By Dr. Dinesh

If you have never bought LEDs before would recommend trialing a single bulb, or spotlight, first before buying too many. LEDs are not cheap but last a long time, so you want to be sure about fitting, shape, lumens before going all in on them. CFLs as per their life expectancy is determined by the number of times they are turned on. Each time a tiny wisp of mercury atoms are boiled off the amalgam until it is depleted and the lamp dims to a faint neon pink glow. CFLs are best installed in situations where they are left running for long periods. Constant on-offs, like toilets, or bathrooms shorten their lives. Most importantly they cannot be recycled efficiently as it has mercury which is harmful for the environment and are long term problem.

LEDs have no such problems, and are happy being pulsed hundreds of times a minute. So try swapping incandescent bulb for lower lumen LEDs and you will be astonished. Edison bulbs function by making a Tungsten filament very hot. LEDs function by driving electrons across a junction between two semiconductor materials in which electrons move at different energy levels. The biggest benefit of using LED itself has an expected life of about 50,000 hours (six years) of continuous use. So if it is used for 4-5 hours a day, it can run for 15-25 years without needing a change. LEDs are already widely used as the backlights for mobile phones, computer monitors and televisions.   LEDs, on the other hand, use a fifth of the electricity of a comparable incandescent bulb and can last between 20 and 50 times longer. LED is the latest buzzword in the lighting industry.

Technology improvements have made LEDs useful for home, office and have also made them much affordable now (still expensive as compare to CFLs or incandescent bulbs). Several manufacturers have come out with luminaires that use LED for lighting. These luminaires are available for all purposes: spot lighting, indoor lighting, outdoor lighting, street lighting, floodlights, garden lighting, general purpose lighting, etc. Good quality LED bulbs are maintenance free. They can give better output (brightness) or lumens per watt.

The light output of LEDs remains constant through its life only decreasing towards the end of their life. It is better to buy LED of a good brand or buy one that comes with a longer warranty. Phase out incandescent light bulbs for general lighting in favour of more energy-efficient lighting alternatives. Andaman & Nicobar Administration should consider providing one or two LED bulbs of 5 watt/10 watt on subsidised price to households having electric connections and also encourage consumer awareness in the media so that slowly people will realize about less power consumption and phase out incandescent bulbs as awareness is generated.

This will in turn save diesel, energy and pollution to a considerable extent, because 400 watt LED bulb which is used for 25 hrs will consume only one unit but where as 400 watt sodium vapour bulb consumes one unit  in two and a half hours. This will definitely bring down the capital investment in diesel and power generators in Andaman & Nicobar Islands and also load shedding etc to a considerable extent in the future. Street light with sodium vapour lamps should be phased out and LED bulbs should be replaced.