with 16 million different colours! One can change the ambience to a soothing blue, a cheery pink, or a passionate red, all at a touch of an intuitive remote control whenever you want: whether you are having a romantic dinner for two, an evening with friends, sharing holiday pictures with your family or just relaxing after a hard day’s work.
Philips Lighting
Do you see the end of the ubiquitous incandescent lamp anywhere in the foreseeable future? Will LED completely take over?
LEDs show a lot of potential as the technology of the future that will transform the entire Indian lighting landscape. The market for LED lighting is growing rapidly as they are one of the most energy efficient and green lighting solutions available today and are going to be in the near future. The technology will see a greater demand across all sectors including professional as well as home users segment.

The lighting world has also witnessed a major shift into the digital arena with the coming of LEDs. Digitalization in lighting will bring in many advantages over and above the benefits due to efficiency and economy. Intelligent lighting, controls and longevity will add new layers of features and benefits and change the outlook towards the use of lights. The Indian market is responding well to the challenge of switching from conventional lighting with increased demand coming from both professional and home segment.

Please discuss what would be your key business drivers and how Philips intends to make India a responsible and efficient consumer of electricity as far as lighting applications are concerned.
Philips Lighting will focus more on the professional segment to drive conversion to LED lighting solutions with the target segments being offices, retail and hospitality. The sector will also continue to drive energy efficient home solutions through CFLi and consumer LED retrofit solutions. Philips Lighting is also looking to expand its retail presence across the country by adding more Light Lounges to the existing network.
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