The Indian lighting industry is on a rapid growth trajectory primarily driven by increasing government initiatives in energy conservation front, rising consumer awareness about energy-efficient products and digitisation. This transition is mandating the switch from conventional bulbs to energy efficient LEDs.

According to the industry body ELCOMA (Electric Lamp and Component Manufacturers’ Association), the total LED market in India is worth Rs 11,400 crore, with LED bulbs and downlighters constituting 72 per cent of the overall LED market, being widely used across homes, offices and workspaces.

However, illegally manufactured and sold spurious LED products continue to be a major threat for the lighting industry across the globe. In a country like India where the government has been aggressively pushing for adoption of LEDs to achieve energy efficiency goals, a few opportunists are busy manufacturing and selling spurious products which are not only safety hazards for consumers but also causing significant loss in tax revenues for the government.

According to a study conducted by market research firm Nielsen, about half of all LED bulb and downlighter brands currently sold in the Indian market are unsafe and manufactured illegally. The study conducted across 400 retail outlets spanning eight cities has found that 47 per cent of LED bulb brands and 52 per cent of LED downlighter brands flout the consumer safety standards prescribed by the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) and Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology.

As per this Nielsen report, in the LED bulbs category, Hyderabad had the highest non-compliance levels in BIS mark at 57 per cent and Ahmedabad at 60 per cent had the highest non-compliance levels in legal metrology. In the LED downlighter category, Bareilly had the highest non-compliance in BIS mark at 78 per cent whereas Mumbai topped the chart in non-compliance in legal metrology at 78 per cent.

In order to curb the production and sale of spurious LED products, the association calls for a “stronger enforcement” for adherence to the prescribed safety standards. However, a more coordinated multi-agency approach is need of the hour to tackle the menace of non-compliant, unsafe products.

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