Snapshot Reports

The Snapshot Reports are an analysis of the dataset underlying the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) LED Lighting Facts product list. This document is designed to help retailers, distributors, designers, utilities, energy efficiency program sponsors, and other industry stakeholders understand the current state of the LED replacement lamps market and its trajectory.

The lighting industry is experiencing major change: new federal efficacy guidelines are being phased in for many types of lamps and fixtures that make up traditional luminaires, and LED luminaires are increasingly being offered by manufacturers as energy- and cost-saving alternatives to traditional technologies. This Product Snapshot reveals how LED luminaires really perform.

The LED market continues to experience rapid growth in product availability and steady improvement in performance for most product categories. Due to the speed of advancements in technology, a new snapshot is published twice a year alternating focus between replacement lamps and luminaires. Each new version has data from additional products, allowing for updated analysis and projections.

December 2011 Snapshot: LED Luminaires

Performance Trends:
  • Commercial outdoor luminaires are increasing in efficacy at approximately 17 lm/W per year among various product applications, near the DOE Multi-Year Program Plan (MYPP) projections.
  • Indoor luminaires vary in rates of efficacy improvement: troffers are improving at approximately MYPP rates, while downlights and under-cabinet lights are improving much more slowly.
Outdoor Luminaire Performance:
  • Outdoor area and roadway luminaires are available at light output levels greater than 10,000 lumens, equivalent to or greater than what is produced by typical metal halide (MH) and high-pressure sodium (HPS) systems with 150W lamps, but the majority of LED products have lower output levels.
  • Parking garage and wall pack luminaires are available at light output levels of greater than 7,000 lumens, equivalent to or greater than that of MH and HPS systems with 100W lamps, but the majority of LED products have lower output levels.
  • Most outdoor LED luminaires have color rendering indices (CRI) that exceed those of MH and HPS systems (typically 65 and 20, respectively) and range in CCT from 4000K to 7000K, which is significantly 'cooler' or bluish-white light, on average, than traditional fixtures (which can range from 2000K to 6000K).
Indoor Luminaire Performance:
  • The majority of recessed downlights meet or exceed incumbent (CFL) light output levels for 4- to 6-inch downlights. Efficacy varies greatly in LED downlights, but the average of the category as a whole (~45 lm/W) exceeds CFL benchmark levels (~35 lm/W).
  • Under-cabinet/shelf-mounted lights and troffers vary greatly in output. Higher-performing products are available that meet the most common benchmark light output levels.
  • Troffers in general have higher CCT values on average (~4500K) than downlights and under-cabinet lights (~3300K and ~3100K, respectively). Conversely, downlights and under-cabinet lights have higher average CRI values (82 and 81, respectively) than troffers (78). These characteristics are consistent with the primary application of troffers in commercial spaces and of downlights and under-cabinet lights in a mix of residential, commercial, and architectural spaces.