Real Estate

Taking a shine to new lighting solutions

R. Ravikumar New age lighting systems for homes | Updated on March 12, 2018 Published on November 09, 2012

The Havells Galaxy Store in Chennai.   -  Business Line

CFLs in demand for their energy efficiency.   -  Business Line

BL10_HAVELLS2   -  Bijoy Ghosh

New age lighting systems for homes are attracting buyers

The rapidly growing real estate sector is powering the lighting solutions industry. Customers are spoilt for choice as the array of modern and designer lighting fixtures is limitless.

Chandeliers, wall hangings, pendants, spot lights, table lamps, raindrop crystals, bedside lamps, floor lamps, wall mounts... Shopping for light fixtures and bulbs for the home can be mind boggling.

Be it foreign brands such as Feizy rugs, Harris Marcus, Vaxcel, Wac and Murray Feiss, or domestic brands such as Havells, Philips, an MNC long entrenched in the country, Bajaj and NTL Lemnis, retail outlets showcase them all. “Good designs from a decent brand sell like hot cakes,” says a retailer in Chennai. The lighting requirement is increasing and it is directly related to the affluence, says Sunil Sikka, Vice President, Havells India Ltd.

Havells is one of India’s largest players in the lighting business, with about Rs 700 crore in revenues, almost half of which comes from the home lighting segment. “We are expecting Rs 1,000 crore business from the lighting solutions segment by 2014,” says Sikka. The company has set up a large-scale lighting fixture plant in Neemrana, Rajasthan.

“Until now, the Indian consumer was heavily dependent on Chinese imports as the sector was restricted to SSIs. We plan to cater to both the consumer and industrial lighting segments, both in India and abroad,” says Anil Gupta, Joint Managing Director of the company.

Home is where people come and relax. So they look for products that gel with their interior decor and make their interiors more aesthetically pleasing. “Lighting is very crucial as it can affect the appearance of your house,” says a Chennai-based interior designer B. Murali.

Households have also begun to look for products that match their standard of living and lifestyle. They now go for aesthetic, good-looking suspended lighting products, which at the same time gives sufficient lighting in the required area, he says. Different areas within the house have their own requirement of light. For example, in the living room, spot lights are used for focused lighting on artifacts. In bedrooms, the preference is for indirect and soothing light.

Murali says it is important that one understands the functions and uses of decorative lighting. According to him, the latest trend in home lighting is the use of fixtures that are in harmony with the architectural design of a house.

For example, chandeliers now find a place even in the bedroom. These have been appropriately modified to suit the requirements of the bedroom, and at the same time add a touch of class to the decor. Besides light fixtures, light bulbs that are being used have also gone through a sea change in the last decade -and-a- half. With discerning consumers getting conscious about power bills and the environment, the need for energy-efficient lighting has increased substantially and therefore CFL and LED are finding more and more space across home and commercial lighting.

Arun Gupta, Global CEO of NTL Lemnis, says people in the burgeoning middle class are keen on efficient and aesthetic lighting fixtures. It was this segment that first started to replace the incandescent bulbs with CFLs. NTL Lemnis is a joint venture company between NTL Electronics India and Lemnis Lighting of the Netherlands to design, produce and sell energy-efficient LED lighting solutions for India as well as the global audience.

Today, the product portfolio of NTL comprises electronic control gears, ballasts, luminaries, retrofit CFLs, LED drivers and LED lamps. It works with companies such as Crompton Greaves, Philips, Osram, Havells, GE Lighting, Wipro, Bajaj and Surya Roshni.

Gupta says NTL is focusing on development of products that fulfill end-to-end needs of all home lighting applications. He says CFL bulbs have been successful in India. And now LED products are the novel and most energy-efficient lighting solutions, which consumers are taking a shine to.

But, at the same time low quality and low-cost Chinese LED products available in the market are spoiling the LED market just like they did a decade ago for CFLs. These low quality products damage consumers’ perception of LED products as they fail to perform on various parameters such as product life and light output.

According to him, the most important factor for failing of an LED product is the Indian power conditions. The electronics of the product should be developed so that it can withstand the Indian power conditions. It is a humongous task in front of the Indian LED manufacturers to counter this. Research and experiments are still on to make LEDs more commercially viable lighting solution, including home lighting solutions and making it available to all on a larger scale.

Havells’ Sikka says sensing the demand and market potential, the company plans to expand its retail footprint. It is now operating through over five lakh retail outlets and 185 exclusive showrooms branded - Havells Galaxies. And other brands such as Philips too are expanding through exclusive showrooms and other multi-brand retail outlets.

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Published on November 09, 2012
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