Now everyone will understand, even those who, so to speak, are distant from the industry, that the world community is rapidly moving in the direction from traditional light sources to LED ones. Another evidence of this process is the ban from September 1 this year in all EU countries to produce and import standard incandescent lamps.
Although not by leaps and bounds, we are gradually moving in this direction in Ukraine. In the end, we can be proud of the remarkable achievements before the world, if we turn to the experience of the Kharkov company “LED Technologies Ukraine” (LLC “LTU”), with the director of which Viktor KUCHERENKO our conversation.
“First of all, I want to note that we have developed and mastered the production of an LED module used in the manufacture of various lamps of our own and borrowed designs,” says Gennady Igorevich. – Now, no other enterprise in Ukraine owns such technology, which gives us carte blanche in the implementation of our own innovative projects and promotion of new generation lighting products on the market. In essence, our company has set a mission for itself to change the philosophy of electricity consumption in society and achieve real energy savings in lighting. We have practically demonstrated how this can be done by replacing incandescent and fluorescent LEDs.
– We reached this through a certain understanding, conviction, finally, real analysis, calculations …
– I think that until now not everyone knows that in the world about 21% of the total amount of electricity consumed is spent on lighting. Therefore, in all countries they began to look for ways to reduce the cost of lighting streets, facades of houses, park alleys, bridges, etc. Light-emitting diodes have appeared relatively recently, these new light sources with high efficiency, converting electrical energy into light, can save billions of dollars. They are compact, have a very long working life (tens of thousands of hours), are environmentally friendly, and, of course, they have a great future.
It is common knowledge that everything goes on, everything changes… LED technologies also need to be improved and further developed, and our company is an active participant in this process.
– Can you tell us a little more about this participation, about the company?
– “LED Technologies Ukraine” began its activities in this direction, that is, its own development and production of lighting systems based on super-bright high-power LEDs since 2009. We offer such products for use in various industries, at various facilities: from public and office buildings, housing and communal services to highways and industrial facilities.
At one time, having carefully studied the most progressive design and technological solutions and innovative approaches in the development and manufacture of lighting systems based on LED modules from leading developers and manufacturers of Ukraine, we determined our own strategy for creating domestic competitive products based on the innovative development of the State Enterprise SE NITIP). As a result of cooperation, flexible-rigid LED super-bright white modules with a power of 50 to 200 W have been developed. Prototypes of LED modules with a power of 50 W with a luminous flux of more than 4000 lm in the rated current mode (350 mA) were also manufactured and tested. These developments contain the latest technologies, which have no analogues not only in the CIS countries, but also in the European Union and even in the world.- “LED Technologies Ukraine” began its activities in this direction, that is, its own development and production of lighting systems based on super-bright high-power LEDs since 2009. We offer such products for use in various industries, at various facilities: from public and office buildings, housing and communal services to highways and industrial facilities.
– Well, it’s very solid. What is the innovative approach, which, of course, brought your products to a higher level compared to foreign analogues?
– In short, without going into details, when creating and manufacturing an LED module, in particular, the technology of planting a chip on a heat sink was used, which is identical to that used in the Large Hadron Collider in the ALICE experiment. A group of Kharkov scientists participated in the creation of the corresponding detector module for studying particle collisions in the collider. They were also involved in the creation of unusual LED modules. By the way, this technology is protected by copyright for the invention and patents of Ukraine.
– We see that in your partnership there is an important scientific institution, about which, by the way, we know little. Obviously, this is a division of the former military-industrial complex from the times of the Union …
– Now the Research Technological Institute of Instrument Engineering is part of the National Space Agency of Ukraine – the main specialized organization for technology, materials science and standardization of instrumentation for rocket and space, military and other equipment.
We are assisted by scientists from the Kharkiv State Academy of Municipal Economy, namely the Department of Lighting Engineering and Light Sources, headed by Doctor of Technical Sciences, Professor Alexei Andreevich Nazarenko. Our reliable allies and partners are also scientists and specialists from the Institute of Single Crystals of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, the Poltava and Kharkiv Institutes of Metrology, Kharkiv National Aerospace University. M.E. Zhukovsky. Therefore, the intellectual base and scientific support of the company is very solid.
– What are the characteristics of the current production workdays of Lighting Technologies Ukraine?
– Of course, constant search, striving for improvement. First of all, we are talking about the development of new electronic devices, namely, light control systems in LED lamps.
A grant from the Eastern Europe Foundation won last year helped the company launch a project to install modern lighting fixtures on the streets of cities and regional centers in the Dnepropetrovsk region. First, they were installed in Verkhnedneprovsk, later – in the village of Bogdanovtsi, and then, most likely, Nikopol, with the mayor of which a preliminary agreement has already been reached, will be involved in the modernization of street lighting.
