Light Sources – History

Journey through times – Major Milestones

65 million years BC Fire
450 BC Oil Lamp (Egypt)
1808 AD Carbon Arc Lamp(Davy)
1879 AD Incandescent Lamp (Edison)
1906 AD High Pressure Mercury Discharge Lamp
1910 AD Drawn Tungsten Filament Lamp
1923 AD Low Pressure Sodium Vapour Lamp
1924 AD Gas Filled Incandescent Lamp
1933 AD Fluorescent Discharge Lamp
1958 AD Laser Beam Light Source

After years of research and development, the lighting industry has been able to provide the world with light sources that have higher efficiencies, better colour rendering and larger capacities to save energy in the most cost-effective manner.

The improvement in electric light sources will continue to be a challenge for scientists of all disciplines, as they strive to achieve the highest possible efficiency of 683 lumens per watt in light sources, of which only about 200 lumens per watt can be produced today.

Lighting Industry In India

The seven decades of the lighting industry in India has been a period of transition and growth. Its development from the status of an importer of finished products to assembling components and finally to a largely indigenous and self sufficient producer of lighting systems has been a gradual and revolutionary process, producing today General Service Lamps, Fluorescent Tubes, High Intensity Discharge Lamps, Halogen, Dichroic and Compact Fluorescent Lamps.

The emphasis on the power sector and its phenomenal growth and distribution laid the foundation for the lighting industry in India. In the sixties, serious foreign exchange problem in the country encouraged production of vital lamp components in India. In the nineties, the government liberalisation policies saw international players in the lighting field participate actively in the Indian market as well as in exports.

Keeping in mind the massive rural electrification programme and the emergence of strong middle class, a demand explosion both in quantity and types is likely to occur in near future with emphasis on energy saving light sources.

Lack of economies of scale coupled with high input costs of raw material and components result in uncompetitive prices impeding export efforts. The trend has however started changing with companies paying serious attention to bettering organisational efficiencies and participating competitively in the vast international market for lamps as well as components.

There has been effective widening of locally produced range of lamps along with serious advent of electronics in lighting, thereby supplying better, more efficient and cheaper lighting systems with improved aesthetics. The future of the industry envisages immense prospects of growth and development for technologically advanced and cost effective organisation.

Miniaturisation, electronic circuitry, newer chemicals, better luminaires are all providing the world with products of larger light output at minimum cost helping energy conservation.