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Watch out for greater market penetration but also shortages, says Keith Scott at Bridgelux.
In 2009, there was a great deal of discussion regarding LED-based solid-state products for interior and exterior lighting. We've begun to hear more and more about the promise of greater energy efficiency cutting the demand for electricity, longer life spans for lighting systems to reduce maintenance costs, and the elimination of hazardous materials such as Mercury (Hg) and Lead (Pb). We've seen the widespread conversion of traffic signal lights to LED-based lamps. Many cities have announced pilot programs to introduce LED-based street lights with a growing number of successful installations. Solid-state lighting is finding success in commercial settings and even in some residential applications.
With all the talk, one would think that the LED lighting revolution had already begun.
In reality, however, we see very few high-quality LED or solid-state lighting systems in use today, whether in offices, retail outlets, lodging, restaurants or homes. Why? After all, the forecasted reductions in energy consumption based on the promise of solid state lighting will not be realized if we don't significantly increase the number of installations. The answer is that most LED-based lighting systems today simply cost too much. This is not a surprise, nor controversial. The industry recognizes that to expand and accelerate market penetration we must reduce LED lighting system prices significantly. Currently, the initial installation costs of solid-state lighting systems can be four to five times those of conventional lighting systems, and even higher for retrofit replacement lamps.
What trends do we see developing for 2010 that will lead us closer to market-enabling pricing-closer to the LED lighting revolution and the much discussed mass adoption of solid state lighting? And how long will it take?
Perhaps the more accurate characterization is that we are in the middle of the LED lighting revolution, but the good news is that the industry is on the verge of a major market expansion in 2010. Four key trends are developing in 2010 and beyond that will help to reduce the cost of LED lighting and inevitably lead to wider market adoption....MORE