Energy | VOL. 13, ISSUE 81, November-December 2013

Lead with LED

Compact Fluorescent Lamps (CFLs) reduce energy consumption but carry with it the sting of mercury that is potentially hazardous to humans. With no immediate means of recycling, CFLs may undo more than envisaged. Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs) on the other hand, seems to be better positioned and may allow countries such as India to phase out mercury laced substances without getting into the trouble of setting up disposal facilities—subverting the complications therein.  With a 10 to 100-year life the LED prototypes claim a much longer life span than CFLs and also use 40 percent lower energy. The primary advantages of an LED are thus better light quality and higher efficiency for lower energy consumption apart from its robust nature and ability to interface with the digital world. At present LED technology is expensive and demand for such lamps being low, the cost remains high varying between Rs 500 and Rs 900; only a few LED emergency lamps are priced below Rs. 300. BEE sources inform us that, despite all odds the sale of LEDs has grown from Rs. 300 crores in 2009 to Rs 1200 crore in 2012-13. The Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE) encourages individuals and bulk users such as railways, defense and others for large scale adoption of LED usage through its outreach activities. However, their efforts have borne no fruit officials inform...

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