The National Lighting Bureau is crediting the unusually harsh 2013-14 winter for causing the first-quarter 2014 NEMA Lighting-Systems Index (LSI) to decline 1.7% from its fourth-quarter 2013 performance, when the LSI hit its highest peak since third-quarter 2008. “Given that the U.S.’ gross domestic product fell at a 2.9% annual rate during the same period, largely because of the winter, the Index didn’t do all that badly, and actually was up 0.9% on a year-over-year basis,” said National Lighting Bureau Executive Director John P. Bachner.
Using 2002 data to create its 100-point benchmark, NEMA’s LSI (http://www.nlb.org/Index) is a composite measure of luminaires, ballasts, miniature lamps, large lamps, and emergency lighting shipped throughout the United States by the lighting-equipment manufacturers of the National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA). NEMA adjusts the Index for seasonality and inflation.
According to NEMA Director of Statistical Operations Stacey Harrison, shipments of fixtures, emergency lighting, and miniature lamps gained in sales – just as they did during 2013’s fourth quarter – while ballasts and large lamps again declined.
Addressing the future, Bachner noted, “Construction-industry forecasters continue to remain optimistic. The cold weather that led to the first-quarter slowdown is behind us, as are several other contributing factors. Demand for lighting products remains strong and the economy still continues to add jobs at the rate of some 200,000 per month. The second quarter will be better, the third quarter should be even more improved, and the fourth quarter could be the best in a long, long while.”
Despite his optimism, Bachner injected a note of long-term concern: “The unusually harsh winter might have been in the vanguard of climate changes for which we are only now preparing. We have no way of knowing for certain how the lighting industry will be affected by a changing climate and mankind’s response to it, but it has to be a concern, just as it likely is for most other major industries that call Earth their home.”
Established in 1976, the National Lighting Bureau is an independent, IRS-recognized not-for-profit, educational foundation that has served as a trusted lighting-information source since 1976. The Bureau’s services are made possible by the generous funding of its sponsors; professional societies, trade associations, manufacturers, and agencies of the U.S. government, including, among others:
Illuminating Engineering Society of North America (IES);
Imperial Lighting Maintenance Company;
interNational Association of Lighting Management Companies (NALMCO);
Lighting Controls Association;
Lutron Electronics Company, Inc.;
National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA);
National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA);
U.S. General Services Administration; and
Obtain more information about the Bureau by visiting its website (www.nlb.org) or by contacting its staff at [email protected] or 301-587-9572.
A founding sponsor of the National Lighting Bureau, NEMA is the association of electrical-equipment and medical-imaging manufacturers. Established in 1926 and headquartered in Rosslyn, Virginia, NEMA’s 400-plus member companies manufacture a diverse set of products, including power transmission and distribution equipment, lighting systems, factory automation and control systems, and medical-diagnostic imaging systems. Total U.S. shipments for electroindustry products exceed $100 billion annually.