In recent years, LED lighting has made an impressive impact on the Indian market and has introduced dramatic changes in interior designs.
LED lighting is permeating into the Indian market and industry pundits predict that by 2031, more than 80 per cent of the lighting market will be dominated by LED technology. Not surprising, considering the advantages LED lighting systems have over conventional ones. While the government policy initiatives are playing a significant role in promoting the product, in the long run it is the product’s eco-friendliness, energy saving capacity, long life span and absence of toxic chemicals that are expected to be the prime reasons behind the shift. The myriad design possibilities LEDs offer will also enhance their appeal.
LEDs have features like a multitude of lighting effects, wide ranging colour spectrum, specific colour temperature and many types of illumination, all of which make them attractive from the design perspective. The most inspiring of these is their wide colour and temperature range, which allows for better control over the ambience of a space. With LED control gears, the colours can be changed or pulsed to match different moods and occasions – from a vibrant dynamic colour programme for party music to a slow subtle pulsing colour change to help one relax. Be it choice of colours, beam width, direction of light, or control – LED has it all.
There is no limit to the forms and shapes that can be worked out with LED lights - from tubes, spots, pots, to panels and flexible strips that can be aligned to the ledges, corners, circled around an object, or applied creatively in any manner. Several Indian and international companies offer a wide range of products that are being continuously upgraded and enhanced. Apart from regular bulbs and tube lights, the range includes lamps, down lighters, decorative battens, ceiling fittings, pendants, recessed fittings, spot lights, table lamps, wall brackets, tracks, outdoor lights, picture lights, floor lamps etc.
LED lights can be used anywhere – in residential, commercial, public as well as recreational spaces. The longevity of LED lights makes them a good outdoor lighting device too. Outdoor lighting can be customised based on specific needs like lighting small areas, providing general illumination, lights for security and safety and in street lights. In India, however, LEDs today are largely being used in retail stores, hotels, restaurants and offices.
One major disadvantage associated with LED products is their high cost, which is generally more than compensated by the long term advantages. Another issue is the many poor quality products flooding the market -both imported and indigenous. For best results, it is advisable that buyers should exercise due diligence while purchasing LED fittings.
Let’s take a closer look at these interesting trends…
LEDs have not just made lighting more sustainable and energy saving and our living spaces more beautiful, but they have also brought the lighting into the spotlight of interior design, exciting the imagination of users and designers alike!
Sumit Joshi, Marketing Head, Philips India
The Indian market for LED lighting is expected to grow at a rate of 53 per cent per annum to $400 million by 2015 (according to a Frost & Sullivan report on LED lighting market in India), making it one of the fastest growing sectors. The growth will also be driven by an increase in government investments in energy efficient lighting systems and technological innovations to make it affordable.
Indian consumers who are concerned about smarter and energy efficient spaces are going for LED lights. The usage patterns and motivations vary among different segments, though. Hotels and restaurants are adopting LED lighting solutions as they transform the ambience, offer customised control and are cost effective. The retail sector uses them to highlight merchandise, improve shoppers’ experience and give the outlets a premium and attractive demeanor. Offices opt for them to keep spaces bright and energetic, reduce maintenance and keep costs in control.
LEDs, which can be digitally controlled, offer opportunities to customise lighting – be it choice of colours, dimmability, control through handheld devices, choice of beam width, direction of light etc. This, in combination with functional benefits like energy saving (up to 80 per cent over conventional lighting), long life (10–15 years of life) and eco-friendliness (no UV/IR radiations), makes it the best lighting technology available. Philips offers a wide array of LED lighting products – the Consumer Luminaire range for homes; Living Colors, a table lamp with colourful mood lighting; Cielo, a suspension lamp that combines a classic lamp profile with lighting innovations; Dynalite controls, which ensures lights are used only when needed at a level that minimises energy consumption; CityTouch, a remote lighting management system that allows streetlights to be connected instantly to a remote lighting management system over wireless networks for greater energy efficiency and the GreenLED, an energy efficient solution for offices and retail spaces offering more than 50 percent energy savings compared to conventional CFL solutions.
Dinesh Aggarwal, Joint Managing Director, Anchor Electricals
Some of the factors driving the growth of LEDs are the increasing energy demand-supply gap, standardisation, government support, awareness and affordability. Also, the street lighting application accounts for a majority of the revenues in the Indian LED lighting market.
LED lights are programmable, emit lesser infrared radiation and almost zero UV emission. They can be effectively used in battery powered or energy saving devices as they produce more light per watt.
With an in-house simulation room, our LED Lighting Experience Centre in Mumbai helps customers view the lighting effects of various lighting fixtures and installation options in different settings. The 47 models available at the showroom include large ceiling light, compact ceiling light, chandelling (chandelier-like decorative ceiling light), down-light, line Light and wall brackets. The range is equipped with earthquake resistant fixture designs. The design optimises heat dissipation and also adheres to the IEC standards of surge resistance.
