ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Energy: Global Transition to LED Lighting

Updated on September 29, 2017

The world stands at a critical phase in its history. Whether you believe in the inevitable nature of climate change or not, it is indisputable that we have seen a rapid increase in energy use and CO2 emissions as more and more countries industrialize. In order to avoid the continuing degradation of our climate we must explore all options to use energy more efficiently. One of the most cost effective ways to do this is through the introduction of LED (Light Emitting Diode) lighting.
The traditional incandescent bulbs are highly inefficient. In most countries lighting accounts for up to 25% of all household electricity use. Reducing this through the use of more efficient lighting is not only desirable, it’s absolutely critical for the health of the planet. Population growth continues unabated, and is expected to reach more than 8 billion by 2025. That’s 1 billion more than the current population, and unless we find ways to use energy more efficiently, many countries will face a crisis in electricity production within a decade.
What’s holding some countries back from switching over to LED’s or even CFL’s (Compact Fluorescent Light bulbs) is the initial cost of the transition. This is short sighted thinking, as the cost savings once the transition takes place are substantial. A study of Nigeria’s potential cost savings from switching to more energy efficient lighting has estimated that $1.4 billion would be saved annually.
In many countries electricity production is already insufficient to meet demand. This problem is particularly apparent on the African continent. Most major urban centres in Africa already face a shortage of electricity, and many rural areas have no electricity at all. As African’s continue to migrate to urban centres, the strain on electricity will reach the breaking point unless ways to reduce electricity usage are found. While the transition to energy efficient lighting will create initial economic hardship for African nations, the long term implications of not making this transition would be even more damaging to these struggling economies.
Traditionally when we think of aid for poorer countries we think in terms of help with finding clean water sources, and help with agriculture. The reduction of energy use is just as important to the long-term success of Africa’s economies. For this reason, richer countries should consider helping Africa with the transition to energy efficient light bulbs. Africa’s population growth far outstrips most other regions of the world, and more people means greater energy usage. Africa must make the transition.
In North America and Western Europe the transition to CFL and LED lighting is already well under way. On January 1st, 2014 the Canadian government introduced a ban on the sale of 75, and 100 watt incandescent bulbs. By the end of the year the ban will also apply to the sale of 40 and 60 watt bulbs. This will bring Canada’s lighting policy in line with that of the United States, making North America one of the first regions to largely do away with the incandescent bulb.
There has been some consumer backlash to this transition across North America, as the more efficient bulbs cost more money, and consumers in North America don’t like the idea of being forced into the change. This is to be expected, as all changes in regulations will have their critics, but the majority of consumers recognize the need for this change. Also, the changeover to energy efficient lighting will save consumers money in the long run as the new bulbs last up to ten times longer. The initial cost may be more expensive, but consumers will not have to purchase them as often.
The European Union began the phase out of incandescent bulbs even earlier. The process was introduced in the European Union countries back in 2009, and was completed in 2012. As in North America, there was some backlash to the change, but the transition has been a success. The overall reduction in energy use by European households is estimated to be up to 19%.
Other countries around the world are adopting similar transitions, and more are expected to follow suit as the cost of producing energy efficient light bulbs are reduced by more efficient manufacturing processes and technological breakthroughs. Australia, Mexico, Russia, and South Korea all have implemented similar bans on the manufacture and sale of incandescent light bulbs.
So, why LED’s and not CFL’s? LED’s are more efficient than CFL’s. While CFL’s are without a doubt much more efficient than incandescent lights, LED’s last up to ten times longer than CFL’s and do not give off any heat. Not only are they more efficient, they are safer because of this absence of heat.
What’s holding back the rapid introduction of LED light bulbs is the prohibitive initial cost. You might pay as much as $20 or $30 for an LED light bulb. Considering consumers are used to paying very little for light bulbs, this is a tough pill to swallow. Manufactures recognize this drawback and are working on reducing the cost of the manufacturing process. Like all new technologies, this process takes time.
It’s clear the problems we face today due to climate change and population growth will continue to be a challenge. It’s for this reason that it’s not a question of if we should transition to the use of LED light bulbs, but how soon. Many countries are well on the way to replacing older inefficient light bulbs, and this trend not only should continue, but must continue. The health of our planet depends upon it.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)