LED Technology Illuminating Smart Cities of India

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LED Bulb

The Light Emitting Diode (LED) technology seems to be the finest solution of a rising demand for greener and more energy efficient products. While reducing the environmental strain on energy resources, the use of efficient lighting systems such as LEDs can be hoped to better environment, says Priyanka Sharma of Elets News Network (ENN).

LED lights are up to 80 per cent more energy saving than the traditional lighting like fluorescent and incandescent lights. 95 per cent of the energy in LEDs is converted into light and only five per cent is wasted as heat.

In comparison, fluorescent lights convert 95 per cent of energy to heat and only 5 per cent into light. LED lights also draw much less power than traditional lighting; a 36 Watt LED can replace 84 Watt fluorescent bulb to give out the same amount of light. Use of less energy reduces the demand from power plants and hence, decreases greenhouse gas emissions.

The government-controlled Energy Efficiency Services Limited (EESL), set up in Feb ruary 2010, is rewriting the rules of the game — bringing down prices of LED and creating awareness about lower energy consumption.

In over two years, since it started distributing LED bulbs at less than half the market price, it has captured the major chunk of the lighting segment, already selling over 130 million units. In last one year alone, EESL has sold 90 million of the 150 million bulbs sold countrywide.

Use of LED in Smart Cities Ecosystem

The Government of India has already prepared a list of 109 cities to be developed as Smart Cities. Among many of the new technological ideas proposed for these cities, the LED technology has emerged as an effective source of light with proper savings on the supply side.

“Currently, more than 80 per cent of the market demand for LED packages is generated from the government sector and we want to help our current customers fulfil the quality, price and performance expectations of the government,” said Ita Lin, Chief Executive Officer of MLS India, a major LED components provider in India.

“The aim of the government is to completely replace all incandescent bulbs in the country with LED lights in the next three years. This will provide huge business opportunity to the lighting industry,” said Piyush Goyal, the Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Power, Coal and New and Renewable Energy in a press conference.

For that, the government has started National Ujala Dashboard which is an integrated, real-time, and web-based dashboard that dynamically refreshes at an interval of 15 second to display in real-time, number of LEDs distributed at national-level. This is achieved by aggregating real-time feeds from 12 states where Ujala is in force.

The LED concept in smart city ecosystem can be used for few other technologies and will pave the pathway for innovation in the country’s development process.

There is a wide range of LED industries supporting the smart cities initiative and this industrial association empowers the whole ecosystem.

Jaipur, the Rajasthani capital city, for instance, has installed 320 LED streetlights along the Mahal Road, controlled by the network operating centre in the Jaipur Development Authority (JDA) headquarters. The streetlights are managed according to the lighting requirements through internet-based machine.

After the current testing phase, 1,800 more smart lighting nodes will be installed in seven places – Bassi, Baran Padan Pura, Chandlai Lake, Sawai Gatore, Mahal Road, and two stretches in Vidhyadhar Nagar.

When installed fully, the JDA hopes to save 70 per cent of its energy costs.

Udaipur recently rolled out a massive LED streetlight replacement. The city has obviated traditional high pressure sodium lights by replacing it with 35,000 LED streetlights.

In addition, 2,500 LEDs were installed between light pole gaps for better vision. The city, moreover, aims to support the LED installations with solar backups.

Udaipur Municipal Corporation in Rajasthan’s Udaipur city, formerly the capital of the Mewar Kingdom, is the only city in the state that is providing an extra 10 per cent subsidy to individuals for setting up solar rooftops plants in their homes.

Similarly, Nagpur is planning to replace 1.26 lakh sodium vapour streetlights with brighter and energy-efficient LED ones by 2017.

The LED concept in smart city ecosystem can be used for few other technologies and will pave the pathway for innovation in the country’s development process.

The private agencies that will be given the contract to replace LED will be paid from the energy savings that will come from replacing old lights and infrastructure.

In Karnataka, the state government has decided to promote use of LEDs in urban and rural areas across the state to minimise energy consumption and reduce global warming.

“We need to reduce electricity consumption by switching to LED from conventional bulbs and tube lights and promote modern lighting and switching system, which is environment-friendly,” said S C Khuntia, state’s Chief Secretary.

Also Read: 66.72 crore energy saving LED bulbs sold in India: Piyush Goyal

It may be noted that smart cities use recent advancements in communications and digital technologies, data sharing and analysis, and intelligent design to make cities more livable, resilient, economically sound, and sustainable. Smart sensors and embedded devices – from street lights to power metres to traffic signals and beyond – work together with an open, connected infrastructure to create a distributed layer of intelligence that can save energy, streamline operations, and make citizens feel happy and safer. A successful smart city’s initiative relies on smart technology but requires leadership and vision.

To reduce electrical demand, cities are moving a large percentage of 4 billion outdoor lighting fixtures toward LED technology.

A longer lifespan of LED bulbs means lower carbon emissions. LED Lights last up to six times longer than other types of lights, reducing the requirement for frequent replacements. It results in using fewer lights and hence fewer resources are needed for manufacturing processes, packaging materials and transportation.

LED bulbs can cut CO2 emissions by 50-70 per cent and when combined with smart controls, they can save up to 80 per cent of the energy usage.

Also Read: MLS India Shimmer in LED Market: Ita Lin

The Climate Groups’ LED lighting programme tested the low carbon lights in 10 cities all over the world, including Mumbai and Kolkata cities in India. Results proved successful, as LEDs helped in reducing cost, enhancing public safety, minimising light pollution and in making public spaces friendlier at night.

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