Are LEDs going to be as prevalent in the future?
LED technology has been around in various forms for over a century, although it was not until the 1960s that the concepts crystallised into a recognisable product. And even after early developments it took a significant amount of time for LEDs to enter the mainstream market, especially for the purposes of lighting.
A recent report from IHS revealed that LEDs are no longer an obscure item, with sales predicted to increase to $7.1 billion (£4.3 billion) annually by 2016. This is almost twice the $3.6 billion (£2.2 billion) generated by sales of LED lighting over the course of 2013.
But what makes LED lighting, in all its forms including floodlights others, so appealing and will this type of technology really be as prevalent in the future as experts currently foresee?
Argument for Efficiency
The main reason that LED floodlights and other related products powered by this technology are becoming popular in commercial and domestic settings is that businesses and individuals are under pressure to seek more energy-efficient illumination solutions.
Successful campaigns to eliminate the availability of older, less efficient bulbs have resulted in a change in regulations across the UK and other countries, which means that for many people the only lighting products available to purchase fall into the energy efficient bracket.
And even more impressive still is the fact that LEDs stand out from amongst their supposedly sustainable peers as being better able to help reduce the consumption of electricity by a significant degree. Even CFL lamps are not able to match the low wattage required by an LED to produce an impressive amount of light, with no time for warm up required.
Of course the biggest obstacle to the growth in LED sales and the long term potential it holds in the lighting market is cost. There is no question at the moment that LED bulbs are simply more expensive than the other options, especially in the cases where choosing them also requires the rest of the lighting system and fittings to be replaced as well.
But a combination of factors are helping to change this state of affairs. LED products are being designed to be interoperable with legacy lighting setups, while increase sales and manufacturing volumes mean prices are falling all the time.
IHS analysts estimate that by 2016 about 2.4 billion LED bulbs will be sold globally. Compared with the 520 million figure reached in 2013, it is apparent that there is significant growth left in the market.
And standard electronic LEDs are not the only form of this technology being developed with lighting in mind. Organic LEDs (OLED) are already being used to create displays for smartphones and high end TVs, with experts predicting that they could soon be harnessed for lighting thanks to the ease with which they can be integrated with almost any surface.
There is an exciting future ahead of LEDs and no sign of this technology falling out of favour with manufacturers or consumers.