Simple changes in the lights used can make a big difference in energy conservation writes M. SOUNDARIYA PREETHA
The talk of the town is power – the need for more energy to meet the growing needs at homes, offices, and industries, and also to conserve the available power.
In India, brightly-lit rooms and streets are preferred and consumers like to go in for over all lighting. Yet, simple changes in the lights used can make a big difference in energy conservation.
Consumers spend on different types of light fittings. But, there is only a small section that goes in for different lighting systems, says P.P. Subramanian of P.P. Associates.
In a residential project, just about 20 per cent go in for different types of lighting, he says.
Penetration of Compact Fluorescent Lamps (CFL) is almost 75 per cent and it provides nearly 15 per cent energy saving. It is used to light up the entire room.
Penetration of Light Emitting Diode (LED) lamps is just 25 per cent. Elevation lighting in new buildings is mostly LED.
It is used for down lighting or to highlight specific objects. Majority of the LED lights are branded and imported. There are even solar-panel supported LEDs now, he says.
Rajan Bathija of Mr. Light says LEDs are of two forms – a cluster of LED chips that come in strips and used for indirect lighting, and the high power LED chip that is used for down lighting.
These are available in one to 25 watts and in different beam angles. More customers are now aware of LED lights.
Availability of these lights are for landscape, ceiling mounted, indirect and study table lighting. For some wall-mounted types of lighting, the LED options are less. Efficiency of LED lights has improved by nearly 80 per cent.
The future of LED will be with small heat sink as technology has advanced and different alloys are available. This will make the lamps more compact.
Another option for saving energy in lighting is the use of dimmers. Light control equipment is either digital or the basic varieties.
The digital ones are automated. In the case of LED lamps, these should be combined with a dimmable driver, says Mr. Bathija.
With dimmers, the number of lights in a room can be reduced. Regulator-type dimmers are also available. Customers go in for dimmers mainly for chandeliers.
However, these can be used for any light. Branded CFL and LED fittings now with the ballast and dimmable ballasts are available.
External lights too come with dimmers now, adds Mr. Subramanian.
Customers who do not want direct lighting or those who want to high light only specific objects in a room should go in for diffused or spot lighting, he says.