Regulations in Europe will ban the 100W incandescent clear glass lamp starting in September 2009, and will progressively ban all inefficient incandescent lamps by 2012 and all other incandescent lamps by 2016. The Energy Information and Security Act of 2007 began the process of restricting the sale of inefficient lamps in the US. By 2012, with a few exceptions, inefficient incandescent lamps cannot be sold any more.
The currently available CFL technology is only regarded as a transition between incandescent and LED light sources. CFL has unsatisfactory light-quality, limited or expensive dim-ability and is not a true replacement for reflector lamps. Many have placed their hopes of finding a super-efficient bulb on solid state lighting. Therefore there are great market opportunities for LED replacement lamps.
LED (light-emitting diodes) lamps is a fast emerging technology, whose efficacy competes with that of Compact Fluorescent Lamps (CFLs). Yet, LEDs for room illumination are today only in the first phase of commercialization, and rare are those that fulfil all the expectations of the consumers in terms of light output and other functionalities. In the long run, LEDs are to become the true alternative to CFL and could potentially lead to energy savings of 80% and more of the GLS energy consumption.
Although the market for LED replacement lamps is still in its early stages of development, the lamp revenues are forecast to grow at a CAGR (compound annual growth rate) of 107% through 2013. LED Retrofit lamps are right now starting to penetrate the professional market in general lighting as well as down lighting applications, for instance, the commercial and industrial segments are embracing LEDs to control costs and save energy; the LED lamps are used for directed light applications, in hard-to-reach places and where the cost of replacement is very high etc. (Strategies Unlimited, 18th June, 2009)
Consumer SSL retrofit market Gap
However, the majority of the SSL technology development and innovation effort so far have been the focused on professional market and little has been directed to the consumer market mainly due to higher initial purchase cost compared with other transitional light sources.
LED lamps that offer comparable lumen output compete with other established lighting technologies on the basis of cost of ownership, which is a non-appealing concept that customers are not used to as opposed to ‘the initial purchase cost’ which appears to be more straightforward and accepted in general.