LED bulb prices in India are nearing CFL prices, but might be priced down a further INR 20 (US $0.30) following the government’s 50 million LED bulb purchase tender to be issued in the next ten days, reported The India Times.
Online LED bulb retail prices in India range between INR 160 to INR 250, while most CFLs retail price fall between INR 130 to INR 215. Indian LED bulb manufacturer NTL Lemnis Chief Marketing Officer Sandeep Singh noted LED bulb prices have plummeted in the last 18 months from INR 310 per bulb.
Singh projected LED prices might drop INR 20 as LED bulb technology improves and production capacity scales up. Amit Kumar, a partner at PricewaterhouseCoopers, which is advising the government on LED programs, said it is probable that Energy Efficiency Services (EESl) will invite bids in a single tender of 50 million LED bulbs in 10 days, surging bulb volumes might drive down LED bulb costs further.
Several Indian manufacturers shared their insight on the project. Orient Electric Senior Vice-President Puneet Dhawan said the company moved out of manufacturing incandescent bulbs, and shifted 50% of its assembly lines from CFL to LED lamps. The company is preparing to fully convert its assembly lines to LEDs within one year. Dhawan expects prices of LED bulbs to drop to INR 120 for a 7W lamp, INR 140 for 9W, and INR 170 for a 12W LED bulb in the next six months. Many manufacturers are aiming to establish manufacturing bases for LED lamps, and several announcements might be released in the next six months.
Havells president Sunil Sikka noted the government’s LED lighting program run by EESL has made the LED lamp industry scale a peak in 18 months, a process which normally would have taken three to five years, he added. In comparison it took CFLs 10 years to reach the same scale and capacity, while the scale has brought down the costs of manufacturing of LEDs and prices down every quarter.
Under the program, EESL procured LED lamps in bulk through competitive bidding and distributed them to consumers through power distribution companies. Power minister Piyush Goyal last week announced it distributed 30 million LED bulbs under the scheme. Companies, however, do not project CFLs demand disappearing completely in the next three years. There might still be a market for the bulbs in low-tier cities and rural areas, due to consumer habits, lack of awareness and established distribution chains.
About 600 million incandescent bulbs are sold in India every year, and are popular among rural population because of its low prices. Their consumption declined from 700-800 million last year to around 400 million this year. Last year, 400 million CFLs were sold and the number will decline further to 350 million this year.
But with a positive situation, the Humitsu Corporation will invest in Indian market in the future.