Gulshan Aghi, Chief Executive Officer, Trilux Lighting (India) and President of Indian Society of Lighting Engineers
The life expectancy of the LED chip is higher than that of conventional technologies. In terms of performance and quality too, they are better due to high Colour Rendering Index (CRI) and vast variety of colour temperature (2700K to 6500K). As LED technology is progressing, the Lumen output (Lumen/Watt) is also improving. Presently, LED lights are most popular in commercial applications, and are also picking up in major government initiated projects for rural electrification and solar application. Trilux offers innovative luminaries and lighting solutions for indoor and outdoor applications. We have sustainable networks with global LED technology suppliers.
Suman Majumder, Director of Engineering- Hyatt Regency Delhi
LED lighting is in vogue in commercial spaces and hotels because of its low running cost and the greater life span. LEDs are largely used for indirect lighting like cove lighting and indirect lighting.
In the Mansion at our hotel, we have used LED strips in the coves for indirect lighting, LED RGB strips are used in the stretch ceiling area and a few narrow beam down lights have also been used. All this has created the desired theatrical ambience. The strips are from OSRAM, Germany and General LED, Dubai while the narrow beam down lights are from Lucent, UK.
Siddharth Shetty, Chief Executive Officer, Evavo Wellness n Solutions (Spa Consulting n Development)
LED lighting has had a tremendous impact in the hospitality sector design and wellness spaces. The USGBC (U.S. Green Building Council) has now provided for a hospitality specific LEED rating in which LED lighting places a key role, specifically in the spa industry.
Spa lighting plays an important role in delivering the multi-sensory experience. The lighting requirement varies for each area of a spa. The general ambience of the treatment rooms should be subdued and relaxing and therefore the lighting should be subtle and indirect with specific task lighting for sink, facials, housekeeping etc. All treatment lighting should be on dimmable controls. Lighting for wet thermal areas requires special IP rated lighting to cater to the high humidity, temperature and visibility requirements. Lighting for water bodies like pools/jacuzzi must be a combination of functional safety and the desired aesthetic effect.
Some of our projects where we have used LED lighting are the Hilton Shillim Lonavala , Park Hyatt Chennai, L’Occitane Spa La Vie at Lodha Belissimo, Palms Spa, Mumbai, Shangri La – Palladium Hotel Mumbai and the Shrem Grand Mercure Spa village, Goa.
K Michelle Evans, Managing Associate, Hirsch Bedner Associates , Dubai and Creative Director, Ayka Design Dubai
It is the dream of every designer to work with LED as it opens up new design possibilities with dynamic lighting scenes. Its colourful effects create innovative lighting design concepts that enhance the interior design whether it’s a hotel, home or office. In a new trend, designers are using more dramatic ceiling designs with stronger colours. LED is designed to focus its light and can be directed to a specific location without the use of an external reflector, achieving higher application efficiency than conventional lighting.
Rachna Bajaj, Associate Director - Sales, Abby Lighting & Switchgear Limitd
The quality of the product is very important in LED lighting. Buyers should look at two things – reliability and efficacy. Firstly, they should purchase products from a reliable manufacturer and consider the efficacy of the product, that is, total lumens (light output) delivered from the package in ratio to the electric power consumed, measured in lumens per watt. The quality of the driver and the reflector can also be judged with this one parameter.
Abby Lighting has a wide range of products including down lights, spots, track spots, pendants, profiles, and outdoor fixtures. We use only branded high quality components from countries like USA, Germany, Austria, and Finland.
Raju Bista, Managing Director, Surya Roshni
Their design flexibility, powerful nature, small size and availability in almost all colours makes LEDs an attractive choice. The LED lamp is completely mercury free and saves up to 85 per cent energy. It works in the voltage range of 110V to 300V.
Our LED product portfolio comprises of both indoor and outdoor luminaries. The range includes LED tubes, down lighters, recess / surface mounted luminaries, street lights, high bay lights, flood lights, landscape lighting etc. The life of Surya LED lamps is 25,000 hours. Our Surya Technology and Innovation Centre at Noida is an advanced state-of-the-art lighting laboratory and research centre with specific focus on LED.
Rajesh Purohit, CEO-MD, Lucifer Lights Limited
LEDs are being used for all types of lighting applications. They have advantage over conventional light sources in many specialised areas like cold storage, clean room areas, flame proof areas etc, due to very low replacement and maintenance cost. In our project Cosmos in Nairobi, clean room areas (manufacturing area) have been illuminated with our LED products, replacing CFL and FTL lamps. Since the LED lights had to be installed using the existing fittings for conventional lights, we had to design lights with various beam angles.
In India, retailers prefer selling sub-standard Chinese products which are very cheap as many key processes, such as providing appropriate insulation and thermal management by using good quality material and adapting proper manufacturing process, are not followed. Lucifer manufactures LED lights for all types of applications and also provides tailor made solutions.
Nisha Nair Gupta, Principal Architect, Design (Variable)
With developments in technology, attempts are being made to fabricate custom light designs that influence the feel of the space. LEDs can easily be fabricated to meet specific requirements. If installed correctly, LEDs can produce light up to 100,000 hours. The only disadvantage of LED lighting is that the fixtures are expensive. They are also heat sensitive and may become defunct if used in extreme temperatures.
