The United States Department of Energy (DOE) has been at the forefront of the solid-state lighting revolution. Among its various activities, DOE has supported studies forecasting the market penetration of light-emitting diodes (LEDs) in general illumination applications since 2002. These forecasts provide a comprehensive overview of the expected path of LED adoption within the U.S. and estimate the energy savings offered by LED products out to year 2035.

In general, LEDs have surpassed many conventional lighting technologies in terms of energy efficiency, lifetime, versatility, and color quality, and, due to their increasing cost competitiveness, LEDs are increasingly more successful in competing in a variety of lighting applications.

The DOE’s Solid-State Lighting Program Goal for LED efficacy is to achieve a 75% reduction in energy consumption by 2035. Looking at the cumulative effect of this reduction in energy consumption from 2015 to 2035, it is possible to generate a total cumulative energy savings of 62 quads through LED lighting which is equivalent to nearly $630 billion in avoided energy costs.

Based on the September 2016 Energy Savings Forecast of Solid-State Lighting in General Illumination Applications report commissioned by the DOE, the forecast for U.S. LED installed penetration rate is as follows:

 

2020

2025

2030

2035

COMMERCIAL

36%

64%

80%

86%

INDUSTRIAL

32%

65%

78%

83%

OUTDOOR

57%

79%

88%

93%

RESIDENTIAL

28%

57%

77%

86%

 

The DOE lighting market model assumes the market adoption of LED lighting technology is driven primarily by projected improvements in LED product efficacy and price, as well as established technology diffusion rates. At the end of the analysis period, LEDs are anticipated to hold the majority of lighting installations in each of the submarkets examined, comprising 86% of all unit installations by 2035.

The projected increase in migration to LED lights is also influenced by the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007. Originally named the Clean Energy Act of 2007, this congressional act focuses on the energy policy of the United States. The Act requires improved efficiency of roughly 25 percent for light bulbs, phased in from 2012 through 2014, and effectively bans the manufacturing and importing of most incandescent light bulbs.

Prior DOE analysis indicates that from 2012 to 2014, LED installations increased in all applications, more than quadrupling to 215 million units overall. Market penetration climbed to 3% overall, versus less than 1% in 2012. The DOE analysis and forecasts show the dramatic uptick in LED adoption that will take place from 2014 to 2025 and beyond.

Anthony Florence