GE Plans to Stop CFL Business

Since the bans on inefficient light bulbs have been happening around the globe (including in the US starting in 2012), it has made sense that lighting manufacturers have been slowing down on the production of incandescent and halogen bulbs – the least efficient types of bulbs. CFLs were the replacement bulb of choice across many markets, with LEDs making a slow start due to much higher prices. Now, however, we’re beginning to see the shift away from CFLs as well.

Feb 1st, 2016
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Since the bans on inefficient light bulbs have been happening around the globe (including in the US starting in 2012), it has made sense that lighting manufacturers have been slowing down on the production of incandescent and halogen bulbs – the least efficient types of bulbs. CFLs were the replacement bulb of choice across many markets, with LEDs making a slow start due to much higher prices. Now, however, we’re beginning to see the shift away from CFLs as well. IKEA announced they will be selling only LED lighting and now GE plans to drop its CFL lighting business.

We at Strategies Unlimited predicted that in 2015, CFL lamps were the most shipped lamp type at around 27% of total lamps shipped worldwide, and LEDs were around 11%. However, by 2022 we predict that CFL shipments will go down to just 8%, while LEDs will be above 50% of all lamps shipped. When we look at revenues, LED lamps were already the highest earning lamp at around $10.5 billion compared to CFLs $3.5 billion in 2015.

GE is one of the largest lighting manufacturers and this decision could set a precedent for the others. It makes sense, LED lamps are getting more cost competitive and the quality is continuing to improve. And, of course, the new possibilities with smart lighting through LED lamps has made them more attractive to consumers (I personally own a Sengled LED bulb that is dimmable from my phone and has Bluetooth speakers – it’s pretty awesome).

The possibilities are seemingly endless with smart, connected bulbs and fixtures. While we estimate the share of smart LED lamps is still a very small percentage, we anticipate this market will grow quickly. Check out our new reports on the smart lamps market here.

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