76% of LED bulb brands and 71% of LED down­lighter brands in In­dia flout con­sumer safety stan­dards: Nielsen study

Consumer Voice - - In The News -

In a Nielsen study con­ducted across four ma­jor In­dian cities – New Delhi, Mum­bai, Ahmed­abad and Hy­der­abad – 76 per cent of LED bulb brands and 71 per cent of LED down­lighter brands across 200 elec­tri­cal re­tail out­lets were found to be non-com­pli­ant with con­sumer safety stan­dards, as pre­scribed and man­dated for light­ing prod­ucts by the Bureau of In­dian Stan­dards (BIS) and Min­istry of Elec­tron­ics and In­for­ma­tion Tech­nol­ogy, Govern­ment of In­dia. These spu­ri­ous prod­ucts pose a se­ri­ous safety haz­ard for con­sumers, be­sides caus­ing sig­nif­i­cant loss in tax rev­enues for the Govern­ment of In­dia, as they are il­le­gally man­u­fac­tured and sold.

The find­ings from the key mar­kets sur­veyed showed that 48 per cent of LED bulb brands had no men­tion of man­u­fac­turer’s ad­dress and 31 per cent brands did not have a man­u­fac­turer’s name. In other words, these brands vi­o­late In­dian le­gal metrol­ogy reg­u­la­tions and are man­u­fac­tured il­le­gally. Sim­i­larly, the study con­ducted on LED down­lighters showed that of the to­tal sam­ple size, 45 per cent brands did not have a man­u­fac­turer’s name and 51 per cent brands had no men­tion of the man­u­fac­turer’s ad­dress.

As per this study, al­most three quar­ters of LED bulb brands sur­veyed in the na­tional cap­i­tal (73 per cent) did not con­form to BIS stan­dards (ab­sence of the BIS mark), and same is the case when it comes to LED down­lighters. On a na­tional scale, Delhi ranks as the city with the high­est de­gree of vi­o­la­tion of BIS norms in the coun­try.

As per ELCOMA (Elec­tric Lamp and Com­po­nent Man­u­fac­tur­ers’ As­so­ci­a­tion), the to­tal LED mar­ket in In­dia is worth Rs 10,000 crore, with LED bulbs and down­lighters con­sti­tut­ing 50 per cent of the over­all LED mar­ket, be­ing widely used across homes, of­fices and workspaces.

It is manda­tory that all elec­tri­cal and elec­tronic equip­ment sold in the mar­ket ad­here to cer­tain con­sumer safety stan­dards as pre­scribed by the Bureau of In­dian Stan­dards. If we look at the case of LED lights, there are two as­pects that are ab­so­lutely crit­i­cal.

The first is that LED light man­u­fac­tur­ers have to en­sure that the qual­ity of raw ma­te­ri­als used – like the wires, plas­tic and also the light-emit­ting chip – are op­ti­mal and not of low stan­dards. Bad-qual­ity or non-com­pli­ant LED bulbs or down­lighters can cause short cir­cuits, fire and shock to con­sumers. To ad­dress these safety haz­ards, the Min­istry of Elec­tron­ics and Bureau of In­dian Stan­dards have put it in the com­pul­sory regis­tra­tion or­der (CRO). This means that such prod­ucts manda­to­rily need to be tested for safety and reg­is­tered with BIS be­fore be­ing sold.

The other as­pect is the qual­ity of the prod­uct it­self. In the case of spu­ri­ous and non-com­pli­ant LED lights, there is no guar­an­tee of how long the prod­uct will last, whether it will give the same amount of light even after sev­eral months or years, or whether it will start to flicker, thereby af­fect­ing eye­sight.

To en­sure that con­sumers and their in­ter­ests are pro­tected, all man­u­fac­tur­ers of LED lights need to ad­here to the manda­tory guide­lines as pre­scribed by the govern­ment.

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