To reduce the cost of lighting even more, the United States has imposed new lighting energy efficiency rules, further solidifying the place cheap and long-lasting LEDs play in households.
The use of LEDs has provoked the biggest decline in illumination costs since the Middle Ages. Indeed, over the past seven centuries, the cost of lighting has fallen by 99.9% since 1300 and lighting efficiency has increased 1,000-fold since 1700.
Under the new rules, light fixtures must provide at least 45 lumens per watt of electrical input, a requirement that good old incandescent lightbulbs cannot meet. In 2010, LEDs accounted for barely 1% of global lighting sales. Today, that proportion is 50%. In America alone, 47% of homes use mostly or only LED illumination. Global energy consumption for lighting is growing slowly but surely. Between 2010 and 2017, it grew by about 1% per year. It is now possible to find 450-lumen bulbs that use 3.3 watts of electricity – or more than 130 lumens per watt. By using efficient LEDs, global consumption will continue to flatten, and reliance on fuels (which have highly variable prices) will keep on fading.