Assoc. Prof. PhD. Krassimir Velinov, BNCA: Lighting technology has significantly advanced in recent years

LightingIndustrySouth-East European INDUSTRIAL Мarket - issue 4/2014

Assoc. Prof. PhD. Krassimir Velinov,
President of the Bulgarian National Committee on Illumination (BNCA)

Assoc. Prof. Velinov, what is the technological level of Bulgarian producers at present?
Lighting technology has significantly advanced in recent years. Actually, we see a revolution in the development of light sources. In this respect, LEDs are a light source that continually surprises us. Unfortunately, the market in Bulgaria is not so big as to enable competitive production of LED chips.

On the other hand, this great dynamics allows small businesses to quickly reorganize their production. In this way, they can reach technical parameters that significantly exceed those of established companies. Of course, miracles do not happen. The simple fact is that the latest technological and scientific advances have been incorporated in the production of these lamps.
A big problem faced by Bulgarian producers is the declining market.

In order for a production to be effective, it must produce quantities that exceed a certain minimum. For different types of lamps, that minimum ranges from 100 to 500 units a day. This means line production rather than ”garage production” and requires high performance machines. There are such companies in Bulgaria and the majority of them do not sell their products in the domestic market and export them.

Paradoxically, they cannot sell their cheaper and quality products in our market. There is an unpardonable and neglectful attitude towards business in Bulgaria at all levels. Instead of stimulating the domestic production in a financial, legal and protectionist way, if you like, goods of dubious quality and relatively low price are being imported as well as ”branded” goods with a much higher price and average parameters that allow for large commissions.

The financial policy of a number of governments seeks to drain everything in the form of taxes, fines and illegal claims. It should be clear that no agriculture or cultivation of tobacco would help us to grow economically. Only the development of high technology can contribute towards economic upsurge but before that, we have to ’raise’ it.

How does the BNCA assist Bulgarian manufacturers of lighting components and systems?
There are several options for this. Firstly, we provide designers and consumers with information on the latest technological developments in the field of lighting and light sources. For this purpose, seminars in different cities of the country are being organized on a regular basis, often with the assistance of the Chamber of Engineers in the Investment Design (CEID).

In 2013, 10 seminars were held. This year, it is planned to hold 6 more workshops, and the major event was the 15th Conference on Lighting with international participation, which celebrated the 50th anniversary of the BNCA.

Secondly, the Committee informs the Bulgarian institutions about the problems in the construction of new facilities, the problems relating to procurement organization and to the operation of lighting systems.

What are the emerging trends before the lightning industry in Bulgaria and what determines them?
We can distinguish two trends facing the industry, one pessimistic and one optimistic. In the pessimistic one, the neglectful attitude towards the business continues, the resources of the companies continue to shrink, some of them gradually go bankrupt, the funds paid to the budget decrease. Education is neglected too.

The optimistic scenario includes the creation of favourable conditions for the development of LED technology. This requires huge investments on the part of the state in the development of LED technology; building infrastructure and providing investor incentives for the production of electronic equipment; promoting education and preferential allocation of funds for training as a primary concern of the nation; return on investment and turning Bulgaria into the tiger of Europe. It depends only on us which of the two options we will choose.