Shyam Sujan, Secretary General, Electric Lamp & Component Manufacturers Association of India (ELCOMA)
LED penetration in India was not more than two percent in 2010. Now it is growing at a fast pace and the turnover, which was Rs 500 Crores in 2010, is expected to reach Rs 5,500 Crore by 2016.
ELCOMA had taken several initiatives to promote LED lighting. Four years ago we held meetings with the Indian government to apprise them of issues involved in bringing LED lighting to India. In response to this, a National Plan was prepared to address the issues, which resulted in setting standards, establishing a test lab with government funding etc. Major buyers like railways, airports, urban development agencies began using LED lighting. In addition, the government has assured that all existing street lights in India (about 35 million) will be replaced with LED street lights in the coming years.
Our focus is on three major products -street lights, retrofit lamp (as government is going to undertake free distribution of LED Lamps to BPL homes), down lights for showrooms and show windows.
LED Lighting – Case Studies
Project: Café Ludus New Delhi India by Philips
The café with a cutting edge industrial look and different feel in different sections required an easy and smooth transition from a café by day to a lounge/bar by night, with an ambience in tandem with the name “Ludus”. The “Back to School” theme that the owners wanted for the café had also to be brought to life with appropriate lighting. Philips recommended their Color Kinetics and Dynalite controls systems for this. Color Kinetics offer multiple colour options with just a touch of an iPad or an iPhone. This sophisticated lighting system can be easily controlled using an app that can be downloaded and configured with the lighting system installed. It also gives the patrons freedom to choose the kind of lighting they prefer. This lighting design provided the fluidity, and blended together the different sections of the café while maintaining their individual ambience.
Project: Palms Spa Mumbai by Evavo Wellness
At the Palms Spa, varied lighting has been provided depending on the need of the area. A calming effect is produced through indirect lighting in warm colours like orange where one enters the spa. The treatment rooms have ample cove lighting, warm orange light fixtures and dimmable controls to achieve discreet lighting. Dimmable controls are a common requirement in any treatment or relaxation room as some customers may want the lights to be dim and some others may want the room to be properly lit.
Project: Pentagon Design - Helsinki, Finland by Philips
Pentagon Design, specialising in the design of everyday products, services and environments, decided to move their premises to an old hat factory, which was being refurbished to coincide with Helsinki’s role as World Design Capital 2012. Pentagon wanted to install economical LED light sources. The lighting had to be adaptable, creating the right environment for creative and focused thinking whilst preserving the unique character of the premises.
Since the premises were converted from an empty studio into multiple offices, it gave Philips the freedom to use completely new lighting design concepts and solutions. The eW Blast Powercore luminaires were chosen to bring the high ceiling space of the spectacular open-plan office to life and 4000 K colour temperature created an immaculate white environment complimenting the surfaces, furniture and fittings. In the open-plan office, Celino fittings are arranged in lines, with an ActiLume detector controlling each line. The open-plan exhibition and rest areas were equipped with DALI controls and StyliD spotlights by which the lighting in these spaces could be easily modified to suit the function. LumiStone luminaires were installed in the smaller meeting rooms.
Project: The Mansion – Hyatt Regency New Delhi by Avka Design
In the Mansion, LED lights have been used throughout. The concept was to highlight the design in key areas and emphasise the selected materials. The glass-etched boxes above the cooker stations are lit by LEDs to make this functional element appear as a chandelier; use of a cool white light emphasises the pattern, allowing it to glow from a distance. Behind the cooking stations, a featured marble wall was designed with cut tiers in the surface, which were highlighted with a warmer LED effect.
In the Oval Room, the space is linked with two key elements - a central circle element drawing attention to the handmade fibre optic chandeliers and an additional outer oval element echoing the oval profile of the room. Both these features are lit using LEDs behind a fixed Barrisol ceiling. The Barrisol Lumière is a system that allows a bright ceiling to enlighten a whole or a part of a room. The ceiling fabric stretches the colour across the whole ceiling, lighting it evenly.
Project : RNA Mirage Mumbai by Design (Variable)
All the areas in this house, right from the main lighting in living areas, bedrooms, balconies to ambient lighting, are illuminated by LEDs! The core reason is energy saving. The fixtures, for example in the ceiling light, were so minimal in terms of dimensions, they eliminated the need for bulky false ceilings. This minimalism allows one to be very creative. In one of the bedrooms, for example, in a low bed with an acrylic top with exposed structural grid below, concealed strip lighting adds drama and a sense of float.
Some of the ceiling lights can change colours, which facilitates multiple mood lighting, saving on the cost and space to use different fixtures for the same. A variety of lights from ceiling lights, wall lights, focus lights, chandeliers, strip lighting, spot lights and button lights have been used. For this project with a carpet area of roughly 3800 sq ft, the total expenditure on lighting has been around Rs 4 lakh only!