According to a report published by the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy division (EERE), “Energy Savings Forecast of Solid-State Lighting in General Illumination Applications,” the DOE’s lighting market model assumes the market adoption of light-emitting diode (LED) lighting technology is driven primarily by projected improvements in LED product efficacy, price and established technology diffusion rates.


“At the end of the analysis period, LEDs are anticipated to dominate lighting sales in each of the submarkets examined, comprising 84 percent of all sales by lumen-hours. This will dramatically lower national energy consumption.


“Without LEDs, the model projects that the energy consumption of the lighting sector would grow to approximately eight quadrillion Btu (quads),” the report states.


LEDs’ market penetration is projected to drive a 40 percent reduction in energy consumption, in 2030 alone. This amount is almost equal to the total energy consumed by 24 million U.S. homes today.


Of the eight submarkets the report examined, EERE’s lighting market model anticipates LEDs will grow most rapidly in the “street and roadways” and “general service” submarkets, in terms of the percentage of total lumen-hour sales. In the “street and roadways” submarket, already a popular area for LED upgrades, LEDs are predicted to reach 83 percent market share of sales by 2020 and nearly 100 percent by 2030.


“The ‘general services’ submarket will shift to LEDs a bit more slowly, with a projected 55 percent market share of sales by 2020, but will almost entirely consist of LEDs by 2030,” the report states.


While the future of solid-state lighting (SSL) is bright, it also faces some challenges in research and development and in marketing. For example, cost is still an issue. While component prices are coming down, SSL is still a bit costly. Other challenges relate to concerns over lumen maintenance, color stability, flicker and dimming performance.


In addition, “The current LED market focuses primarily on products that fit into the existing infrastructure of legacy lighting products, and this approach presents challenges related to compatibility, interoperability and interchangeability,” the report states.


The increased sophistication of future lighting systems will present further challenges, as well as opportunities, according to the EERE.


“Tomorrow’s lighting systems have the potential to offer added benefits related to health and wellness, communications, and data exchange,” the report states. “Emerging SSL program areas of focus include evaluating the performance needs of advanced lighting systems, addressing interoperability issues, and identifying ways to optimize energy performance of future lighting systems.”