There are many reasons to consider LED for your lighting systems; many will extol the virtues of energy saving in a time of increasing energy costs, then there’s lower maintenance frequency giving you a longer term saving on your annual maintenance bill, extended life expectancy meaning no lamp changes to name but a few compelling reasons. Here’s a less commonly discussed reason which many people seem to be missing and it will creep up on us throughout the industry – how long do you expect traditional lamp manufacturers to keep making the lamps for?
As demand falls for metal halide and high pressure sodium sources or ‘traditional’ lamps, the manufacturers (who face the same increasing raw material and energy costs we all do) will be looking closely at where the markets are going. The equilibrium between conventional lamps and LED sales was breached a while ago with LED sales outnumbering alternatives by a significant margin. I can foresee in the short to medium term a rationalisation (read strategic evaluation) of the manufacture of ‘conventional’ lamps as they look to squeeze out returns on their investments. They may also be compelled by legislation as we are seeing with other light sources (some cfl’s and particularly mercury containing lamps). This will also have a knock on effect for other components within the circuit; ignitors, ballasts and possibly some larger capacitors.
They may not disappear completely; it is possible smaller more niche manufacturers will pop up and find a demand at a premium price as they see an attractive market. Look around you – I still see lots of higher output luminaires still lighting our ports, airports, large commercial areas and sports facilities using high pressure sodium and metal halide.
If there’s ever been a more compelling time to consider upgrading to LED, surely it’s now?
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