Recently the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) released The 2010 U.S. Lighting Market Characterization report, which examines the current conditions and broad trends in the U.S. lighting market. The report included many promising trends, of which a shift to more energy-efficient lighting was perhaps the most important.
The new report updates a similar DOE model of the 2001 U.S. lighting market inventory. During the intervening decade, two trends emerged. First, there is push toward energy-saving lighting. Second, there is a continued increase in the demand for lighting, with most of the growth occurring in the residential sector, primarily because of an increase in the number of households, which increased from under 107 million in 2001 to more than 113 million in 2010.
The study shows that, in 2010, lighting used roughly 700 terawatt-hours (TWh), or almost 19% of electricity produced in the United States. The commercial sector accounted for almost half of total energy used for lighting, even with 4 billion fewer light bulbs installed than the residential sector.
The average system efficacy of installed lighting increased from 45 lumens per watt in 2001 to 58 lumens per watt in 2010, due mainly to a move from incandescent to compact fluorescent lamps in the residential sector, and from T12 to more-efficient T8 and T5 fluorescent lamps in the commercial and industrial sectors.
Elizabeth Smyth is a writer for Precision Paragon, an energy efficient commercial lighting manufacturer and a leading source for lighting retrofit solutions.