Light is expensive and there’s no point in wasting it
Federal Law No. 261-FZ “On Energy-Saving and Energy Efficiency Improvement” adopted in 2009 outlined the need for cost reduction on energy-intensive facilities in Russia. One of the areas for improvement of energy-efficiency is the upgrading of lighting system, particularly, the application of new energy-saving light sources. Many large companies have already found the solution to this problem by starting to use LED lighting fixtures. They are not only cost-effective, but also indispensable for operation under extreme conditions. Vadim Dadyka, the Director General of AtomSvet LLC, told us how LED lighting fixtures help enterprises reduce costs for lighting, save power consumption and significantly improve the lighting quality, as well as why you shouldn’t try to save money on energy-saving equipment.
— In late 2009 the government became aware of the energy-saving problem and adopted the Federal Law on energy-efficiency improvement. Do you think this initiative has had an effect on business policy or do we still give little thought to such issues as resource saving?
— Of course, the issue of resource saving is being thought of in our country. Thus, the adoption of the law on energy-saving was preceded by extensive research undertaken by the state, which demonstrated that today the cost of using inefficient power equipment adds up to a minimum of 40% of the energy consumption of the country. We don’t have the right to treat our resources like that.
As for the enterprises’ energy policy, first of all enactment of the law affected state and publicly owned companies. These are the companies that make up the vast majority of energy-saving lighting users. Today the most advanced energy-saving technology in lighting is based on the use of LEDs as a light source: thus, after transition from lighting the facilities with incandescent bulbs to LED lighting fixtures energy consumption savings increased almost 10 times, with fluorescent and mercury lamps – twice, and with sodium lamps – 1.5 times.
It should be noted that Russia is not a groundbreaker in the transition to LED lighting. Japan, for example, adopted a programme for transition to energy-saving technologies in 1998. Americans did it in 2000. Unfortunately, in our country transition to modern energy efficient lighting is not so easy to carry out yet. Companies face financial difficulties, because large-scale replacement of lighting fixtures is in fact an investment project that requires funding. The payback period for even the most efficient technologies is about two years. At the same time state funding is not enough. The market would have developed faster if there were government programmes focused on investment projects in energy saving. Nowadays in our country there are no banks, which would officially support energy-saving programmes in terms of Law No. 261-FZ, while in Europe, for example, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development has such programmes.
— Have private companies already evaluated the benefits from investing in energy-efficient lighting?
— Yes, because they have an even more difficult situation with energy consumption compared with state-owned companies. For private enterprises the economic aspect is paramount. Thus, companies with limited allocated power consumption have particular need for transition to energy-saving lighting system. For instance, I’ve seen construction estimates for large business complexes, in which cost per kilowatt hour reached 10 rubles. In such cases energy-saving lighting fixtures must be installed. Unfortunately, not everyone understands that, construction moves on, and then all the costs are borne by the ultimate purchaser. Another category of companies interested in energy saving are manufacturers of goods with low added value. Owners of such organizations realized that light is expensive and there is no sense in wasting it. So they began to invest in energy-saving lighting equipment.
— The economic aspect of transition to LED lighting is obvious. Are there any other benefits?
— Unlike a number of competitors’ products AtomSvet LED lighting fixtures can not only save energy, but also significantly improve the quality of light, and that affects compliance with occupational safety standards. For example, in the workshops of metallurgical plants with a high dust level any conventional energy-saving fixture (sodium or mercury) due to its design and the way it works attracts huge amount of dust and gets dirty very quickly. Therefore, the lighting quality drops dramatically, affecting the occupational safety. Considerable costs are incurred in keeping these lighting fixtures clean. Such a situation does not happen with our lighting fixtures: there is special integrated protective lens, reducing the dust accumulation to minimum. AtomSvet lighting fixtures have the highest protection degree according to European standards against dust and moisture of IP67.
AtomSvet LLC also produces explosion-proof lighting fixtures which are used at high-risk facilities: NPPs, mines, filling stations, etc.
Another important point is disposal of lighting fixtures. Many companies begin using LED lighting fixtures to rid of future troubles. Our lighting fixtures do not require special handling, while, for example, fluorescent mercury lamps, popular in our country, require special disposal which is both is time-consuming and expensive.
— Your LED lighting fixtures are suitable for any conditions of usage, aren’t they?
— AtomSvet manufactures products suitable for any operational environment. Our fixtures constantly run at enterprises with aggressive environment, in electric networks with over- and under- voltage, at higher or significantly lower temperatures (-60 - +60). The latter is particularly important for regions such as Siberia and the Urals. Thus, the lower is the temperature the lower is the sodium lamp performance. At minus 30 they don’t turn on at all. While LED lighting fixtures work normally at such temperatures.
— And if we consider the fact that in Surgut it is below minus 50 in winter…
— Therefore, our technologies are especially in demand there. In addition, there is no need to replace LED lighting fixtures frequently. In such conditions this is also very important. AtomSvet products do not require replacement for at least 10-12 years, because they have a huge operational life of about 50,000 hours. Our lighting fixtures still continue operating even after the end of their shelf life; just a couple of LEDs might fail.
— These unique lighting fixtures are developed by AtomSvet, right?
— Yes, we use our know-how. We have our own design department and advanced production. Our factory carries out a full production cycle: from full design up to testing in our lighting laboratory. In addition we purchase LEDs from Japan Nichia Corporation Company, which is the founder of super-bright LED production technology.
— How do you manage to achieve high quality of products and compete in the market?
— We have product quality control system at all production stages and our own testing laboratory, where all manufactured products are tested. Each lighting fixture goes through inspection; none comes on the market without testing. We use only those components, in which we are 100% confident, and any customer can fully appreciate it at our production facilities near Moscow. This is a key to our success, and I am sure that only high quality should be the main criterion in choosing the lighting fixtures.
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