Unfortunately, many leaders, who decide on the transition to LED lamps, are hindered by stereotypes approved in society. They still focus on the cost of products, not paying attention to high quality characteristics. And few people think that with this approach, the cost of ownership of the product increases many times, because practice has long been proven that cheap things serve worse and less, so they need to be changed more often, which means more and more new expenses.
– By the way, the other day we learned that the city authorities of Luhansk agreed “… with one environmental organization on the installation of diode lighting.” However, an LED lamp, especially a powerful one, is a very expensive thing and not everyone can afford it …
– Therefore, we are at Lighting Technologies Ukraine, and almost all developers of lighting products are busy simplifying the design solutions of LED lighting systems and finding ways to reduce their production costs to such an extent that new products do not create the impression of luxury elements, but gradually become the same inexpensive and mass-produced products, like “Ilyich’s light bulb”.
Of course, the price of the product, the cost of the project is a weighty and most important argument. Moreover, with all sorts of economic turmoil, crisis phenomena, it is difficult to convince business executives, consumers of various profiles of the profitability, the need to implement our proposals. But there is reason for optimism, if, for example, we refer to the forecasts of the US Department of Energy, according to which by 2015 the cost of manufacturing light emitting diode lighting systems should be reduced by 70%. The main part of this reduction will be achieved due to the reduction of costs for assembly and assembly operations. When assembling high-power multi-chip LED modules using the Chip-on-Board technology on highly thermally conductive metal boards, the cost of production will be reduced by more than 7 times. This direction of development of LED technology is rapidly gaining momentum all over the world, and we can be proud that our company is in the leading position here.
– By the way, the other day I came across information on the Internet that, according to the latest report by LEDinside, the analytical department of the LED market of TrendForce, the average world selling prices (ASP) in July slightly decreased …
– … I.e. the price of LED lamps equivalent to 40W light sources decreased by 1.3%; for LED equivalents of 60 W lamps even more – by 4.8%.
Without going into details (this issue has its own specifics in different countries, on different continents), we note that, according to LEDinside, the level of average selling prices in Europe has significantly decreased in the month before last. The ASP fell below $10 not only in the UK, but also, finally, in Korea. The ASP of LED equivalents to 60W incandescent lamps has continued to decline in many European countries. In July, the minimum price for these products in the UK and Germany was less than $20. This circumstance indicates that European lighting companies have taken a more active position in the LED lamp market.
Another notable fact is that since June 2012, there have been fewer new products with a high price/performance ratio in the main markets against the backdrop of a continuous decline in the prices of existing products. If at the end of 2011 – beginning of 2012 the largest manufacturers competed strongly with each other in this indicator, then they increase the price / performance ratio of their products without compromising their high quality and efficiency.
LEDinside predicts further price reductions for LED lamps to levels below $10, which will increase the competitiveness of LED lamps in residential, construction and large lighting projects segments.
– But let’s get back to our business right in Kharkov. In addition to LEDs, the company also produces …
– Power supplies for light sources. Other elements are made to order by various enterprises, including foreign ones. For example, heat sinks are supplied by Ukrainian foundries, but optics now have to be imported from Thailand, since the cost of similar Ukrainian products is now much higher.
In general, LLC “LED Technologies Ukraine” offers the following ready-made modern solutions: street and main lighting; street and road signs; advertising lighting; decorative lighting of various housing and communal services; landscape lighting design; interior and exterior lighting; architectural lighting of buildings and structures; “autotuning”; autonomous and special lighting; emergency energy saving lighting.
– The list is impressive, because there are proposals for almost everything, as they say, occasions, that is, light work …
– The strategic goal of the company is to create a Ukrainian scientific and technical park capable of providing the entire production cycle – from the production of domestic LEDs to environmentally friendly, energy-saving lighting devices of a new generation. A number of projects have been developed, which, with the support of the state, can be implemented in all cities of Ukraine.
– Let’s hope for this, because the company is already quite well-known and authoritative. Recall that a year ago, at the International Competition of Innovative Projects “Kharkiv Initiatives”, the project “LED Technologies Ukraine” received a gold medal and was recognized as promising for use on a national scale. In the autumn of the same year, it was recognized as one of the best investment projects in Ukraine…
– In September 2012, at the International Competition of Innovative Projects “Kharkiv Initiatives”, the company also received a gold medal for the best investment project of the “Housing and Communal Services” cluster.
In its implementation, as well as in the fact that by the middle of the XXI century to displace the “light bulbs of Ilyich”, a significant contribution will be made by “Lighting Technologies Ukraine”.
– So we wish the company success in this matter, further new achievements. May there be light for you and all of us in the literal and figurative sense – on the streets, in houses, in intentions and plans …