The US Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Solid-State Lighting Program, which operates under the auspices of the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, or EERE, released its second report on the country’s logistical fixed lighting architecture this January, updating the industry from its previous report in 2002.
A dense, analytical breakdown by installed stock, energy consumption and lumen output of the entire nation’s footprint, the 2010 US Lighting Market Characterization (LMC) provides a comprehensive estimate framework for assisting market transition to more energy-efficient white-light source technologies.
The LMC shows a strong trend over the examined interval which clearly indicates that investment in energy-efficient technologies, federal and state lighting regulations, as well as public awareness campaigns, have collectively enabled a considerable momentum shift towards energy-efficient hardware selections that span all lighting segments.
Primary efficiency trends are the shift from incandescent to compact fluorescent (CFLs) in residential applications, and the shift in commercial/industrial applications from T12 to the more efficient T8 and T5 linear fluorescent lamps, as well as CFLs and metal halide lamps.
The 5.6-percent increase in the number of American households from 2001 to 2010 (now 113M), is the other, major driving factor in the whole equation, and the LMC offers a tantalizing glimpse into efficiency upgrades that are yet possible.
Looking at the four primary categories of light sources – ranging from incandescent and halogen, to fluorescent and solid-state/other (including HIDs, or high-intensity discharge lamps) – the LMC digested an array of commonly available lighting products in subgroups of each category, drawing on a total of 28 different lamp types for extracting performance characteristics like average wattage, operating hours and number of sockets per household (up 18.6 percent, to 51 sockets/household since 2001).
The LMC constitutes one of the most robust sources available for this kind of high-fidelity study, representing both national level and sector-specific (Residential, Commercial, Industrial and Outdoor) inputs from a variety of light sources, which are then mapped via extant, primarily public information (like the 2009 American Housing Survey, upon which the LMC draws heavily).
According to the study, which also makes use of U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) Annual Energy Outlook, or AEO data, lighting technologies ate up 700 terawatt-house (TWh) of site energy – that is, energy directly consumed by end users – and a whopping 7.5 quads of primary energy (site energy plus the associated production/delivery energy cost). A quad represents 1015 quadrillion BTU – also called British Thermal Unit, a unit of energy favoured by the DOE when discussing national energy budget.
This particular 7.5 quads represents approximately 7.67 percent of total U.S. energy consumption (97.8 quads) and some 18.75 percent of total U.S. electrical energy consumed in all of 2010 (40 quads).
The total installed base of domestic lamps rose 17 percent, from 2001 to roughly 8.2 billion, with Residential lamp inventories leading growth at an increase of 26 percent – largely due to an increased number of homes, floor space in those homes, and sockets per household – with Commercial following close behind at 13 percent.
Fluorescents across all sectors account for some 55 percent of total lumen production each year and make up the majority of the deployed lighting infrastructure in Commercial and Industrial applications. In the Residential sector, where the largest energy-consuming lamps (incandescent) make up a massive 78 percent of total energy consumption, a major shift is evident, with CFLs now coming in second at 23 percent of average lamp distribution by room type.
The scales have essentially tipped towards fluorescent lamps (driven by long operational hours in Commercial applications) due to the impact of energy-saving lighting technology efforts, a major change from 2001 when incandescents were the largest consumers of electricity and fluorescent lamps were second.
The substantial changes in the nation’s lighting inventory since 2001 are also evident in solid-state LED lighting adoption, which has grown 30-fold to some 50 million lamps – a figure which still represents only one percent of the total lighting infrastructure footprint, and reflects an emerging cultural consciousness of energy efficiency.
Overall average efficiency for the entire lighting stock is up 28.8 percent, to 58 lumens per watt (lm/W) from a mere 45 lm/W in 2001, with a migration from mercury vapor to metal halide lamps in Outdoor/Industrial sectors also playing an important role.
The subject of lighting controls was also covered, as such systems represent the forerunners of energy-saving lighting technologies that allow end users to automatically achieve greater efficiency, according to configured settings. While Residential applications are generally less efficient manual dimmers and represent roughly 14 percent of the sector, automated lighting in Commercial applications occurs with a prevalence of around 30 percent, among systems labeled highly-efficient emergency lighting, motion detection-related, or timer-based.
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