LED Tube Light Trend Report: The High Performance LED Tube
GREENandSAVE is pleased to provide sector Trend Reports to monitor the temperature of different CleanTech market segments. The LED tube lighting industry is heating up, and this High Performance LED Tube Report is just one more example of the recent traction.
The High Performance LED tube has the capacity to fundamentally change the commercial American energy landscape. An LED tube can typically reduce the electricity by 50% or more over an incumbent T12 or T8 fluorescent tube. However, “high performance” is the key since industry professionals, like electrical contractor, have had reservations about the cost-benefit ratio, longevity, and the overall quality assurance of LED tubes. The reservations have stemmed from the “new” factor, engineering viability, and observations that the vast majority of mass-market LED tube lights are imported from China.
Electrical Contractor Magazine surveyed 700 Electrical Contractors about their opinion on the readiness of the LED tube and other LEDs. The majority did not believe that LED tubes or LEDs overall were ready to replace traditional bulbs and tubes. In 2011, 33% of the surveyed Electrical contractors believed that an LED bulb was ready to replace an incandescent bulb. 23% thought that an LED bulb was ready to replace a Compact Fluorescent (CFLs) bulb. Only 19% of electrical contractors believed that an LED tube was an effective replacement for a fluorescent tube. The combination of advanced engineering and Made in America LED tubes has started to change this perception.
Trends on Terms of the Trade for the LED Tube:
The term “LED Tube” is the most general of the names used in the category. Other terms include T8 LED tube, which comes from the fact that “T8” refers to the diameter of the most common fluorescent tube that it replaces. The term LED fluorescent tube is currently used and may play itself out given the natural irony of naming the two technologies right next to each other. LED fluorescent tube replacement is a more accurate way to describe the technology. The terms LED light tube and LED tube lighting are used, but they have redundancies as well since Light Emitting Diode (LED) includes “Light” in the definition of the technology. The term LED tube retrofit is less about the LED tube product and more about the process of transforming a property. The term T12 fluorescent retrofit has recently gained attention given the July 14th Ban by the Department of Energy (DOE) on the inefficient T12 fluorescent tubes. CASH for CLUNKERS Lighting is one of the terms used to address the DOE ban through incentives.
View from inside the LED Tube Industry:
Charlie Szoradi is the Chairman and CEO of Independence LED Lighting (http://independenceled.com/), a leading U.S. Manufacturer of LED tube lights that sells to Electrical Contractors as well as Wholesalers, Value Added Resellers( VARs), Energy Service Companies (ESCOs), and others though its Authorized Reseller Network. Mr. Szoradi reports, “We understood that only one out of every five electrical contractors believed that LED tubes were ready for prime time. So, we took the challenge to get in-front of the market and address the engineering head on. Back in 2010, we re-engineered our entire LED tube from the ground up and brought our LED tube manufacturing from China to Boyertown, PA. Our robust Deep Fin Aluminum Heat Sink and independent External Driver have set new standards across the high performance LED tube marketplace. When Lockheed Martin’s engineering team reviewed our LED tube system for Con Edison’s utility company incentive program, we were naturally pleased that they saw the value and approved our American Made lighting system for the rebates.”
The breakdown of the ten engineering features that define the Independence LED “High Performance” LED tube are in the Technology Differentiation file on the LED Tube Boot Camp page of the Independence LED website: http://independenceled.com/BootCamp/