by Jim Greig, Global Sales and Marketing Manager Electronic Materials, LORD Corporation
Although the benefits of using LED technology are fairly accepted by now, adoption is still a slow process largely due to cost. Those manufacturing LED technology are feeling the pressure to continue to find cheaper alternatives and many are competing tenaciously to win market share.
For example, LORD is providing thermally-conductive materials that help components function at higher temperatures with lower cost materials. However, the price point for products is still a tough sell for many consumers.
While many of the big box retailers recognize the energy savings, enhanced lighting, sensing technology and other benefits of retrofitting to LED, most will argue that the industry hasn’t succeeded in getting the products to a price-point yet that will accelerate adoption.
Yet another challenge to consumer acceptance is the lack of consistency related to market approach. For example, while some manufacturers are touting greater lumen output through larger size, others are pushing performance in terms of efficacy.
Consumers are often left confused as they read packages that detail comparisons to wattage that don’t make sense or help them truly grasp the return on their investment. Even if they recognize the benefits of LED lighting, and are willing to pay a premium for the product, it is often cumbersome to figure out what to choose as the industry has not yet standardized the product offerings.
So, what is the solution? Although the roadmap is still to be developed, it is clear that key to industry acceptance is our supply chain working together to lower the price point.
We all want to see a more efficient cost structure as this results in lower prices for consumer goods such as light bulbs as well as reduced energy costs. The key is working together on optimizing materials supply across the whole supply chain to drive mass adoption.
Another key element of success is going to be the development of clear and consistent labeling of essential performance in terms of lumen output, luminaire efficacy, power input, correlated color temperature, and color rendering index.
One such standard is the Lighting Facts program, sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy (which supports industry standard, IESNA LM-79, Approved Method for the Electrical and Photometric Testing of Solid-State Lighting Devices and ANSI C78-377-2008, Specification for the Chromaticity of Solid-State Lighting Products).