LED Lighting Poised to Boom in 2015 and Beyond; Consumer Energy Solutions Tells Businesses “The Time is Now” To Reap Major Economic Benefits

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Driven by falling unit prices, certification/subsidy proposals, and increased awareness of its advantages, LED will soon replace conventional lighting in commercial applications. Consumer Energy Solutions, Inc. sees LED technology as a boon both to clients and to the overall U.S. economy.

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Patrick J. Clouden, CEO of Consumer Energy Solutions, Inc. (CES), says LED technology is a boon both to small businesses and to the overall U.S. economy.

For businesses already using [LED lighting], it’s a competitive advantage, and for those who are not, it will soon become a competitive necessity.

According to a recent study by reports.com, the global light-emitting-diode-based lighting market, which totaled less than $5 billion as recently as 2013, will reach $25.7 billion in 2015 and $63 billion by 2020—a combined aggregate growth rate of 45% per year.¹ Patrick J. Clouden, CEO of Consumer Energy Solutions, Inc. (CES), one of the nation’s foremost full-service energy consulting companies, advocates commercial LED lighting not only as a way for individual companies to reduce their operating costs—though it effectively and substantially does that—but as a boon for the U.S. economy as a whole.

High energy costs are a particular burden to small business; a recent study by the National Federation of Independent Businesses reports that more than a third of small businesses report energy costs as among their top three business expenses.² Energy is also a major cost factor for 24-hour, lighting-intensive concerns such as hospitals³ and parking garages⁴. Reducing that burden, for businesses of all types, could free up needed resources for growth and expansion, and could serve as a primary driver of economic growth in the United States, per Clouden.

The advantages of LED over conventional incandescent lighting are twofold. One perk pertains to bulb life; the operational life of current white LED lamps is 100,000 hours, or 11 years of continuous operation. This is in stark contrast to incandescent bulbs, whose average life is approximately 5,000 hours. For office buildings and skyscrapers, the maintenance cost to replace burned-out bulbs—an enormous overhead in direct labor, not to mention the cost of the bulbs—can be virtually eliminated. The really definitive strength of LED lighting, however, lies in reduced power consumption. When designed properly, an LED circuit will convert 80% of the energy it consumes into light, as opposed to 20% for incandescent bulbs. This means that a 100-watt incandescent bulb, over the course of a year, will consume almost four times as much electricity as an equivalent LED light bulb.⁵

CES’ own experience bears this out. The company recently conducted a lighting audit on behalf of a client for a building in which most of the lighting was provided by 32-watt T-8 fluorescent tubes, one of the most common types of commercial lighting in the United States. It was supplemented by 400- and 175-watt incandescent bulbs, which are also very common. CES recommended a complete upgrade to LED, and to offset the initial conversion cost, CES helped arrange lease-purchase equipment financing on a 60-month term. The combined utility and maintenance savings exceeded the monthly financing payment by over $3,000 per month, which meant that over five years, for this one building alone, the company netted savings of more than $180,000.

One factor that has retarded the growth of LED lighting, notes Clouden, is the initial bulb replacement cost. For most of the time the technology has been in existence, LED bulbs have sold at a substantial multiple of the cost of an equivalent incandescent bulb, creating both a psychological and economic barrier to conversion. A recent market study, however, indicates that the emergence of cost-competitive LEDs is causing a paradigm shift in the industry. Sales of LEDs that outpace incandescent bulbs in North America are expected to soon completely eliminate incandescent bulbs.⁶

Further impetus to widespread US conversion is coming from a push in the industry to obtain certification from the US Environmental Protection Agency and US-based nonprofit DesignLights Consortium. Firms that receive certification from these organizations are expected to be eligible for subsidies from local utilities providers, just as is the case with solar panels today.⁷

“LED lighting is the future,” says Clouden. “For businesses already using it, it’s a competitive advantage, and for those who are not, it will soon become a competitive necessity. Not only that, it holds out the prospect of significantly reducing our country’s total energy consumption, which would help preserve natural resources, protect the environment, and stimulate the overall economy. We’re encouraging our clients, new and old, to take advantage of this technology now and reap the tremendous benefits it offers.”

About Consumer Energy Solutions, Inc.:

Headquartered in Clearwater, FL, Consumer Energy Solutions, Inc. (CES) is one of the nation’s foremost full-service energy consulting companies, with over two million residential and 300,000 commercial customers across the United States and Canada, including many Fortune 500 companies. Founded in 1999 by Patrick J. Clouden, CES transitioned in 2004 from selling primarily to residential customers to selling primarily to businesses. The company’s long-standing relationships with the largest independent energy suppliers in the U.S., coupled with its unparalleled knowledge of the industry, give CES customers access to the most competitive electricity and natural gas rates available in their area. CES is dedicated to educating its customers about the choices available to them as energy consumers, and to helping them, in a volatile energy market, to balance short-term savings against long-term risk. The company’s mission is to assist its commercial clients in better managing their energy costs so as to add to their bottom line. CES is an industry leader in providing its clients with effective strategies and solutions to reduce energy costs. References are available upon request. For more information, visit http://www.consumerenergysolutions.com.

1. “Global LED Market to See 45% CAGR,” reports.com, January 20, 2015.
prnewswire.com/news-releases/global-led-lighting-market-to-see-45-cagr-63-billion-in-value-by-2020-289170431.html

2. “Energy,” National Federation of Independent Businesses
http://www.nfib.com/advocacy/energy/

3. “Facilities Management—Energy Efficiency,” Healthcare Environmental Resource Center, hercenter.org/facilitiesandgrounds/energy.cfm

4. “Energy Savings in Enclosed Parking Garages,” Macurco Gas Detection Inc.
images2.cableorganizer.com/3m-macurco/dvp-120/pdfs/energy-article.pdf

5. “The Advantages of LED Lights,” LightComp LED Corp.
lc-led.com/articles/ledlights.html

6. “Next generation lighting achieves a complete replacement of incandescent filament bulbs,” WhaTech, January 8, 2015.
whatech.com/market-research-reports/press-release/green-technology/38484-led-lighting-market-at-4-8-billion-in-2012-is-anticipated-to-go-to-42-billion-by-2019

7. “LED lighting to grow to $25.7bn in 2015 as penetration of lighting market reaches 31%,” Semiconductor Today,” November 6, 2014. semiconductor-today.com/news_items/2014/NOV/LEDINSIDE_061114.shtml)

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