Smart lighting holds a lot of potential for additional energy saving, says Tim, Head, International Business Unit, Opple as he talks about smart lighting and how it goes a step further to LEDs in terms of covering the wellness aspect.
Tim, Head, International Business Unit, Opple talks about smart lighting which is the future of energy efficient lighting and how it goes a step further to LEDs in terms of covering the wellness aspect, in an interview with Monica Chaturvedi Charna...
The latest buzz in the lighting industry is the smart lighting concept. Kindly tell our readers about the evolution of smart lights, the potential in India and globally?
People have been talking about the smart lighting concept for a long time now and it can be compared to the transition from normal mobile phones to smart phones. We have been using lighting for decades now, but with smart lighting, we are trying to connect our lights to achieve energy efficiency. It refers to integrating sensors into the lights so that there is no wastage. There are motion sensors, temperature sensors, day-light sensors that control the lighting in a very smart way, giving the perfect ambient lighting, suiting the needs of the customer. The lighting industry has transformed in a huge way. From controlling the lights through smart phones and other gadgets, which was the initial phase of smart lighting, we have moved on to sensor controlled automatic lights. The advantage with the latter is that it is not dependent on internet connectivity or Wifi and that’s why we call it Lifi.
To what extent does the frequent variation in the lighting affect the life of the light or lamp considering that whenever a person enters or leaves the room (which can happen innumerable times), the lights get switched on and off, automatically?
Technically, it does have an impact on the life of a lamp, but not a very significant one. Any good product these days would ensure a minimum life of 5 years, and extending up to 10 years. Opple Lighting’s LED smart lights are giving good results in the market and we assure a lifetime of 9-10 years for our range of products. Our technology is in sync with the current needs of the market.
In India, the transition from incandescent bulbs to CFL lights took a very long time. Comparatively, the shift from CFL to LED has been a faster one, although the market is still picking up because of the higher retail cost. In a price sensitive country like India, smart
lighting is many steps ahead. How do you see the business potential?
The transition is definitely getting faster and shorter and the Indian government is doing a lot to push LED technology so that maximum number of people can enjoy the benefits and achieve enhanced energy efficiency. Smart lighting is the next step that will ensure that consumers get the necessary lighting when needed. LEDs are leading to an 80% energy saving as compared to incandescent bulbs. This saving can be further enhanced by 50% through the usage of the smart lighting concept. Considering the huge population of India that currently has access to electricity, smart lighting holds a lot of potential for additional energy saving. In fact, we are very hopeful of seeing the first smart lighting tender in India in the next year.
Kindly elaborate on the ‘healthy lighting’ that Opple is offering.
Over and above the extended lifetime of our lighting products, Opple is focused on the wellness of its consumers in terms of providing them comfortable lighting that is not harsh on the eye. Our products are based on ‘flicker-free’ technology, which is very crucial for growing kids because their eyes are sensitive. LEDs are build on the blue ray chip technology, which is not noticeable but is harmful for the eyes since it is very high on energy. As per a US report, the damage of blue ray to the eyes is irreversible. Opple is working on integrating healthy lighting into its product portfolio and we want the customers to be able to differentiate between good lights and healthy lights.
Comment on the global market of smart lights and Opple’s share in it.
Smart lights is still an emerging concept and as of now, Opple is not focusing on the market share, but on how to educate the society about smart lights and healthy lights. We want to work together with big names in the lighting industry to build the right eco system.
So, are you looking at alliances with major players in India and do you have any manufacturing base in India?
We entered the Indian market sometime towards the end of 2014 and are still new in the market. We do not yet have manufacturing facilities and our first anchor point was the distribution network. The Indian market is huge and the economy is growing very fast. We would be investing in setting up manufacturing here and going forward, we would also set up an R&D centre in India. Opple in India wants to be an Indian company.