Osram Sylvania and NEMA each offer research on LED lamp adoption

Osram has announced the results of its sixth annual Sylvania Socket Survey that tracks the adoption in the US of energy-efficient light bulbs and the National Electrical Manufacturers Association has reported a 72% rise in LED A-lamp shipments in Q3 2013.

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Osram Sylvania has reported that nearly two-thirds of US lighting buyers plan to switch to energy-efficient lighting but that 30% plan to buy up and continue to use lower-cost legacy lamps. Osram's sixth annual Sylvania Socket Survey reveals that federal regulations on lamp efficiency are driving increased popularity of compact fluorescent (CFL) and LED lamps. Meanwhile, NEMA (National Electrical Manufacturers Association) has reported a marked increase in the adoption of solid-state lighting (SSL) technology with LED A-lamp shipments increasing by 71.9% in the third quarter of 2013 relative to the second quarter.

Lamp regulatory guidelines and survey

The mainstream media has been filled with stories about the final phase of the Energy Independence and Security Act (EISA) that was passed back in 2007 and signed by Republican President George W. Bush. The legislation didn't ban incandescent bulbs as is often written but rather established efficiency guidelines that standard incandescent designs can't meet.

Of course, this is old news in the lighting industry with the current popular interest being driven by the fact that 40W and 60W guidelines only took effect beginning January 2014, and those products are among the most widely used products by consumers in residential applications. We last covered the EISA legislation in detail when some Republican activists tried and failed to overturn the legislation in 2011. Of course California guidelines took effect a year ago under the auspices of the more strict California Energy Commission.

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Still, the 2014 ban implementation on lower wattage A-lamps is prompting a significant change in consumer buying habits and Osram has captured that fact in its Sylvania Socket Survey results. The survey revealed that 64% of the people polled were generally aware of the phase-out and that 65% are planning to switch to more efficient lamps. Osram reported that 46% plan to switch to CFLs, 24% plan to switch to LEDs, and 13% plan to switch to halogen. Clearly the results include overlap when some consumers plan to buy multiple types of efficient lamps.

The survey revealed that 59% of those surveyed support the phase-out because of the energy savings that new lamps will deliver. Still, 30% will hoard the legacy incandescent lamps simply because of the lower upfront costs.

The survey also included questions on controls and smart lighting technology. More than half of those surveyed were aware of such technology. But only one in ten will consider purchasing a smart lighting system. That should change as prices drop because controls can extend lamp life and deliver even greater savings.

NEMA A-lamp research

NEMA takes a different approach to its research that is based on an index it maintains relative to the members of the association as opposed to consumer interviews. The organization tracks shipments of all types of A-lamps including LED, halogen, and other products.

The third-quarter 2013 report indicates an uptick in sales for both LED and halogen lamps. The LED lamps rose 71.9% quarter over quarter and 60.2% year over year. Halogen lamp sales were up 140.7% year over year. Incandescent lamps sales turned up very slightly while CFL shipments declined.

Yet the growth percentages don't tell the full story. Even with the uptick, LED A-lamps only comprise 0.7% of the entire A-lamp market. The CFL share of the overall market fell to 34.6% while halogen grew to 9.6%. Incandescent technology remains dominant at 55.1%.

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