As more efficient lamps and bulbs enter the market, the global electricity demand for general illumination will significantly decrease, according to IHS Technology. The energy usage of the installed base of lighting technologies will fall to 2.75 trillion kWh by 2020, which is a 24% decrease from 2013’s total of 3.61 trillion kWh.
Overall, the installed base for general lighting—homes, businesses, and street lamps but not architectural or theatrical lighting—will account for 10.3% of the net electricity generated in 2020, down from 16.4% in 2013. Electricity usage will decline even as the number of lamps increases, rising to 59.3 billion units worldwide in 2020, up from 56.4 billion in 2013.
“The fall in electricity consumed by lighting is being driven by the systematic ban of inefficient—mainly incandescent—lamps and bulbs in countries across the world,” said William Rhodes, lighting research manager for IHS. “As these bans start to kick in, consumers and business owners will be replacing their lamps with more energy-efficient technologies, such as light-emitting diode (LED) alternatives.”
Consumers aren’t choosing LED lighting in great numbers yet because of its high pricing, Rhodes said, opting for cheaper alternatives like compact fluorescents (CFLs) or halogen lamps. Most CFL lamps consume just 25% of the electricity used by an equivalent incandescent lamp but are 87% cheaper on average, providing a suitable energy-saving alternative without a significant price premium. Halogen lamps also offer similar light for a similar cost, compared to incandescent lamps, while consuming less electricity.
Consumers and business owners will start replacing incandescent, CFL, halogen, and other lighting technologies with LED alternatives as pricing falls for LED lamps and bulbs toward the end of this decade, though cost will remain an inhibitor for many years despite their 85% electricity savings, Rhodes said. And while LED’s flexibility could make it more attractive for decorative and architectural applications, its greater use in these areas could offset some energy savings gained by replacing incandescent lamps with LEDs in the first place.