Looking Beyond The Horizon

Innovative Technologies & Services

LED to replace Fluorescent lights? Is this a begining of the end?

Posted by evolvingwheel on February 12, 2007

Raleigh, N.C. is trying to replace a part of their fluorescent public lighting with light emitting diode based lights. I was reading the article and thinking about the facts. Approximately 22% of the electricity consumed in U.S. goes towards lighting. I am not sure how the following facts can translate to realistic implementation soon, but the numbers are outrageous: LEDs can last 75,000 hours or longer and consume far less power than standard incandescent bulbs. Only about 5 percent of the energy that goes into conventional bulbs actually turns into light; the rest gets dissipated as heat. If 25 percent of the light-bulbs in the United States were converted to LEDs putting out 150 lumen (a measure of light output) per watt–higher than the most current models–the country as a whole could save $115 billion in utility costs cumulatively by 2025, according to University of California Santa Barbara professor Stephen DenBaars.

Product ImageNow, if that’s the case, then the utility expenditure in putting up fluorescent lamps, powering them, and maintaining them will reduce drastically. The immediate question that comes to me is if the LEDs last for upto 75,000 hours, then where will go the light bulb industry? Basic demand-and-supply. Where’s the demand for the lights now? If the fixtures last for 5 years in public areas and residential homes (eventually), what kinds of industrial players will evolve? What will be the displacement of that area of the business? Obviously the LED will not be installed with a single Big-Bang.. so we shouldn’t worry that all the bulbs will go out together.. but still, the demand factor will shift. Now, once the LED is there (down the road), how do the manufacturers diversify their product to place it in any type of perpetual revenue generator model?

I like to think about this becuase the pattern is applicable to other industries, products, and services as well! Its more like what if the ink cartridges of a printer went out only after 100 million prints? Where will Epson and HP make money from?[Read The Article]


One Response to “LED to replace Fluorescent lights? Is this a begining of the end?”

  1. […] have earlier wrote about CFLs [here] and their tremendous market growth where mass acceptance drives the price/unit down. This […]

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