LED Forecast

By Craig DiLouie | Jan 15, 2017




In its latest LED energy savings forecast, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) predicts LED lighting will represent 30 percent of the installed lighting base within five years and 59 percent by 2025.

The biannual report, “Energy Savings Forecast of Solid-State Lighting in General Illumination Applications,” estimates penetration in 2015 at 6 percent, doubling from 3 percent in 2013.

The DOE based its updated forecast on new data plus some revised assumptions. The DOE assumed average 1.17 percent annual growth in the residential sector, 0.99 percent in commercial and outdoor, and –0.56 percent in industrial through 2035. The study’s authors also assumed a 10-year renovation cycle, or annual mean lighting replacement rate, of 10 percent.

LED lighting is predicted to generate annual energy savings of about 293 megawatt-hours by 2020. Direct load reduction will account for a majority of these savings, though lighting controls will generate a significant portion. The DOE predicts connected lighting and lighting controls will account for one-third of all LED lighting energy savings by 2035. It plans to push it hard and increase commercial sector penetration from a predicted 1 percent to 28 percent in 2020 and 73 percent by 2035.

Let’s look at building sectors as general markets.

Outdoor: Outdoor stationary lighting leads with an estimated 19 percent penetration in 2015 and projected 57 percent by 2020. The DOE predicts penetration will increase to 79 percent in 2025, 88 percent in 2030 and 98 percent in 2035.

Commercial: In the commercial sector, the DOE estimates current LED penetration at 12 percent. It forecasts penetration will increase to 36 percent in 2020, 64 percent in 2025, 80 percent in 2030 and 86 percent in 2035.

Industrial: In the industrial sector, the DOE estimates current LED penetration at 8 percent. The DOE predicts penetration will increase to 32 percent in 2020, 65 percent in 2025, 78 percent in 2030 and 83 percent in 2035.

Residential: In the residential sector, the DOE estimates current LED penetration at 5 percent. The DOE forecasts penetration will increase to 28 percent in 2020, 57 percent in 2025, 77 percent in 2030 and 86 percent in 2035.

To date, the strongest penetration has occurred in three lighting types: A-type lamps, directional lighting and linear lighting. A-type lamps accounted for 46 percent of installed LED lighting and 14 percent of energy savings. Directional lighting accounted for 18 percent of installed LED lighting and 29 percent of energy savings. Linear lighting accounted for 16 percent of installed LED lighting and 20 percent of the energy savings.

Let’s look at how the LED will fare in three popular product categories: linear, low- and high-bay, and area and roadway lighting:

Linear lighting: LED’s current penetration in the installed linear lighting base is 3 percent. Although fluorescent offers mean efficacies up to 90 lumens per watt (LPW), LED luminaires already exceed that and may achieve efficacies up to 123 LPW by 2020. Furthermore, cost is expected to significantly decline. The average price per luminaire is forecasted to drop from $45 per kilolumen (1,000 lumens of light output) to $25 in 2020 and $21 in 2025.

As a result, the DOE predicts LED luminaires and lamps will gain 16 percent penetration in the installed base of linear lighting by 2020. That penetration will further increase to 47 percent by 2025 and 68 percent by 2030.

Low- and high-bay lighting: With mean efficacies up to 80–90 LPW, fluorescent dominates this increasingly popular lighting application. The high efficacy of LED (up to 100 LPW) has positioned the technology for growth; the DOE predicts efficacy will increase to 120 LPW by 2020 and 138 by 2025. It has also forecast that cost will decrease from $36 per kilolumen in 2015 to $17 in 2020 and $13 in 2025.

In 2015, LED luminaires achieved an estimated 6 percent penetration in this market. The DOE forecasts the LED will achieve penetration of 38 percent by 2020, 68 percent by 2025 and 80 percent by 2030.

Area and roadway lighting: LED’s directional output, durability and longevity make it highly suitable for this application. While high-pressure sodium and metal halide dominate, LED has achieved a 21 percent share of the installed base. LED luminaires are already as efficacious as high-pressure sodium and will achieve mean efficacies up to 105 LPW by 2020 and 120 LPW by 2025. Cost is expected to decline from $63 per kilolumen in 2015 to $25 in 2020 and $18 in 2025.

LEDs are predicted to achieve a 66 percent share of the installed lighting base by 2020 and 91 percent by 2025.

While forecasts are uncertain predictors, they provide some guidance on what to expect. Due to the longevity of the LED source, the pace of penetration in existing buildings has huge ramifications across the lighting supply channel. The DOE predicts that LEDs will achieve significant share of the installed lighting base in as little as five years and become dominant within 10 years.

Download the DOE LED energy savings forecast at

About The Author

DiLouie, L.C. is a journalist and educator specializing in the lighting industry. Learn more at and





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