12 Jul 12 Will the commercial and retail sector head down the LED-lit road?
LEDs are the future of lighting, says ELCOMA, the leading authority on all things lighting in India. It says that ‘LEDs will brighten the future of the commercial and residential lighting’. When I pitched this idea to some respondents during one of my research studies, they backed it up saying the commercial and retail spaces will take to LEDs the fastest.
LED lighting in India – all set for growth
Although LED lights have found an application everywhere from domestic use to streetlights and railway lighting, the technology is still being developed and continues to remain an expensive option – especially when compared with other options such as CFLs and FLs. Philips markets its LEDs at INR 650 as opposed to CFLs which are at least 5 times cheaper! Awareness of the advantages of LEDs among end users is increasing slowly. So the expected growth will be actually seen over the next 3-5 years in a big way, especially since prices for LEDs are expected to come down in this period.
Commercial and retail sector will be the force behind the growth
While it is difficult to identify one dominant segment, it is likely that commercial and retail spaces will be the life of the party (retail stores, office spaces, showrooms, malls). Currently LED lighting contributes about 10-15% of the market and will grow at a rate 35% over the next 3-5 years. Commercial segment is expected to be one of the fastest growing segments going by the number of upcoming projects. There are about a thousand projects expected to come up in the next 2-3 years. LED lighting is being used in showrooms for show windows and downlights for display. LED lights come in diverse shapes and sizes which allows for fulfilling various aesthetic needs – a need that is vital in commercial and retail spaces. Another important factor is that cost is a lesser concern as compared to energy efficiency to this segment. This will propel the growth of LED even further.
Regulatory bodies lend a helping hand
There are also certain external factors pushing the growth. An example is the notification issued by the Government to the Ministry of Commerce to ensure all showrooms or show windows for commercial outlets use LED for downlight display for which specifications have been prepared by ELCOMA. A separate LED chapter has also been set up by ELCOMA to increase awareness through conclaves and seminars and extend memberships to retail establishments, commercial players and lighting consultants.
Commercial and retail spaces are going to see high growth because LED lighting serves all the purposes required by this sector – aesthetic appeal, energy efficiency and high lumen output with a long life. Pricewaterhouse Coopers (PwC), for example, predicts that retail sector in India will grow to USD 900 bn by 2014. Given an increasing need for energy efficiency in the commercial and retail spaces, the only way for the lighting need in this sector is the LED way.