The Lu­men Story

Re­tail light­ing in In­dia is go­ing through a ma­jor makeover with smart, fully tech-en­abled and cen­trally op­er­a­tional so­lu­tions. With the LED boom in the last decade, the in­dus­try is wit­ness­ing a pro­found change in ef­fi­ciency lev­els and eco­nomic vi­a­bil­ity.

VM&RD - - Contents - Satarupa Chakraborty

In­dia, be­ing the fifth ma­jor elec­tric­ity con­sumer in the world, has wit­nessed an LED boom in the mar­ket in the last decade. Ac­cord­ing to TechSci Re­search re­port, the LED light­ing mar­ket in the coun­try is ex­pected to reg­is­ter a CAGR of over 30% till 2021. Lead­ing light­ing man­u­fac­turer Philips In­dia pro­jected last year that smart light­ing tech­nolo­gies will be the “choice by de­fault” of the fu­ture. This shows how tech­nol­ogy is driv­ing the light­ing sys­tems. Re­tail light­ing is go­ing through a ma­jor makeover, wel­com­ing tech­nolo­gies like IoT-com­pat­i­ble sys­tems, tun­able lights, hu­man cen­tric light­ing, Li-fi etc. Al­most 100% of light­ing used by the re­tail sec­tor in In­dia is in­di­genised and sup­plied by In­dian ven­dors, mak­ing the in­dus­try a fairly suc­cess­ful one (Source: VMRD sur­vey).

Project De­sign & Light­ing

Al­most 100% of light­ing used by the re­tail sec­tor in In­dia is in­di­genised and sup­plied by In­dian ven­dors (Source: VMRD sur­vey). How­ever, un­like other com­po­nents like fix­tures, sig­nage etc, light­ing sys­tem is of­ten not taken into ac­count at the plan­ning stage of de­sign­ing a project. So much so that light­ing ven­dors are of­ten con­sulted only at the fi­nal stage of power con­nec­tion! Shankar Natara­jan, Man­ag­ing Di­rec­tor, Gardler Light­ing, added, “Re­tail­ers still look at light­ing as a func­tional as­pect but not as value ad­di­tion. In fact, lot of times, the bulk of tech im­prove­ment in­te­grated in re­tail light­ing is not get­ting the right kind of at­ten­tion. Also, a lit­tle more al­lo­ca­tion of bud­get can take the store ex­pe­ri­ence a few notches above.”

How­ever, the re­tail light­ing in­dus­try is wit­ness­ing an av­er­age 40% growth, which is more than three times the sales that the re­tail in­dus­try is en­joy­ing (Source: VMRD Sur­vey). This could be ow­ing to the adop­tion of pro­fes­sional re­tail light­ing across, both the or­gan­ised and tra­di­tional re­tail sec­tors.

Hari­narayanan KV, CEO South Asia, Light­ing Tech­nolo­gies, ob­served, “Ma­jor­ity of re­tail­ers are giv­ing im­por­tance to quan­tity and not qual­ity, whereas in re­tail, this flat ap­proach doesn’t work be­cause high­light­ing mer­chan­dises is the ut­most thing. Colour tem­per­a­ture, beam an­gle should be pe­cu­liar to each

store. There­fore, the de­sign­ing and so­lu­tion has to be unique to each store.”

Ap­pli­ca­tion & Prod­uct De­sign

There are two as­pects of the ba­sic el­e­ments of light­ing de­sign – prod­uct de­sign and ap­pli­ca­tion de­sign. While ap­pli­ca­tion de­sign was al­ways avail­able, prod­uct de­sign has started hap­pen­ing of late in the coun­try. In prod­uct de­sign­ing, mould and cast­ing parts are partly done out­side In­dia, while ven­dors are warm­ing up to a fully ‘Make in In­dia’ con­cept. Even for the ap­pli­ca­tion front, the ap­pli­ca­tion has changed. For ex­am­ple, the amount of light­ing out­put is nowhere com­pa­ra­ble to wattage any longer, ac­count­ing to the im­prove­ment of tech­nol­ogy.

Mum­bai-based Cen­zer is one of the com­pa­nies that has stepped up in pro­duc­ing the en­tire range of com­po­nents in their fa­cil­ity. “I think that most of the light­ing ven­dors have me­chan­i­cal and engi­neer­ing back­grounds, which helps in bring­ing in­no­va­tions. The ad­van­tage for us is that we are or­gan­i­cally an elec­tron­ics com­pany so we could pace up in the game of pro­duc­ing IoT smart driv­ers etc in-house,” Hitesh Jain, Di­rec­tor, Cen­zer In­dus­tries added.

R&D – Fully In­di­genised?

Many In­dian light­ing com­pa­nies like Fo­cus Light­ing, ILC and oth­ers in last few years have set up their of­fices over­seas, a sign of their in­ter­na­tional qual­ity stan­dards. Ac­cord­ing to a sur­vey done by VMRD, more than 8% of lo­cally-pro­duced light­ing fix­tures are be­ing ex­ported to other coun­tries. At the same time, in­ter­est­ingly enough, 75% of the lead­ing play­ers have in-house light­ing de­sign ca­pa­bil­i­ties, which is a com­bi­na­tion of light­ing de­sign­ers and light­ing de­sign soft­ware. That per­haps ex­plains why in­de­pen­dent light­ing de­sign­ers are a rar­ity in re­tail projects in In­dia, un­like global mar­kets where they are a com­mon sce­nario.

Vi­jay H Mad­husu­dan, CEO, En­frien Tech­nolo­gies & So­lu­tions, said, “The ecosys­tem of R&D has got­ten bet­ter in last 8 years. Cus­tomers are also get­ting aware of the end prod­ucts. Var­i­ous as­pects such as colour tem­per­a­ture and colour rang­ing in­dex (CRI) are ef­fec­tive talk­ing points to­day as we are peer­ing close to the in-house R&D.”

Re­tail Light­ing – The Road Ahead

In a sur­vey of 20 top re­tail light­ing ven­dors in In­dia last year, it was found that 20 play­ers have done busi­ness with over an im­pres­sive 1800 clients, out of which about 79% are from tra­di­tional re­tail sec­tor. This data clearly in­di­cates that along with the or­gan­ised re­tail sec­tor, tra­di­tional re­tail­ers, who are known to be bru­tally price sen­si­tive, have recog­nised the value of ef­fec­tive light­ing. Ever since the LED boom, these light­ing ven­dors have been rather fast to in­te­grate tech­nolo­gies in dif­fer­ent re­tail en­vi­rons. Many of them out­sourced tech­ni­cal know-how from in­ter­na­tional part­ners ini­tially but to­day, most of them are self-suf­fi­cient to en­gi­neer both de­sign and the soft­ware. In­ter­est­ingly, many of them are geared up to even ex­port to Euro­pean and other mar­kets. The re­tail light­ing in­dus­try is ex­pected to take the ef­fi­ciency and eco­nomic vi­a­bil­ity to the next level. Im­ages cour­tesy art.lite Cen­zer In­dus­tries Ltd Mind Your Lights

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