By now, most consumers have heard that LED lighting is supposed to be long-lasting, highly efficient lighting. Imagine only changing your light bulb every 20 years or so! The data we have collected so far in our NYSERDA LED Lighting Demonstration Project clearly supports those claims. The LEDs are performing as expected with regards to efficiency and cost savings, but again, we expected that to take place. You can read our project update report for more info on consumption, costs, and savings.
Unfortunately, efficiency is not enough to drive market growth of LED lighting technology. If consumers don’t like them, they won’t buy them. If there is no demand for them, builders and electricians won’t spec them to be included in their homes. Even as code requirements are pushing the market towards “high efficacy” lighting, a recent U.S. Department of Energy Residential Field Study shows a significant percentage of homes nationwide are not meeting this requirement.
Many consumers are wary of energy efficient lighting products, partially due to bad experiences with CFLs, and are the savings are not enough to persuade them to take the LED leap. But LED technology has seen rapid advancement and product expansion in recent years and their capabilities and benefits far exceed simple energy and cost savings. When Newport first started this project, the number of different types of
bulbs and fixtures was extremely limited. That was just two short years ago! Fast-forward to today, and our options are virtually limitless. Bulbs and fixtures come with all different specifications for brightness (lumens), color (kelvin), and efficacy (lumens/watt). They are more compatible with smart light systems and have capabilities that far exceed than their predecessors.
And what’s most important is that when experiencing LED lighting first hand, the vast majority of people not only like the LEDs, but they actually prefer them to other options. Our Consumer Perception Report highlights the results of several lighting survey’s conducted over the first year of the project. The results clearly show that most participants (over 60%) prefer the LED light when compared side by side with an equivalent incandescent and CFL bulb.
Ok, but lighting in a small box is a lot different than lighting a big room or an entire home. As part of the project, we asked our participating builders and homeowners to provide some feedback about the lighting systems in their homes. Here’s what they had to say:
“We tried CFLs in our old house and they would burn out in less than a year. We are very happy with the LED’s that are in this home. We like and use the dimmers all the time. We would have not chosen dimmer switches to start but, since we have them now we really enjoy using them. We are especially fond of the under cabinet lights, which we like to use at night, and the LED lights in the ceilings.” (Homeowners- Canadaigua, NY)
“The LED lighting and Lutron system rocks! It was extremely easy to install and program. As for the convenience, life changing. You approach leaving and coming home in a whole new manor. We never forget to turn a light off, or struggle to find a switch on the way in with our hands full. Going to bed has changed as well. It will change the way you think about moving from room to room.” (Homeowners- Saratoga, NY)
“I really like the quality of light and that it is low cost. The lighting in our new home is much better than the lighting in our previous house. Overall, our experience with the LEDs has been very positive, it’s low-cost, modern, and easy to use. I will continue to purchase LEDs in the future and would definitely recommend them to friends and family.” (Homeowners- New Paltz, NY)
“The LED lights in the home exceeded all of our expectations. The whole process, from design to installation was very smooth and the lights really make the home look beautiful. The Lutron Caseta control system is awesome and so easy to install. We are so impressed with the system we are now offering it to our other homeowners.” (Fedyk Builders- Fairport, NY)
The homeowners in New Paltz, NY were so happy with the lighting in their home and the Lutron Caséta system that the builder (Greenhill Contracting) now offers it as a package available with every
home. Since, completing the home for this project, the builder now installs 100% LED lighting in all homes.
“Since installing the LED lights in 20 Cooper St., I install LED 100% in all of my homes.” (Greenhill Contracting- New Paltz, NY)
Check out our most recent update for the LED Demonstration Project and see how the homes are performing in regards to energy and cost savings. To learn more about this project, and for more information on Residential LED Lighting, visit our project page.