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New DOE research on LED lighting adoption in common applications

New DOE research on LED lighting adoption in common applications

By BizLED Bureau

July 29, 2015: The US Department of Energy (DOE) has released an updated version of its existing report “Adoption of LEDs in common lighting applications,” which focuses on the adoption of LED technology in ten common general-lighting applications. The report also projects how to save with greater penetration of solid-state lighting (SSL) technology.

The new report reveals a wealth of insights into promising pathways for SSL technology development, providing estimates of the energy saved in 2014 due to current levels of LED penetration in 10 lighting applications, as well as the potential energy savings if each of these applications had switched completely to the best available LED products. Most notably, it puts the spotlight on two commercial and industrial applications ? linear and low-bay/high-bay ? that hold by far the greatest potential for future energy savings from SSL.

Annual source energy savings from LEDs in 2014 were approximately 143 tBtu (equivalent to a cost savings of about $1.4 billion), but would have approached 4,896 tBtu (saving $49 billion) if all applications had switched ?overnight? to the best-available LEDs. Among other key findings:

  • While LED installations increased in all applications between 2012 and 2014, more than quadrupling to 215 million units overall, market penetration remains modest, climbing to 3% overall, versus less than 1% in 2012.
  • Small directional LEDs remain the market-share leader, with market share increasing from 10% in 2012 to 22% in 2014. Growth is expected to slow in coming years.
  • LEDs enjoyed a 10% share of outdoor applications in 2014, versus just 2.8% of indoor applications, which represent a significantly larger market in terms of units.
  • LED cumulative installations were predominantly in indoor (88%) versus outdoor (8%) and other (4%) applications, with total installations led by A-type lamps (36% of units installed) and directional lamps and luminaires (31% of units installed).
  • Thanks to recent performance gains, LED products have begun to compete successfully against lower-priced incumbents in important commercial and industrial applications, attaining a 1.3% share in linear fixtures and a 2.2% share in low-bay/high-bay applications ? the two applications with the greatest potential for future energy savings from SSL.

The 2015 report equates the 2014 energy savings to $1.4B (billion). The savings, while significant, are the result of only 3% total penetration by LEDs into general lighting. Moreover, the largest penetration is in the A-lamp space with 36% of units installed being LED based. But A-lamps don?t offer the energy savings of many of the other nine lighting types covered in the research.

Indeed, the most compelling data is forward looking in other categories. The DOE said that commercial LED lighting applications including linear fixtures and high/low-bay fixtures hold great potential. Those applications have reached only 1.3% and 2.2% penetration, respectively, thus far, yet the commercial usage equating to long hours and high light levels would lead to significant savings as SSL penetrates to a larger degree. And the DOE notes that high-performing products in these applications are poised for escalated usage. The so-called overnight potential of complete conversion in these applications is 1812 tBTU and 1165 tBTU, respectively.

Thus far, directional lighting is the application in which LEDs have made the greatest impact on energy savings. The DOE said the combination of reflector lamps and downlights is responsible for 21% of the energy savings realized in 2014. The linear and low/high-bay applications closely follow in actual 2014 energy savings despite the relatively low penetration rate.

The new report also notes some challenges ahead to broader SSL usage. Specifically, linear fluorescent lighting with state-of-the-art ballasts remains a lower-cost alternative to linear LED lighting. The DOE also said better integration of controls is also needed in applications such as linear and low/high-bay fixtures so that the latest products deliver the maximum potential savings.

Source: DOE

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