Digging for Gold in the Recent DOE Lighting Report Tuesday, February 28th, 2012 by Mike Feinstein

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The recently released DOE report, 2010 U.S. Lighting Market Characterization, has plenty of great data about adoption of energy-efficient lighting across multiple market sectors. Clocking in at 87 pages, it’s not a light read (pardon the pun), so we’ve sifted through the findings for some nuggets of LED gold.

  • The message about saving energy through better lighting is resonating. There was a time when cutting energy use or making the “greener” choice meant sacrifice. The first generation of compact fluorescent lamps was infamously flawed, and ultimately rejected, in spite of the energy savings promised. But energy-efficient light sources, including LEDs, have come a long way, and the DOE report shows an encouraging increase in adoption. Across all applications, the installed base has become more efficient, as measured by the number of Watts used per the number of lumens produced. This suggests that both commercial and residential users have greater confidence to invest in energy-saving lighting, and will likely be further influenced by utility-based incentives and regulations such as California’s Title 24.
  • Opportunity abounds to replace inferior technologies in commercial and industrial environments. Linear fluorescents currently reign with more than 80% of the installed base in these two sectors. Despite their high energy use, HID lamps have gained ground in industrial settings where high lumen output is a must. LEDs were formerly unable to compete in these applications, but now can outperform both fluorescent and HID with higher output, better light quality, lower energy use and far less maintenance. Today facilities have the capital budgets, sustainability mandates and financial incentives to upgrade to more efficient lighting systems, and they can expect Digital Lumens to come knocking with an intelligent industrial LED solution that typically pays for itself within two years.
  • “Lighting controls equate to energy savings only if they are used.” We couldn’t agree more, and that means that automation is strongly preferred over manual adjustment. Simply put, the Digital Lumens LED lights are more autonomous than fluorescent or HID sources could ever dream of becoming. On top of using highly efficient LEDs, each of our fixtures has the on-board “smarts” to sense and automatically respond to its environment – whether it’s occupancy, available daylight, time of day or other variables – and deliver just the right amount of light — when and where it is needed. Rather than applying controls as an afterthought, we build them right in, and the built-in approach maximizes energy efficiency.

Takeaways from the report? For the industrial lighting customer, new efficient lighting technologies offer a whole new value proposition that includes both performance and efficiency. For Digital Lumens, the golden era of industrial LED lighting is just beginning.

The complete DOE report is available for download here:

http://apps1.eere.energy.gov/buildings/publications/pdfs/ssl/2010-lmc-final-jan-2012.pdf