LED lighting at the crossroads: country road or expressway?
The advantages of the new LED lighting technology are well attested and beyond doubt. Nevertheless, LED lamps have achieved little market penetration so far and are predicted to make far slower market progress than comparable disruptive technologies. McKinsey research conducted by the firm’s LED Competence Center has revealed the underlying reasons behind the slow uptake, and this article presents the means to address them and so accelerate LED penetration. If manufacturers, retailers and regulators collaborate to overcome the five major barriers to adoption that the research has identified, LEDs could dominate the lighting marketplace by 2015.
LED is truly a revolutionary lighting technology. It offers a number of important features, including many that cannot be matched by existing incandescent, compact fluorescent (CFL), or halogen lights. Among LEDs' advantages are greater color variability, instant-on capability, dimming capacity, and freedom in design. The efficiency of LED lamps makes them significantly superior to CFL today in terms of total cost of ownership (TCO), as LED bulbs can generate more than 100 lumens per watt of electricity against 60-75 lm/W for CFLs while lasting three to five times longer. LEDs' fully-loaded costs become lower than those of typical fluorescent lights in roughly 6 years.