LED lighting to transform market, report says

Over the next 20 years, demand for lighting will increase but energy consumption will drop by as much as 38 percent, a new federal report says.

The culprit? Innovations largely led by light emitting diode and organic light emitting diode products. The transformation won't happen overnight. Prices remain high, limiting demand. However, incentives, like those offered by Energy Efficiency Conservation Block Grants, are introducing the money-saving lighting, enhancing its visibility and building market share. Already, local governments and businesses are taking advantage of utility incentive plans and retrofitting entire buildings.

The report, "Energy Savings Potential of Solid-State Lighting in General Illumination Applications 2010 to 2030," predicts LEDs moving into more consumer friendly territory.

"Starting around 2016, the price and performance become sufficiently attractive that the forecasted energy consumption for lighting drops in absolute terms even as the lumens of service are increasing," the report says. The document was commissioned by the U.S. Department of Energy and released last month.

The savings, quantified by the report, is substantial if LED market takeover proves successful. It amounts to about 404 million barrels of oil over the next two decades.

"That's a lot of energy, money, and carbon to be saved," writes Eric Wesoff of Greentechmedia.com.

Not bad.