The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) estimates an average of 40 lamp sockets in each of the nation’s 128 million homes, equaling more than five billion lamps across the country. Incandescent light bulbs have a life of less than a year; consumers replacing them have ensured GE, Philips, and Sylvania’s constant stability.
Incandescent and fluorescent bulbs had a historical past similar to the transformation LEDs are going through now. A filament made from bamboo was mass-produced in lamps after a cotton thread was used in prototypes. At the turn of the last century, tungsten filaments were introduced to boost lifespan and light output. Fluorescent tubes were presented in the late 1930s and became a leading technology for commercial and industrial spaces. They were also used as a means of efficient lighting for U.S. war production plants.
Additional improvements took place through the following decades, including halogen, metal halide, and compact fluorescent lamps. The market remained stale until the introduction of LED lights in 2008. Many customers used LED to reduce electricity use, which lowered bills and greenhouse gas emissions significantly. During the Great Recession, hundreds of millions of dollars were dumped into LED research and market development.
In 2021, LED bulbs are still the standard for energy-efficient homes. A 10-watt (W) LED bulb produces an equal amount of light as a 60W incandescent lamp. Due to their extraordinary lifespan, LED lamps are known to last a decade or more. Since these LEDs don’t need the constant replacement that incandescent bulbs do, GE, Philips, and Sylvania have all sold off their lamp-making businesses over the past four years.
The first product series to popularize the advanced capabilities offered by digitally-controlled lighting was created by Signify’s Philips Hue. An assortment of lamps are controllable by app or voice assistant, with customizable white and color-changing capabilities. A number of customers are familiar with the “Hue” brand, as it has had a successful run thus far.
GE also has a color-customizable bulb and tunable white light setting, allowing customers to shift a room’s vibe in one tap. Sylvania is sold through Ledvance, which also offers four-packs of color-shifting bulbs.
A large percentage of the country’s five-billion residential lamp sockets are still incandescent, so some consumers could undoubtedly be pushed to upgrade their existing lamps to receive added technological features. Philips plans on launching a bulb early this year that is capable of Wi-Fi and software updates through apps.
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Written by the digital marketing staff at Creative Programs & Systems: www.cpsmi.com.