The NEMA Lamp Index for general service (A-line) lamps has taken on a new look. When the A-line Lamp Index was first developed and published in 2012, it was designed to measure the shift in general service (A-line) lamp technology as a result of the implementation of the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 (EISA-2007), which required manufacturers to replace traditional incandescent lamp technology with halogen incandescent lamp technology that consumed 28% less energy. At the time, the only other general service lamp technology in the market to any significant degree was the compact fluorescent lamp (CFL). The general service LED lamp was barely a blip in the market in 2012 when first introduced at retail for $60 per bulb.
Circumstances changed quickly, however. By the end of 2015, traditional incandescent lamps were virtually gone from store shelves and manufacturers were no longer shipping those lamps as a result of EISA-2007. The price of general service LED lamps had fallen considerably and consumer demand for that lamp started picking up for the first time.
While the Lamp Index has reasonably displayed the direction in various A-line lamp shipments since it was first developed in 2012, over the two most recent calendar years as LED A-line lamp shipments grew, the reported LED lamp shipments significantly understated the actual share of LED lamp shipments because of a significant volume of non-NEMA-Member imports of A-line LED lamps not reflected in the Index. NEMA normally has confidence in its ability to account for this difference — as we do with halogen and CFL bulbs — based on other sources of information; however, that other information was not readily available for A-line LED bulbs as they entered the domestic market in significant numbers for the first time. In 2017, the US Government began reporting A-line LED lamp imports for domestic consumption for the first time and this information, along with other information, has enabled NEMA to better measure domestic A-line LED shipments. Consistent with what consumers were experiencing on store shelves, LED A-line lamp shipments actually penetrated the market more significantly than the Index was displaying.
In addition to adjusting for the newly available LED data, NEMA has discontinued reporting of Incandescent A-line lamps in the Lamp Index. When the NEMA Lamp Index was first prepared it was intended to reflect shipments of A-line lamps in the lumen range 310 – 2600 lumens. Incandescent shipments included a relatively small number of low lumen lamps (15W, 25W) outside of this lumen range because of the way NEMA historically collected incandescent lamp data prior to 2012. By 2015, virtually all incandescent lamps reported in the Lamp Index were these low lumen, low wattage incandescent lamps. These were not “general service lamps” because they did not serve the broad lumen range of light output characteristic of general service lamps. That made them an anomaly in the overall context of the Index because the halogen, CFL and LED lamp data did not include these low lumen lamps.
The revised Lamp Index begins with the year 2017 when additional data became available. The revised Index confirms what consumers have been seeing on store shelves. By 2017 and continuing into 2018, shipments of the CFL had fallen dramatically. Several retailers and certain manufacturers had announced that they were discontinuing the sale of the CFL at the end of 2016. By the second half of 2017, shipments of general service LED lamps exceeded shipments of general service halogen incandescent lamps for the first time, and that trend has accelerated into 2018.