No matter how you look at it, LEDs are the thing. Not a week passes when there isn’t a news item somewhere about a retailer switching to LEDs. And industry research is pretty clear in saying that this trend isn’t stopping any time soon.
While the obvious energy savings from switching to LEDs throughout their facilities make energy managers and number-crunchers happy, there’s even more good news.
According to a new report from Strategies Unlimited, the prices of LEDs are falling and should continue to fall in the next few years. Combine reduced upfront costs and lower energy bills and what’s not to like?
The report says the there has been a 20-25 percent drop in the costs of LED packages, starting in the fourth quarter of 2010 and continuing through this year. Strategies Unlimited says the falling prices are likely to accelerate in 2012, especially for outdoor luminaires.
Another report by Pike Research says that by 2020 LED lighting will achieve a 46 percent penetration of the U.S. market for lamps in the commercial, industrial and outdoor stationary segments. The report also says that lighting accounts for around 17 percent of global electricity use, with the majority of lighting energy consumed in commercial arena.
|Outdoor use of LED fixtures is spreading throughout retail applications.
Despite some opinions to the contrary, we are never going back to the good old days of incandescent lamps. At least not in retail.
While most retail conversions seem to be happening inside the stores, exterior use of LEDs is also expanding, especially in parking lot applications. Some retailers are working to convert HID bulbs in display cases to LEDs, reducing heat generation as well as energy costs.
How far will the LED bandwagon roll? As the LED technology and manufacturing standards improve, the future looks increasingly bright.
And, for what it’s worth, I’ve converted the rear brake lights in my ’56 Chevy to LEDs. They’re certainly much brighter that the old filament bulbs.
Dave Doucette is the editorial director for Retail Design & Construction Today. He can be reached at email@example.com.