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The National Electrical Manufacturers Association’s
(NEMA) Lamp Index puts numbers to these trends. In the
third quarter of 2015, demand for LED A-line lamps surged
237.2 percent on a year-over-year basis, while halogen A-line
lamps increased 33 percent, incandescent A-lamps decreased
31. 5 percent, and CFLs dropped 28 percent. NEMA estimated
that halogen A-lamps represented about half of all consumer
lamp shipments during the quarter, followed by CFL at 27. 3
percent, LED at 15. 1 percent and incandescent at 9 percent.
When the energy act was passed, LEDs were still developing and very expensive. CFLs briefly achieved a market share
of 30 percent but never really caught on due to consumer concerns about lighting quality, dimming compatibility, flicker,
warmup time and mercury. Today, LEDs are competitive in
performance and cost. For instance, Sam’s Club sells a 60W
equivalent LED lamp for $3.33.
“LEDs are definitely becoming more prevalent in today’s
homes,” said Pamela Price, retail marketing manager, Osram
Sylvania. “The seventh annual Osram Sylvania Socket Sur-
vey last year found 65 percent of Americans have purchased
LEDs for use in their homes, and the majority— 64 percent—
of Americans who did purchased LEDs for sockets in general
Respondents who had tried LEDs cited a number of valued
benefits, including reduced energy consumption ( 96 percent),
longer life ( 93 percent) and cost savings ( 93 percent).
The outlook for LEDs compared to CFLs is so strong that
manufacturer GE announced it will cease production of coiled
CFLs for the U.S. market and focus its consumer efforts on LED
lamps. GE is now helping such retail partners as Walmart and
Sam’s Club make the transition; Sam’s Club, GE announced,
will be 100 percent LED by the end of the year. IKEA has also
announced that it will exclusively sell LED lamps. GE predicts
that more than half of U. S. light sockets will be fitted with LED
lamps by 2020.
The CFL has also lost some favor with Energy Star, which
introduced a new specification to take effect in 2017 that is
expected to disqualify many CFL lamps on the market today,
thereby placing them outside of many utility-rebate programs.
According to Strategies Unlimited, global CFL market share
will be reduced to just 8 percent of lamp sales by 2022.
Osram Sylvania’s Price pointed out several technological
trends in LED lamps, notably demand for familiar A-lamp
shapes (particularly important where the lamp will be visible),
dimming to a familiar warm color appearance, cost reduction
and smart lighting. Smart lamps are of particular interest
because their capabilities go beyond the familiar and into new
consumer benefits and value. These lamps feature embedded
wireless radio communication and firmware. They can be networked with other smart products, such as switches, sensors
and plugs, and can be automated or controlled using mobile
apps, rule-based triggers, scenes and timers.
For integration into a home-automation system, a gateway
may be required. Lamps may be connected wirelessly using
ZigBee, Bluetooth or Wi-Fi. A user can change both intensity
and color appearance manually or automatically from a single
interface device. For example, selected lights can automatically
turn on so the user doesn’t return home to a dark house. Or,
Wireless connectivity—combined with intelligence
embedded in lamps and luminaires—enables
programmability and accessibility from anywhere
using everyday devices.