Kathmandu, October 20 2014: Markets in the Kathmandu valley are overflowing with cheap and multi-coloured electric LED lights as Tihar, the festival of lights, is only a few days away.
Stores in Kathmanduâ€™s traditional bazaars like Asan, Jana Bahal, Indra Chowk, Mahabouddha, Gana Bahal and Bhote Bahal are filled with festival shoppers from across the country who have thronged here to buy different types of lamps.
Traders said that the practice of decorating houses with lights during Tihar was fast spreading to rural areas too. LED lights are the latest trend among home owners as they are increasingly abandoning traditional candles and oil lamps, according to traders.
As per the projection of the Nepal Electric Traders Association, electric lights worth Rs 30 million will be sold in the country during the Tihar festival . Almost all the lights sold in the country are imported from China.
Mahendra Kumar Rathi, president of the association, said that demand for Chinese electric lights had been growing rapidly in recent years. â€œMore and more people are shifting towards LED lights from lamps made of clay,â€ he said. He added that the decoration of shopping malls, business and corporate houses had become an important part of Tihar resulting in a massive surge in demand for electric lights and lamps.
Kabindra Kumar Devkota, proprietor of KP Light Centre
at Bhote Bahal, expects a 20 percent growth in sales this year.
â€œI have already sold around 50 units of lights and aim to sell electric lights worth Rs 150,000
this year,â€ he said. Tihar is also noted for sales of firecrackers, decorative items and flowers besides lamps.
He added that most LED lights have double-filament bulbs and consume less electricity compared to normal lamps. Rope lights, pipe lights, star lights and heart lights are among the lights most in demand.
Traders said that LED electric lamps were pushing out traditional lamps as many people were going for affordable varieties of lights. Chinese LED lights cost in the range of Rs 50 to Rs 2,000. Lights with price tags ranging from Rs 300 to Rs 600 are the fastest selling products.
â€œElectric lights are easy and affordable and can be used again and again unlike clay lamps, so sales of electric lights have been swelling during the last three to four years,â€ said Pinky Agrawal of Somi Traders at Sundhara. â€œEven strict religious people are going for electric lamps without any hesitation.â€