SOURCE: E Source

E Source

February 05, 2014 08:00 ET

E Source Research Reveals LEDs Are Reaching a Tipping Point, Despite Underlying Issues

BOULDER, CO--(Marketwired - Feb 5, 2014) - E Source has found that, although light-emitting diode (LED) technology has rapidly become competitive in mainstream applications, there are still issues that consumers and utilities need to be aware of.

For many analysts, the adoption of LEDs for general illumination seemed like a far-off proposition, but in the past 12 months, consumers have embraced sub-$10 LED incandescent replacements in huge numbers. Municipalities are racing to replace old streetlights with LEDs that now cost less than $100 and come with an extremely rapid payback period. And in offices, schools, and other environments illuminated by fluorescent lighting, plunging prices have allowed LED troffers and associated controls to become a viable option for the first time.

"Over the past few years, the LED market has undergone a shift that's nothing short of transformative," says Spencer Sator, product manager for the E Source Technology Assessment Service. "This evolution is allowing us to rethink how we illuminate our homes, offices, and other spaces, but the rapid rise of LEDs makes the marketplace resemble the Wild West."

New research has revealed technical issues with LEDs that consumers and utility companies should be aware of. Most notable are potential problems with the compatibility of LEDs and the 150 million installed phase-cut dimmers that were designed for incandescent bulbs. These incompatibilities can manifest in the form of flickering, buzzing, and premature lamp failure.

Furthermore, with a flood of new products in the market, it can be difficult for the casual consumer to differentiate between quality LED products and those that underperform. Entities such as the DesignLights Consortium, the US Department of Energy, and Energy Star have launched performance standards and lists of qualifying products that provide significant assistance to consumers who are overwhelmed by the volume of available products. By learning about the potential problems and referring to sources of quality information, consumers can make informed decisions that ensure satisfaction with LEDs.

E Source has recently launched a comprehensive LED Resource Center for members of the E Source Technology Assessment Service and the Energy Managers' Network. It's a one-stop guide with the latest information on LEDs, including best applications, pitfalls, guidance selecting the right products, and technical details.

About E Source
For 26 years, E Source has been providing unbiased, objective research and advisory services to over 300 utilities and large energy users. Our energy experts have answered more than 8,000 questions over the past 3 years. This guidance helps our customers advance their efficiency programs, enhance customer relationships, and use energy more efficiently.

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