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The U.S. accounts for approximately 20% of the world’s total electricity consumption for lighting, at an annual cost of over $40 billion. The largest share of this lighting electricity is used in commercial and public buildings, followed by residential lighting, industrial sector lighting, and outdoor/street lighting.
“Fluorescent lighting technology is becoming more and more important in many key applications,” said Mike Wapner, senior analyst. “Fluorescent lighting is already very energy efficient, it has increasingly cost-effective dimming options, and it’s been around long enough for people to have familiarity and confidence with its performance in a variety of lighting situations.”
While technical, market and other barriers will somewhat hamper the growth of LED lighting in the beginning of this decade, Wapner said adoption will start to accelerate by the 2014-2015 timeframe. Penetration of the outdoor stationary sector will grow first, partly because color rendering is less important in these applications (thus allowing use of the least expensive LEDs). When compared to the overall lighting industry, LED sales volumes will still be relatively low in those years, but high prices will lead to large revenue figures. The long life of LED products will also mean that most sales will go into new construction and retrofit situations, and there will be relatively little replacement business.
What’s more, although technological, policy and market trends appear to be driving the U.S. lighting market away from incandescent lighting, they will not totally disappear anytime soon. Many types of “specialty” incandescent lamps are exempted from the U.S. regulations that will phase out the most common bulbs.
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