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. These reports are designed to help retailers, distributors, designers, utilities, energy efficiency program sponsors, and other industry stakeholders understand the current state of the LED lighting market and its trajectory. In February 2017, LED Lighting Facts launched a new analysis tool (Product Snapshot Analytics: that allows users to generate, in real time, some of the data and charts shown in this report.

June 2017 Snapshot: Downlights

Because of the relatively low efficiency of incumbent technologies, downlighting was among the earliest lighting applications where LEDs offered competitive performance. At their peak in 2011, downlights made up approximately 25% of the luminaires in the LED Lighting Facts® data-base. While the number of listed downlights has continued to increase, reaching over 4,600 today, they now represent only about 8% of the listed luminaires, as LED options in other luminaire types have steadily become available and competitive. The directional output of LEDs remains well-suited for the downlight form factor, allowing for higher efficacy and better lighting quality compared to CFLs. Now, however, the superiority of LED downlights over competing products may be limiting further performance gains, as the industry focuses on other issues, such as cost.

  • The efficacy of LED downlights is lower than for most other product categories, although it is higher than downlights using conventional light sources. About 50% of the down-lights listed have a luminous efficacy greater than 70 lm/W, with 2% above 100 lm/W.
  • The mean efficacy for downlight luminaires only increased by 1 lm/W in the past 15 months, while other comparable product types gained between 5 and 13 lm/W.
  • Most of the listed LED downlights fall into traditional lumen output ranges for residential and commercial applications. A wide variety of performance is available.
  • The downlight category features a greater percentage of products with a CRI in the 90s than any other product category in the LED Lighting Facts database.