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Lightening lighting woes

The LED bulb uses a mere four watts of power to produce light equivalent to a 40-Watt bulb. Avishek Dastidar reports.

india Updated: Sep 17, 2007 01:51 IST
Avishek G Dastidar

Frans Otten, head of a technology firm in the Netherlands has brought Delhiites what they have always wanted: a way to light up their homes without spending a fortune on electricity bills.

The Compact Fluorescent Lamps (CFLs) may have already done that quite well but Otten’s offering is a bulb that uses almost half the power consumed by a CFL, lasts more than eight times longer and is environment-friendly. It’s the Light Emitting Diode or LED.

For the first time in the world, LEDs, hitherto used as signal lightings, have been tailor-made for households.

Named Pharox, it looks like a bulb and is made for the common light holders. “It uses only four watts to produce light emitted by an ordinary 40-watt bulb. The colour of the light is a bright yet soft white, unlike that of a CFL or ordinary bulb,” Otten said in an interview with HT on Friday.

“It is made of plastic and aluminium, so it is almost unbreakable. It does not get fused even in extreme power fluctuations and extensive use. And it does not have any environmental hazards,” he said.

Manufacturers guarantee it lasts about 35 years if used for four hours a day. One Pharox helps a user save Rs 5,100 over its lifetime. “You recover the cost in no time and then for three decades you save the money you would have spent using other lamps,” Otten said.

But price is one area where the CFL beats the Pharox hands down. Priced at Rs 500-800 per piece now, it is almost five to eight times costlier. But Otten is hopeful.

“When sales increase here, the cost will come down.”

Backed by the Indian Society of Lighting Engineers, the makers have met all those who matter in the power sector.

“If LEDs get the patronage CFLs are enjoying, every home will help cut down power demand and carbon
emissions,” Otten said.