Bright future predicted for LED lighting
A 70% reduction in the energy consumption of commercial and domestic lighting could be achieved by 2050 if LED lighting achieves its expected levels of efficient, according to a new report from BRE. Hilary Graves, co-author of the report, says, ‘LEDs offer enormous potential as compact, low-energy sources for providing highly energy-efficient and good-quality lighting. ‘
With demands from the UK Government and international agreement to reduce carbon emissions, building designers, owners and occupiers are looking at the energy efficiency of their lighting. Not since the late 1970s has there been such a focus on energy management in lighting.
Since the first white light-emitting diode (LED) was produced in 1996, considerable effort has been made to improve efficacy and reduce the costs of manufacture so that LEDs can be developed as commercially viable alternatives to conventional light sources.
However, LED products need to be developed further before they can give energy savings comparable to those of competitive types of light and fully meet customer requirements for light output, colour and reliability.
Other barriers to widespread adoption of the technology could include a lack of manufacturing capacity worldwide, a shortage of raw materials, lack of compatibility with existing fittings and reluctance of traditional producers to accelerate uptake.
Each LED will also ultimately require disposal, and large-scale recycling facilities have yet to be developed. This is likely to become a more important issue in the future as the LED market grows and LEDs start to reach they end of their life.