The LED Outdoor Lighting Market – A Look at Our Future

June 5, 2018

light-poles

Day in and day out, Gresco and you, our customers, are challenged by the changes from HID (High Pressure Sodium and Metal Halide) to LED lighting. Ask around and you will likely get a unified response of just how difficult it is to stay current on and manage the constant changes. Has this become the status quo or will this market settle in?

From the DOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy:

*U.S. lighting as a whole consumed 641 TWh of electricity, or approximately 17% of the country’s total electricity use.

*Approximately 37% of the lighting electricity was consumed in the commercial sector. The outdoor sector was the second-largest lighting electricity consumer, at 32% of overall consumption, while the residential sector ranked third at 23%.

Notable in the outdoor LED market is system efficacy of 100 to 130 lumens per watt. With the advent of more efficacious products, LED chip changes are resulting in catalog-number changes to existing products with higher output and lower wattages. In the last two years, we have had changes to many products that brought you savings by reducing the cost of the products requiring lower chip counts to provide the same level of performance. More changes to products are coming. New product offerings will have more drive-current variables in addition to chip efficacy, allowing us to tune more specifically to market needs.  

This is a double-edged sword. Utilities generally write rates around wattage that is no longer standardized by lamp wattage offerings. Lumens (light output) are constantly changing so they are a difficult metric. So, how do we avoid reworking everything on roughly a six-month rotation of changes in the market?

Rest assured Gresco is on it—your Lighting Team considers it a privilege and a responsibility to educate, support and stay ahead of the market trends and concerns. To do this, we stay involved with vendors, industry events and industry reporting.  

Everyone looks for a day when this will settle in and become status quo. But, are we any closer? It doesn’t sound like we are anywhere near the end of the evolution of LED! The last two years have accelerated LED penetration in the Outdoor Market but, even with the potential for improvement still very possible, we will continue to face many challenges.

We hope this snapshot of the market is helpful in understanding why lighting has become so much more demanding in the age of LED. We are proving every day that we can do this but, really, quantum dots? How much more do we have to learn? I think my brain hurts!

For more information, visit https://www.energy.gov/eere/ssl/solid-state-lighting.