LED lighting accounted for more than a quarter of all light bulbs sold to U.S. consumers in Q1 2016, the first time this has happened. The growth takes place against a backdrop of groups promoting a global switch from incandescent to LED and similarly-efficient lighting.
LED A-line lamps (classic light bulbs) posted a strong showing to start 2016, surging 375.9% during the quarter on a year-over-year basis, according to the National Electrical Manufacturers Association. Compared to Q4 2015, LED shipments rose 38.5%. LED A-line lamps now comprise 26.1% of the consumer lamp market.
The U.S. Department of Energy is determined to keep the momentum going. It recently announced funding to accelerate the development of high-quality light-emitting diode (LED) and organic light-emitting diode (OLED) lighting. In total, nine selected projects will receive more than $10.5 million. “Solid-state lighting research and development has contributed to more than $2.8 billion in U.S. energy cost savings over the past 15 years, and further improvements in the technology will increase those savings even more in the years to come,” said Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz. “By 2030, solid-state lighting could reduce national lighting electricity use by nearly half—which would equate to the total energy consumed by 24 million American homes today and could save American families and businesses $26 billion annually.” The DOE said that the most advanced LED products are about 10 times more energy-efficient than conventional incandescent lighting and last more than 25 times longer. LEDs are intense sources of light consisting of inorganic materials, where OLEDs are diffuse light sources that consist of organic materials.
LEDs are a popular rallying point for groups urging energy efficiency to fight climate change.
The Climate Group has called for all public lighting (think street lights) worldwide to be LED or other technologies with similar efficiency by 2025.
That organization is a partner of the Global Lighting Challenge, which is seeking commitments from public- and private-sector leaders for sales of 10 billion LED light bulbs worldwide. The group says it has already commitments to buy 8 billion bulbs, and has tallied 109 million LED bulbs sold so far, for 1.09% of its global goal.