LEDs Boost Economy In Many Ways

Watch industry news these days and one topic comes up time and again: LED lighting. And for once the talk is all positive. In fact, practically every sector that has something to say about it seems to be saying that it could be a saving grace in our struggling economy.

Obviously the lighting industry is stoked about the new-found popularity of LED lighting. According to the LED Lighting Market Report that was recently released, the global LED lighting market is expected to grow 45 percent each year through 2019. Considering the market was worth $4.8 billion in 2012, that would make it worth $42 billion annually by 2019. Even more, these figures are based solely on the current sales value of 60-watt incandescent bulbs. The numbers don’t even take other size and wattage bulbs into account in their figures. Recent developments in LED technology that have created viable LED options for higher-output options like PAR38 replacement bulbs are certain to boost these numbers even higher. This explosive growth is expanding LED lighting manufacture operations as fast as they can build and staff them, both in North America and across the globe in the facilities that supply raw components to companies here at home.

Sales of LED are projected to grow by 45 percent a year until 2019. The home decorating market is just one of many sectors driving sales of LEDs.

Sales of LED are projected to grow by 45 percent a year until 2019. The home decorating market is just one of many sectors driving sales of LEDs.

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Look For More LEDs In 2014 As Old Bulbs Die Out

Consumers in the United States have been witnessing the gradual disappearance of old general-purpose incandescent light bulbs from store shelves since 2012. This is happening because of the adoption of the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007, which bans the manufacture and sale of certain bulbs. The 100-watt bulb was the first to go, phased out in 2012. It was followed by the 75-watt bulb this year. Now, as 2014 begins, 40- and 60-watt bulbs will begin to disappear as well. Retailers will be able to sell existing inventory, but no new bulbs with these wattages will be made.

US consumers will have to find alternatives to the popular 40- and 60-watt incandescent bulb that has been a mainstay of homes for more than a century. The ban on general-purpose incandescent bulbs takes effect January 1, 2014.

US consumers will have to find alternatives to the popular 40- and 60-watt incandescent bulb that has been a mainstay of homes for more than a century. The ban on general-purpose incandescent bulbs takes effect January 1, 2014.

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Shine On, You Crazy Lightbulbs

The other day I found myself at a loss in the light bulb aisle of my hardware store. I might as well have been shopping for a carburetor. There were too many options with too many symbols and verbiage that I couldn’t decipher (LED, CFL, halogen, lumens, Kelvin, CRI), not to mention all of the various brands (GE, Philips, Cree, EcoSmart — each with its own packaging lingo). Since when do you need an electrical engineering degree to buy a light bulb?

This fluorescent energy saving light bulb (CFL) is illuminated by electrical wires inserted in the back of the bulb base. It is in a garden with primarily green plants. (Richard Goerg/Getty Images)

This fluorescent energy saving light bulb (CFL) is illuminated by electrical wires inserted in the back of the bulb base. It is in a garden with primarily green plants. (Richard Goerg/Getty Images)

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Apartment Complex in College Town Switches to LED Lighting

As the original developer of all their residential properties, Kaiserman Properties knows each unit down to the stud. With a portfolio consisting of urban high-rise and suburban garden and townhome apartment units, Kaiserman caters to the housing needs of a wide variety of residents. Those who call their communities home—from established families to single graduate students to empty nesters – know they can rely on management and maintenance staff to ensure they have a quiet, comfortable, safe place to live. Their residential communities are created to provide the best value to the most discerning renters.

Radwyn Apartments in their extensive grounds in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, The complex recently changed its outdoor lighting to LED, resulting in cost and environmental savings. (Photo: Radwyn Apartments)

Radwyn Apartments in their extensive grounds in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, The complex recently changed its outdoor lighting to LED, resulting in cost and environmental savings. (Photo: Radwyn Apartments)

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How Cree Perfected The 20-Year Lightbulb

This North Carolina maker of light emitting diodes aims to kill off the incandescent lightbulb. It’s already doubled its market cap to $7 billion in just one year.

Cree CEO Chuck Swoboda, May 2013. Credit Michael J. Bowles for Forbes

Cree CEO Chuck Swoboda, May 2013.
Credit Michael J. Bowles for Forbes

In the ad for Cree lightbulbs you see snow whipping across a desolate field as a bagpipe creaks out “Amazing Grace.” An announcer holds up a lightbulb and speaks into the camera. “Mr. Edison, today we lay to rest your creation, the incandescent lightbulb. I know you’re not shocked, sir. You knew that it needed an unreasonable amount of energy to do its job and that it had the life span of a lucky bug.”

He fits the bulb into a tiny wooden casket and places it into a hole in the ground. Then we see Cree’s new LED bulb. “The biggest thing since the lightbulb,” we’re told. Continue reading