LEDs: Ready for Liftoff?

Chris Calwell

Our utility clients often ask us in the Research and Policy team at Ecova when the residential market will be ready to transition from incandescent light bulbs to LEDs. Is now the right time to switch efficiency program focus from CFLs to LEDs? It’s a topic of great interest to me, as our research team is often testing the latest LED models in the laboratory down the hall from my office, giving me a chance to see the latest and greatest technologies firsthand.

To bring our clients and partners up to date on the status of that LED transition, I recently hosted a webinar titled “LEDs: Ready for Liftoff?” The webinar was a chance to cover some of the exciting developments in the LED market that I had presented at ACEEE’s Energy Efficiency as a Resourceconference last September, as well as to fold in new materials on developments since then.

The key message of the webinar is that the best LEDs have absolutely surpassed CFLs in energy efficiency and in performance, but they are not yet as cost effective. LED product prices and performance are still all over the map, so it takes some care to specify the right technologies and designs for particular applications. Simply specifying ENERGY STAR® models won’t always yield the best cost effectiveness or highest consumer satisfaction.

Participants asked great questions about expected future adoption rates of LEDs as prices continue to fall and efficiency levels continue to rise. They also were hungry for additional info on establishing appropriate baselines over time as federal energy efficiency requirements steadily phase out the least efficient incandescent models.

If you missed the webinar, you can watch it online here. I encourage you to contact us with any questions about LEDs or creating an energy savings program that’s right for you.

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