Light quality helps LED bulb sales grow in spite of high prices

Though fluorescent bulbs still sell for a fraction of the price of LED bulbs, and do so while providing major power savings relative to traditional incandescent bulbs, complaints about fluorescents are contributing to a surge in sales of LED bulbs

Consumers have complained about the harsh, bluish light emitted by many fluorescent bulbs - LEDs are seen as emitting a warmer light - as well as their dimming properties. Trade association NEMA estimates incandescents will still make up ~75% of 2013 U.S. lighting sales, in part due to their cost advantage.

LEDs are still only account for ~1% of bulbs in American homes, but that figure is quickly rising, thanks to dropping prices - bulbs from CREE, GE, and others can be bought for $10 or less at major retailers - and subsidies/rebates.

Companies (besides Cree) that have strong LED industry exposure: RBCN, LEDS, VECO, AIXG, GTAT.

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Comments (7)
  • Jason Tillberg
    , contributor
    Comments (1331) | Send Message
    "Trade association NEMA estimates incandescents will still make up ~75% of 2013 U.S. lighting sales, in part due to their cost advantage."


    The dumbest reasoning I have ever read.


    That we as a society can't economize the cost "advantage" of LED light bulbs over incandescents is quite telling of the state of intellectual reasoning capacity we possess.


    I still find it crazy that stores like Walmart, Home Depot and Lowes will still display in greatest quantity in the incandescent bulbs.


    However, and this is my best theory, it's that the margins on the incandescent bulbs are so good relative to LED's, stores simply do not want customers to switch to LED because they won't need to sell them a new bulb ever year like they do the incandescents.
    2 Nov 2013, 10:04 AM Reply Like
  • justaminute
    , contributor
    Comments (1804) | Send Message
    Those stores are serving their customers by providing products they can actually afford. Many cannot capitalize the the cost of a 10 year bulb up front.
    2 Nov 2013, 07:09 PM Reply Like
  • Redrut
    , contributor
    Comments (1942) | Send Message
    It's very simply, LEDs are economic over 4-5 years. Human beings are myopic (aka short sighted) and we would rather spend 90% less now, even though we may be spending 10% more after 5 years has passed.


    This is a very well fleshed out adage of behavioural psychology.
    4 Nov 2013, 03:52 AM Reply Like
  • justaminute
    , contributor
    Comments (1804) | Send Message
    No, Redrut - it's economic reality. Not some ivory tower, intellectual, college professor theory.
    4 Nov 2013, 10:53 PM Reply Like
  • GaltMachine
    , contributor
    Comments (2085) | Send Message
    Add the fact that fluorescents are mercury bombs and toxic for the environment and you have to wonder how stupid this whole banning of Edison's greatest invention has turned out to be.


    Wacko environmentalists run wild, run free and cause destruction to you and me!


    Straight from the EPA:
    "Before Cleanup


    Have people and pets leave the room.
    Air out the room for 5-10 minutes by opening a window or door to the outdoor environment.
    Shut off the central forced air heating/air-conditioning system, if you have one.
    Collect materials needed to clean up broken bulb:
    stiff paper or cardboard;
    sticky tape;
    damp paper towels or disposable wet wipes (for hard surfaces); and
    a glass jar with a metal lid or a sealable plastic bag.


    During Cleanup


    DO NOT VACUUM. Vacuuming is not recommended unless broken glass remains after all other cleanup steps have been taken. Vacuuming could spread mercury-containing powder or mercury vapor.
    Be thorough in collecting broken glass and visible powder. Scoop up glass fragments and powder using stiff paper or cardboard. Use sticky tape, such as duct tape, to pick up any remaining small glass fragments and powder. Place the used tape in the glass jar or plastic bag. See the detailed cleanup instructions for more information, and for differences in cleaning up hard surfaces versus carpeting or rugs.
    Place cleanup materials in a sealable container.


    After Cleanup


    Promptly place all bulb debris and cleanup materials, including vacuum cleaner bags, outdoors in a trash container or protected area until materials can be disposed of. Avoid leaving any bulb fragments or cleanup materials indoors.
    Next, check with your local government about disposal requirements in your area, because some localities require fluorescent bulbs (broken or unbroken) be taken to a local recycling center. If there is no such requirement in your area, you can dispose of the materials with your household trash.
    If practical, continue to air out the room where the bulb was broken and leave the heating/air conditioning system shut off for several hours."


    The last instruction is so hilarious it makes you wonder if this was written by the Onion.
    2 Nov 2013, 11:12 AM Reply Like
  • PeteCal
    , contributor
    Comments (90) | Send Message
    The savings quoted never include the "time value of money". Include that and the "savings" don't look so good.
    I live near Buffalo NY. The "old bulbs" save me energy during the winter because I can "spot" heat my home. I can set the thermostat three or four degrees cooler in the room and stay warm near the light.
    I don't have AC and don't use lights much during the summer when it is light past 9:00 PM.
    It is the same story always. The new stuff spends the lobbying money. and gets the support.
    4 Nov 2013, 09:59 AM Reply Like
  • alanwangtom
    , contributor
    Comment (1) | Send Message
    As normally led can work longer ,,you can see this website about led ,then you will know more ,
    27 Nov 2013, 01:50 AM Reply Like
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