What happened to the LED energy story?
Netherlands, 15th April 2010
With the Frankfurt Fair still ringing in my ears…I now wonder what happened to the energy saving story that was the main driver for many in recommending and specifying LED’s. It has become apparent from the Fair that in pursuing the performance of LED’s something had to give…and that something is its energy saving potential. While many were raving about the low energy consumption initially, a reality check seems to have brought everybody down to earth. To achieve equivalent lighting levels and lighting effects, we need to have more power. Many of us have been caught out and after initial enthusiasm had to revise or even retract our energy and return on investment stories significantly.
In some cases the LED energy consumption is even higher than the conventional method for equivalent lighting effects, so it is no wonder that manufacturers sales pitches suddenly have made 180 degree turns. It is now about life style, health, well being, flexibility, ease of maintenance, etc. The only occasional energy story left is that of total system savings when including air-conditioning for instance…
So there is still a life for our traditional light sources, but it looks like the manufacturers are nearly ashamed to admit it as the displays and promotions of the latest developments in traditional lighting technologies were kind of displayed sideways at the Fair, certainly not dominantly in the public eye, in some cases only accessible under “supervision”.
Will there still be an energy story to tell…I think so, it has to be. It will just take a little longer and will need some concerted efforts to streamline all photometric data, quality criteria while fine-tuning the LED technology.