Industry Analysis

India’s 76% LED bulbs found to be spurious: Survey

Levels of non-compliance regarding metrics such as manufacturer’s name and address least in Mumbai: Nielsen study

Three-fourths of light emitting diode (LED) bulbs sold in India were found non-compliant with government’s consumer safety standards, market research firm Nielsen said in a survey.

The report, based on a study of 200 electrical retail outlets across major cities like Mumbai, Hyderabad, Ahmedabad and New Delhi in July, found the products to be spurious and riskier, with the highest number of violations in the national capital.

“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 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 Nielsen study states.

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, i.e. 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.

However, according to the study, Mumbai fared the best among all the cities surveyed on most counts. Compared to nearly three quarters of all LED bulb brands and downlighters brands surveyed in Delhi being non-compliant with BIS standards, in Mumbai spurious brands in both these categories are limited to a range of 36 to 41 per cent as per the survey. However, as far as other violations regarding manufacturer’s name and address are concerned, Mumbai has limited the damage in spurious brands surveyed to between 2 and 5 per cent, that sits pretty in the context of the situation in other markets surveyed.

As per ELCOMA (Electric Lamp and Component Manufacturers’ Association), the total LED Market in India is worth Rs 10,000 crores, with LED bulbs and downlighters constituting 50 per cent of overall LED market, being widely used across homes, offices and workspaces.

Rakesh Zutshi, President of ELCOMA and Managing Director, Halonix Technologies Private Limited said “The large number of non-compliant manufacturers of LED Bulbs and Downlighters threaten fair competition in the LED lighting market, especially for those companies that are compliant to all mandatory consumer safety standards. It is very unlikely that the manufacturers of these spurious LED Bulbs and Downlighters pay any GST to the government, thereby causing a huge loss to the exchequer”.

Commenting on the subject, Sumit Joshi, Vice Chairman and Managing Director, Philips Lighting India said, “As per an ELCOMA study, the Indian LED Lighting market has grown from Rs 500 crore in 2010 to Rs 10,000 crore today and constitutes over 45 per cent of the overall Rs 22,000 crore lighting industry in India, comprising of all categories like GLS, FTL, CFL and other lamps. Given the government’s push towards adoption of LEDs and their general consumer popularity, LED lighting will constitute a majority share of the total lighting market in the next few years. Given this scenario, it is important for the government to act against these spurious and non-branded products for safeguarding consumer safety and protecting their revenues against these companies.”

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