From the time, the new government has sworn in, people of India have listened to numerous announcements of schemes, of which only a few visibly flagged off. Changeover of the conventional streetlights and replacement of incandescent & CFLs with LEDs, are a couple of such initiatives that have started shifting the fate of the relatively static Indian lighting industry. Further, the announcement of 100 smart cities has put India Inc. on the rapid fire stage. No wonder, the country’s lighting industry is on the surge with all these boosters that have geared up domestic manufacturing, eventually helping India emerge as a global manufacturing base for LED-based lighting products.
Amidst all this, LED World met Shyam Sujan, Elcoma’s secretary general to know how is the association taking this forward and what’s next in its kitty to offer. According to Sujan, the apex body is about to announce its ‘Vision 2018’ wherein the plan is to start working on smart streetlights for the proposed smart cities. For now, the concerned committee is yet to be formed as the vision document is under process. Here’re the excerpts of what he shared…
What’s there in Elcoma’s Vision 2018?
Generally, it so happens that in the first phase the infrastructure including roads and buildings is made ready, then the lighting comes in to picture. Under this Vision 2018, instead of waiting for another five-six years for the basics to be ready, we have decided to be proactive and introduce smart lighting simultaneously or even before that. In fact, we want to keep the lighting part, for the proposed smart cities, ready by 2017.
How is Elcoma taking this concept to its members/peers?
We already have started the promotional activities as the plans are afoot wherein a few conferences/ seminars on the subject matter are soon to be floored starting with Mumbai, the country’s one of the proposed smart cities in the making, followed by New Delhi, and Bengaluru. Through these seminars or conferences, we want to take this concept to the industry stakeholders across the country so that they can be able to develop and deliver the product/solution in time.
What is the USP of this technology? How will it help saving on energy?
The smartness of these streetlights is defined by their uniqueness of being communicative. These smart lights, once installed, keep sending the updates to the control room, to which these are eventually attached. The updates are in regard with their operational efficiency, in any particular point of time for each single unit, and about any fault, if so come across in the system.
What’s more, these lights can be programmed to dim by 50% at midnight i.e. after 12 when the traffic movement is comparatively low. The intensity of the light will further go down by another half at the time of dawn/twilight to 25%, and will ultimately be put off, when there is enough sunlight available to ease the vehicle movement.
How is the planned smart streetlights different from the one already pushed by the government starting May 2015?
The on-going country-wide project, involving changeover of the conventional streetlights to simple LED-based energy-efficient ones, doesn’t entail any smart lighting system, and is slated to complete by 2018. Unlike this, the project that we are proposing about will have smart lighting that can communicate with each other in a defined system, and can be controlled from a control room. For this, we are considering few pilot projects, wherein the operational efficiency speaks about their success, besides providing us potentially valuable insight thereby helping us to decide on taking it forward to a bigger geography like smart cities.
Other than streetlights, which area(s) is/are on the radar for Elcoma?
As we know, India’s tourism and hospitality industry is readying to make the most of these recently announced government’s initiatives. Global hospitality players are betting big on India’s long term potential as a tourist destination and have announced massive expansion plans for their chain of hotels with all new and advanced experience, adventure, and entertainment for their guests wherein lighting is an inevitable part. Keeping this in view, the country’s lighting giants are busy developing smart products to serve the specific needs of the modern consumers which are obsessed highly with the modern technology.
Moreover, in order to beat the heat of the continuously escalating competition, not only the new hotels but also the existing ones are opting to incorporate or replace the outdated technology with the latest smart and energy-efficient ones. In all, the hospitality industry wants to offer ‘never-before’ like facilities to their respective guests as quite a few of them are international ones, and are used to these technologies outside India.
What change(s) will it bring in the hotel industry?
The proposed new lighting system would help the hoteliers to change the ambiance with the help of a touch on remote. It can even be programmed to operate according to the requirement of lighting with the passing of the day in various areas including reception, banquet hall, conference room, dining area, etc. For guests, it will facilitate mood lighting wherein they can change the ambiance of the interior simply by using a remote, sitting or lying on their bed. They need not to go and touch the light switches fixed on the wall. Going forward, the high-tech control for lighting applications can be easily merged with the room locking system eliminating the need of extra remote or key.
What’s there in the portfolio for domestic users?
As we know that LED is all set to replace the existing incandescent and CFLs. The initiative, in this regard, has already been taken by the Government at the Centre under its Domestic Efficient Lighting Programme (DELP). This step of the government has brought down the retail prices of LED lamp to a level, which is affordable to middle and lower-middle class. The LED bulbs, so distributed, are energy-efficient, but not smart ones.
However, what we are planning to come up with is the remote-controlled LED bulbs/ downlights, which can even be controlled and operated by cell phone through a simple app that would be easily available on Google Playstore/Apple iOS to download and install. Such initiative has already been taken by companies like Philips, Fiem Industries etc, which have started offering this technology to end-consumers.