In 1977, K-LITE began a long journey of innovation in lighting products, chasing the dream of light. Today the company’s products are being used internationally. In an exclusive e-interview, Sharmila Kumbhat, Director – Business Development, K-LITE, is fielding questions from the editorial team of Lighting India. Excerpts…

What are the latest additions in K-lite’s product portfolio?

We have added various types of Bollards and Column Lights with corrosion proof material and coating. Our new and updated Smart Pole has been well received internationally.

Up-Down Light series was updated with different wattages and beam angles alongwith dimming facilities.

The additional range of Path Finders for both indoor and outdoor has been well received by Consultants, Architects and Land Scapists.

How are the Indian residential users accepting new concepts like ‘indoor wall washing’?

Indoor wall washers have come to stay. Thanks to the architects and lighting designers and the introduction of smart home with smart lighting. Consumers now like to have an ambiance in all their living places. With automated lighting controls and IOT, the indoor wall washers have a lot of openings in indoor lighting sector.

How safe is the use of wooden or paper materials as lighting fixtures?

As such, we do not see any lighting fixtures with wood or paper materials. As far as we are concerned, we have met the requirements of Architects to get wooden finish in Bollards and Column Lights by using wooden panels over the cast aluminium tubes. Indian concept is yet to shift fully towards a one-time use and  throw away concept.

Which types of luminaires form the strongest forte of K-lite?

LED Bollards and the Column Lights are the strongest forte in our range.We offer architecturally appealing street light post top lanterns with modern Architectural and ornamental lighting.

What measures are you taking to increase the life of lighting fixtures?

After converting most of the housings into aluminium and using the proven brands of LED chips/ COBs, which are guaranteed for more than 50,000 hrs of burning, the only weak link to ensure long life of the luminaire is the ‘driver’ with so many electronic components built into it. The ‘driver’ manufacturers are hesitant to guarantee its life beyond three years. However, we are using the best electronic components for longer life.

Are all your products indigenously designed and manufactured?

Almost all our luminaires are now using LED as the light source. Except for the LED chips and COBs all items are locally made. You can say that 95 % of the luminaires are in-house and developed with our own tools and dies.

What kind of projects are you taking up these days?

We are basically suppliers of indoor/ outdoor luminaires and all types of poles including High Mast. We do not undertake directly any projects. However, we have a group of lighting designers and a full-fledged optics laboratory with the state of art equipment. Hence, the lighting consultants and architects make use of our expertise and execute projects. From this angle, we have illuminated  many parks, highways such as National Highway in Mohali, Airport  approach highways in places like Hyderabad, entire city street lighting in Varanasi , Amritsar Golden Temple area etc.

What are the advantages of choosing an Indian lighting company for projects?

This has been well answered with the onslaught caused by COVID19. The only advantage in imports was the cost benefit. If compared with the performance, non availability of any replaceable items and failures of such imported luminaires, it is now well proven that the cost advantage is totally lost. We expect a major shift in the attitude and approach of the clients in the time to come and it will only be to the advantage of Indian manufacturer

What would you like to communicate to the lighting enthusiasts? 

During the last ten years and with the introduction of LED in all luminaires and the free market economy , the luminaire manufacturers in India have lost their significance in lighting market. The traders took over the market through their imports from China at the cheapest possible cost, branded as their own and exploited the whole market by dumping with a variety of luminaires. In fact, even the local reputed brands in the lighting market were forced to tie up with some Chinese companies and get their products branded as an OEM product, import and sell locally. This was detrimental to the national interest, and we lost the race. Even the ‘Make in India’ concept cannot be put through unless we can compete with their cost of production and convince our clients. However, the situation is changing now, and everybody accepts the importance of locally made items to meet any contingency and develop ourselves to be the future leaders. If the demand from local buyers turn towards locally made products, the scaled up demand will obviously bring down the prices.

Leave a Reply