In a Nielsen study conducted across four major Indian cities – New Delhi, Mumbai, Ahmedabad and Hyderabad – 76 per cent of LED bulb brands and 71 per cent of LED downlighter brands across 200 electrical retail outlets were found to be non-compliant with consumer safety standards, as prescribed and mandated for lighting products by the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) and Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, Government of India. These spurious products pose a serious safety hazard for consumers, besides causing significant loss in tax revenues for the Government of India, as they are illegally manufactured and sold.
The findings from the key markets surveyed showed that 48 per cent of LED bulb brands had no mention of manufacturer’s address and 31 per cent brands did not have a manufacturer’s name. In other words, these brands violate Indian legal metrology regulations and are manufactured illegally. Similarly, the study conducted on LED downlighters showed that of the total sample size, 45 per cent brands did not have a manufacturer’s name and 51 per cent brands had no mention of the manufacturer’s address.
As per this study, almost three quarters of LED bulb brands surveyed in the national capital (73 percent) did not conform to BIS standards (absence of the BIS mark), and same is the case when it comes to LED downlighters. On a national scale, Delhi ranks as the city with the highest degree of violation of BIS norms in the country.
As per ELCOMA (Electric Lamp and Component Manufacturers’ Association), the total LED market in India is worth Rs 10,000 crore, with LED bulbs and downlighters constituting 50 per cent of the overall LED market, being widely used across homes, offices and workspaces.
It is mandatory that all electrical and electronic equipment sold in the market adhere to certain consumer safety standards as prescribed by the Bureau of Indian Standards. If we look at the case of LED lights, there are two aspects that are absolutely critical.
The first is that LED light manufacturers have to ensure that the quality of raw materials used– like the wires, plastic and also the light-emitting chip – are optimal and not of low standards. Bad-quality or non-compliant LED bulbs or downlighters can cause short circuits, fire and shock to consumers. To address these safety hazards, the Ministry of Electronics and Bureau of Indian Standards have put it in the compulsory registration order (CRO). This means that such products mandatorily need to be tested for safety and registered with BIS before being sold.
The other aspect is the quality of the product itself. In the case of spurious and non-compliant LED lights, there is no guarantee of how long the product will last, whether it will give the same amount of light even after several months or years, or whether it will start to flicker, thereby affecting eyesight.
To ensure that consumers and their interests are protected, all manufacturers of LED lights need to adhere to the mandatory guidelines as prescribed by the government.