LEDs: A guiding light for a sustainable future

2022-05-21 17:56:54 By : Mr. wenlai yang

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President, Lighting & Luminaires, Polycab India Ltd.

Many of us take electrical appliances that bring ease and comfort to our lives for granted. From refrigerators to air-conditions at homes, the increased spending power of many around the globe has escalated the use of comforting electrical appliances without considering their carbon footprint.

Because of a lack of awareness about environment-friendly initiatives on domestic levels, one rarely switches completely towards sustainable choices. Lighting, for instance, contributes to 15% of energy use globally, however it contributes as high as 5 per cent of global CO2 emissions. Switching to LED lighting has seen significant progress in India.

According to a study conducted by the Smith School of Enterprise and the Environment, the University of Oxford, from the year 2014 to 2018, the market share of LED lamps grew from 0.3% to 46% in just five years in India. The study stated that this resulted in 30 terawatts hours of annual energy savings – roughly enough to power 28 million average Indian households for a year or entire of Denmark for a year. From business potential perspective, the estimated market size of LED lights in India is about $3.7 billion.

However an earlier conducted research by Nielsen also highlighted that the LED segment has significant presence of unoraganised players as well which are generally non-compliant with consumer safety standards. This shows that awareness level about these safety standards within the end-user community is low and low-price appeal attracts many of these end-users.

While LED luminaires have eco-friendly and sustainable benefits, few know that lighting also has a proven remarkable influence on concentration, and that choosing the right lighting will improve your productivity and work efficiency. Given that the positioning and placement of the LED lights are well-adjusted.

Not just this but choosing the right colour temperature is essential for clearer visibility, framing the mood of the space and enriching its ambience. Whether it is to relax, learn, read, or perform a task, the colour temperature has a dramatic effect on people.

With an alternative that furnishes supreme energy efficiency, longer lifespan, safety & sustainability, there is an untapped potential in completely switching to LED lighting for daily lighting use.

Along with this and many more such benefits, here is why LED luminaries will always be a smarter move:

Studies have shown that there is a consequential link between lighting and our circadian rhythms (also known as the body clock, which regulates our sleep-wake cycle and wakefulness). With a well-adjusted lighting setup, LEDs can tune in to our circadian rhythm and prove to be useful for soothing or boosting our minds.

While an orange or red light used in an office space can affect the biological clock and make employees more lethargic, a cool LED light has the potential to be like daylight and trigger employees to be energized and alert.

Creating the right ambience through colour temperature

It is quite apparent that a lighting setup has the potential to determine the way a space looks. Adjusting the colour rendition of lights can either make your space look vibrant or it can give a rich skin tone to the aesthetics in your space.

The colour rendering index is a great way to determine how well the visual output of your space will be. By following a CRI chart (a lighting guide), one can have a profound effect on a space, whether it is commercial or residential.

LED lights are 75-80% more energy-efficient in comparison with traditional lightings like incandescent and fluorescent lights. Around 95% of the energy in LED luminaries gets converted into light and just 5% is wasted as heat, whereas incandescent lights convert 95% of energy to heat and just 5% into light.

Since LEDs consume less power, a 36-watt LED can replace an 84-watt fluorescent and still produce the same level of light. With less energy usage on a large scale, the demand from power plants may reduce, which will eventually lead to depletion of greenhouse gas emissions.

Do away with toxic elements

There are no toxic elements in LED luminaires. Fluorescent lights (like CFLs) contain mercury, which is not just toxic but also contaminate the environment when disposed off. Using LED avoids the cost and time implications required for its proper disposal. With LED, there is no scope for contaminating the environment with toxic elements. Also, LEDs can safely be recycled, ensuring no harm to the environment.

While traditional lightings contain filaments that heat and burn out, LEDs are carefully designed to conserve energy and stay cool to the touch. Since it does not emit heat, these lights can be left for hours without consequences, if touched. LEDs also have commendable durability because of their design since it is sealed and highly resistant to vibrations and harsh weather.

With a durable design that lasts up to six times longer than other lights, LED eventually reduces the number of times required for replacing bulbs, ensuring users get significant annual savings. The durability design of LED leads to lowered costs in purchasing, delivery, and installation. LED is a win-win for users, as you can benefit from it without compromising on sustainability.

According to Energy Efficiency Services (EESL), a government-run joint venture, switching to LED bulbs could save an average family about Rs 4,000 on their power bills annually because of energy efficiency gains and lower replacement costs. Apart from such lucrative savings, one is also contributing towards a sustainable environment.

The growing housing demand and increasing population will lead to an increase in India’s carbon emissions. Strategic adoption of LED lights will be an enabler for better sustainability and a step in the right direction.

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Views expressed above are the author's own.

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