The latest update of DOE’s report, Adoption of Light-Emitting Diodes in Common Lighting Applications, finds that LED products are making steady inroads in replacing traditional lighting. Yet most of their energy- and money-saving potential remains untapped.
Examining 11 common lighting applications, the report estimates that LED products in 2016 delivered 469 trillion British thermal units (tBtu) in source energy savings, translating to about $4.7 billion in reduced energy bills. Savings could have been nearly 10 times greater (4,428 tBtu or $44 billion) if all applications had been completely switched to top-tier LED technologies during 2016. Among other key findings:
- LED products made up 12.6% of installations in common lighting applications in 2016, up from 3% in 2014. Overall, acceptance has been faster for outdoor applications (street and roadway, parking garages and lots, and building exteriors) than for indoor categories. Still, one indoor application – A-type lamps – accounted for about half of the LED lighting units installed.
- Realizing the greatest possible benefit from LED lighting will depend on connected lighting controls that respond dynamically to changing conditions and demands. Connected lighting controls were installed in less than 0.1% of lighting systems in 2016.
- Connected lighting systems will have especially strong impacts on savings achieved by commercial and industrial LED applications, especially those using linear and high-bay/low-bay fixtures. Since these products rely on high-quality, high-power LEDs, a technology sector where U.S.-based manufacturers have established a relative competitive advantage, accelerating their adoption could be a potential positive factor in domestic job creation in the LED lighting industry.