“Although LED lighting technology is genuinely exciting, and discussed extensively in a variety of media, it’s still not used as much as ‘the buzz’ would suggest.” So said National Lighting Bureau Chair Howard P. Lewis (Visioneering Corp), echoing the findings of a comprehensive U. S. Department of Energy (DOE) study summarizing the current U.S. lighting market. Titled Adoption of Light-Emitting Diodes in Common Lighting Applications, the study report is available free from the National Lighting Bureau.
According to DOE, the study was conducted to answer four key questions:
-How much energy was consumed in 2012 by nine common residential, commercial, and industrial lighting applications where LED technology is competing with “traditional” lighting technologies?
-Which lighting technologies were used for each application?
-How much energy was actually saved by reliance on LED technology vs. traditional technologies?
-How much energy would have been saved if LED technology was the only lighting technology used?
Researchers classified the nine applications into three groups:
-indoor lamps (A-type, directional, MR16, and decorative);
-indoor luminaires (downlight, troffer and other common fluorescent fixtures, and high-bay); and
-outdoor luminaires (streetlight and parking-lot/garage).
Major findings of the study include:
In 2012, about 49 million installations relied on LED technology, with LED A-type lamps leading the way, being used in just over four of every ten LED installations. Nonetheless, LED A-type lamps account for less than 1% of installed A-type lamps. That’s not the case when it comes to MR16 lamps, however; about one of every ten installed uses LED technology.
The LEDs installed in 2012 generated source-energy savings of some 71 trillion British thermal units (tBtu), which translates into energy-cost savings of about $675 million.
Annual source energy savings could approach almost 3.9 quadrillion Btu (quads), if all nine applications used LEDs exclusively.
“We’re still a long way from 100% reliance on LEDs,” said Mr. Lewis, the Illuminating Engineering Society of North America (IES) representative to the Bureau’s board. “And, frankly, I doubt we’ll ever see anything even close to that given the technology under development and the significant progress still being made within the traditional lighting technologies, resulting in ever more efficiency and longer life. I don’t know how many people are aware of it, but two of the Bureau’s sponsors – GE and OSRAM SYLVANIA – both produce fluorescent lamps with rated lives as high as 84,000 hours, which is actually longer than the rated life of many LEDs. Although the traditional technologies cannot do what LED technology can – the ability to change color, for example – the fact is that some of these features have little value in many of the applications where LEDs and traditional technologies compete head-to-head, on a bottom-line basis. But, unquestionably, LEDs are gaining ground in the bottom-line department, as efficiencies improve and prices decline.”
Obtain a free copy of Adoption of Light-Emitting Diodes in Common Lighting Applications at the National Lighting Bureau website.