Department of Energy Investing in Further LED Improvements

The Department of Energy (DOE) is investing $10 million in light bulb manufacturers for developing products to conserve more energy and further reduce greenhouse gas emissions. They are giving funds to five major manufacturers of LED’s working to reduce manufacturing costs and improve quality and performance for the next generation of LED products. This will also lead to more cost-competitive prices that are more attractive to consumers.

LED lighting is six to seven times more efficient than conventional light sources and lasts up to 25 times longer than incandescent technology. Standard incandescent lamps convert only 20% of their consumed electricity into actual visible light while losing the rest as heat.

A recent survey by the DOE shows that consumer purchases of LED’s have increased from 4.5 million units in 2010 to 49 million units in 2012. But for many consumers, the initial cost of LED’s still seems high compared to what they are accustomed to paying for standard incandescent lamps.

The DOE reports that the initial cost of LED’s is on decline. In terms of payback, they predict that LED use could save U.S. consumers $250 billion in energy costs and reduce the total amount of energy consumed by lighting by 50 percent. Lighting currently accounts for 37 percent of energy consumption in commercial buildings and 27 percent of the United States’ total energy consumption. Other major benefits of LED’s include compact size, ease of maintenance, resistance to breakage, and capability to be controlled and create focused beams of light.