Energy efficient LED to light rural homes - In India, where nearly 400 million homes do not have any type of electricity connection and thus no lights whatsoever besides candles and lamps, the Indian government has decided to finally re-launch its most ambitious (yet earlier abandoned) national program in 2013 to provide subsidized electricity, and thus light, through a decentralized system of renewable energy sources that they say will be provided to all homes by the year 2017.
The lighting type chosen for this aspiring project; light emitting diode (LED). The reason; LEDs use approximately 80% less energy than the much more prevalent compact fluorescent lamps (CFL) that are now being used in the homes that actually do have electrical energy sources. They have a solar powered system ready to be installed when the campaign restarts that will be able to run 2 LED lights, several fans and of course the most important electrical device, a TV. A mobile charger is also included as, oddly enough, more people in India have cell phones than electrical power.
The reason for the switch was obvious to the Indian government as they saw that the solar batter discharge was faster when people were using the old fashioned CFL lights. The problem, however, was that the cost of the new, more energy efficient LED lights was much higher. That all changed when the price of LEDs suddenly fell by almost 70% for a 10 watt LED bulb.
So far the new solar powered system and the LED lights that it comes with have been provide to the people of India living in the highlands of Ladakh, Jammu and Kashmir. The remote islands of Andaman and Nicobar have gotten the solar systems also as well as some cities close to the capital of Moradabad.
The systems being used depend on the area and the needs of the residents there. In some cases each individual house will have its own single system, and in others there will be a system that is used by the entire town and run by a committee of townspeople. Ladakh for example has individual home lighting systems for all of its residents whereas Moradabad has one for entire village.
The Indian government hopes that by using the LED lights and solar system and creating a huge demand for them some Indian manufacturers will begin to supply the LEDs and solar panels, a move that would even further reduce the cost and provide much needed lights for millions of Indian people all around the country.