Today [11/18/2011], Sylvania released the results of its fourth annual Socket Survey, which tries to gauge Americans’ knowledge of and feelings towards alternative and efficient lighting. The survey was conducted over five days this past October, during which 300+ Americans were polled via landline and cell phone.
From where I sit, the results are not looking all that significant, but then I’m always suspicious of surveys and tests. I don’t know if anyone else notices this, but I find it amazing how test results often match the predictions of those who pay for them. Perhaps that’s why there seems to be no shortage of downright bold and radical test results. Be that as it may, let’s see what Sylvania has to say.
According to Sylvania’s Socket Survey a majority of Americans, 55% to be exact, say they are aware of congressional legislation of 2007 that will phase out incandescent light bulbs. Obviously, it should read “50% of those surveyed”. I’m sure this does not mean 55% of all Americans of ‘thinking’ age. However, based on previous polls, consumer awareness of changes in the lighting industry grew 19% over the last year and by 29% since 2009. Even still, 55% in either case (real, calculated, or fantasized) is not exactly a landslide majority.
One addition Sylvania made to this year’s poll, an addition the company sees as notable, was identifying the value consumers place on the origins of their lighting products. Allegedly, 73% of Americans believe it’s important that their lighting products (bulbs) be made in America. Okay, the economy is recessed, depressed, jobs in America are few, and the ones that exist don’t pay enough to cover the cost of living, so everyone tends to believe that if we make everything here, bulbs included, we will in fact reach a state of nirvana. I’m sure there’s an AM-radio talk-show host somewhere out there claiming that the 27% that either disagree or don’t know/care are all communists. At any rate, the high 73% ain’t all that surprising.
Overall, the survey also indicates that more people are open to using more efficient lighting products. Essentially, 56% of those polled say they are eager to use more energy efficient lighting solutions. Again, one should find the underlying motive for this increased interest. Is the motive, or better put, the incentive to save money on the electric bill, thwart the deadly scepter of global warming, clean up the environment, or just free up some joules so we can hook up more power-consuming toys?
Finally, one third of respondents show concern about the phase out. Sylvania claims this stat indicates, for a third year, 13% of those polled plan to stockpile 100W incandescent bulbs. I think one of those 13% is an ED editor who once wrote, “They’ll have to pry my incandescents from my cold dead hands”.
In a way you can’t blame folks for holding on to older lighting technologies. One has to admit it’s a bit difficult to sell a bulb that costs about twenty times what an old incandescent costs, particularly hyping the fact that this LED equivalent will live maybe twenty years longer than the buyer! Alternative lighting has some ways to go before it’s easy on both the eyes and wallet.
For more info and further results of the survey, visit the Sylvania Socket Survey website.