One factor that has retarded the growth of LED lighting is the initial bulb replacement cost. For most of the time the technology has been in existence, LED light bulbs have sold at a substantial multiple of the cost of an equivalent incandescent bulb, creating both a psychological and economic barrier to conversion. However, a recent market study 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.
Further impetus to widespread U.S. conversion is coming from a push in the industry to obtain certification from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and US-based nonprofit DesignLights Consortium. Companies 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.
For businesses already using LED lighting, it has been a competitive advantage, and for those who are not, it will soon be a competitive necessity. Moreover, it holds out the prospect of significantly reducing U.S. total energy consumption, which would help preserve natural resources, protect the environment, and stimulate the overall economy.