Creating Markets for New Products to Replace Incandescent Lamps: The International Experience
Since the summer of 1995, several organizations have been in pursuit of what many consider the Holy Grail of lighting technology — a low-cost, drop-in, energy-efficient replacement for the incandescent lamp. This paper summarizes the international experience in attempting to catalyze the commercialization of a mass-market replacement product that could have a major impact on residential lighting energy consumption in U.S. and EU homes.
The technology procurement effort was originally spearheaded by the U.S. Federal Government through a loose collaboration between the Department of Defense (DOD), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Department of Energy (DOE). The DOD agreed to serve as the anchor buyer for a low-cost, drop-in replacement product for standard-sized light bulbs that provide at least 30% energy savings compared to traditional incandescent lamps. In parallel to the U.S. effort, the International Energy Agency launched a cooperative technology procurement effort by assembling large buyers groups in Finland, the Netherlands, Sweden, and the United Kingdom to pull a similar efficient lighting product into the European market. The lukewarm response from lamp manufacturers to these two technology procurement efforts illustrates the challenges of transforming residential lighting from incandescent to efficient lighting.