Study finds US consumers warming to LEDs for energy-efficient lighting

A new study says 87% of consumers would be willing to try LED technology for some or all of their home lighting.

US consumers are willing to pay slightly more for LEDs than traditional bulbs (on average $4.70 per LED-based bulb) with some willing to go as high as $11.00 or more to become more eco-friendly, according to a study commissioned by Arrow Electronics and conducted by Harris Interactive.

The study also found that consumers have become increasingly more aware of energy-friendly lighting options and that the next wave of mass-market residential and business lighting could be coming from LEDs.

"While the benefits of LEDs have long been recognized by electronics makers, the public's rising concerns over energy costs and the environment signify a positive shift for this important technology," said Michael Long, president and COO of Arrow Electronics.

"It represents a rapidly developing market where electronic lighting modules are playing an increasing role."

Although more expensive than other lighting options, LEDs use a fraction of electricity of traditional light bulbs, last longer than regular incandescent light bulbs and compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs), and contain no hazardous materials.

The study found that consumers say they would be willing to pay an average of $4.70 per LED-based bulb, which compares with an average of $0.50 for incandescent bulbs and $3 for CFLs, according to media reports. Eleven percent of consumers are open to paying between $6 and $10 for an LED bulb, and 4% say they would be ready to spend $11 or more.

Additional findings include:

  • 87% of consumers say they would be willing to try LED technology for some or all of their home lighting in order to be more energy efficient
  • 82% of consumers cited the cost savings that LEDs can deliver as motivation to pay more for the bulbs, while 53% pointed to the environmental benefits.
  • 47% of consumers use CFLs in their homes, 36% use regular fluorescent lamps and 20% use halogen bulbs.
  • The most popular methods of light-related conservation in the home (of those listed) are hitting the “off” switch (87%) and replacing incandescent or regular glass light bulbs with CFLs (46%). Other energy-saving measures include keeping the thermostat lower in the winter (58%), using Energy Star appliances (50%) and using renewable energy sources such as solar and wind power for some or all of their energy needs (4%).
  • Many consumers indicated that the use of LED lighting by a friend or family member (58%) and use of LED by their employer (45%) would encourage them to use LED lighting in their home.
  • Factors that would influence a consumer to pay more for LED lighting than alternative bulbs are cost savings on their energy bill (82%), fewer replacements over time (77%), and more natural lighting (48%).
  • Four in 10 consumers (40%) stated that they are more concerned about saving money in the short term than with saving energy.

The LED Lighting survey was conducted online within the US by Harris Interactive on behalf of Arrow Electronics between October 12 and October 16, 2007, among 2,711 US adults aged 18+. This online survey is not based on a probability sample and therefore no estimates of theoretical sampling error can be calculated.

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