The US Department of Energy (DOE) has just released an updated version of its report Adoption of Light Emitting Diodes in Common Lighting Applications. The report is based on research focused on the adoption of LED technology in ten common white light applications and also projects the potential energy savings if each of these applications had switched completely “overnight” to the best available LEDs.
The DOE revealed that LED-based lighting was responsible for 143 trillion British Thermal Units (BTUs) in US energy reduction in 2014. A BTU is a standard of measurement of energy. It is the amount of energy needed to cool or heat one pound of water by one degree Fahrenheit.
The savings could have hit 4896 trillion BTUs had 100% of all general-lighting applications been converted to LED.
The new analysis indicates that from 2012 to 2014, LED installations increased in all applications, more than quadrupling to 215 million units overall. Market penetration climbed to 3% overall, versus less than 1% in 2012.
LED installations were led by A-type lamps (the classic pear-shaped style light bulb) at 36% of LED units installed and directional lamps (lamps for fixtures that can be pointed) at 31%. While these two lamp types lead the current LED-installed base in terms of units, their overall penetration is still modest (2.4% for A-type and 5.8% for directional).
LED cumulative installations were predominantly in indoor (88%) versus outdoor (8%) and other (4%) applications. Outdoor LED applications enjoyed the larger market share at 10%, with street lighting leading all outdoor categories, while LEDs earned a 2.8% share across indoor applications. In terms of units, indoor lighting represents a significantly larger market than outdoor lighting.
Small directional LEDs saw continued growth, with market share more than doubling, from 10% in 2012 to 22% in 2014.
LEDs have begun to penetrate two commercial and industrial lighting markets, attaining a 1.3% share in linear fixtures (fluorescent-tube-type) and a 2.2% share in low-bay/high-bay applications as a result of improved efficacy, a measure of how well a light source produces visible light with a given amount of power (usually expressed in “lumens/watt”).
Saving Energy & Money
Total savings derived from the aforementioned 143 trillion BTUs of source energy in 2014 attributable to LED lighting are equivalent to about $1.4 billion annually. If you have not yet converted your home or, even more valuably, your business, get it done and get your piece of that pie!
To date, LEDs in directional applications (including reflector lamps and downlights) have resulted in the greatest energy savings of any of the 10 applications, providing approximately 21% of the total realized energy savings in 2014.
Despite their relatively low market share to date, low-bay/high-bay and linear fixtures rank second and third in 2014 energy savings (after directional applications), accounting for 17% and 16% respectively. Energy impacts in these applications are disproportionately high relative to market share, because of the
large number of installations and extended operating hours. Low-bay/high-bay fixtures, which are used in the commercial and industrial sectors, operate for an average of about 12 hours per day, in contrast to A-type lamps, which are typically used in residences and average less than two hours per day of operation.
Realizing the greatest possible energy savings from LED products will require ongoing R&D. Linear LEDs, for example, face tough competition from modern fluorescent lamp and ballast systems in terms of initial costs but there are very surprisingly beneficial solutions available for LED Upgrades. For instance, there are very often rebate and subsidy programs available to be taken advantage of. We here at CES have programs, believe it or not, that actually provide the opportunity to complete your full upgrade and still put money back in your pocket! That’s right! You convert over to LED and end up paying less while still paying for the new lights.
We have come a long way but, obviously, we have a long way to go. So if you haven’t yet converted to LED, join the movement! It’s good for the environment, good for our economy and good for your pocketbook. A no-brainer really!