The National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) and the National Lighting Bureau (NLB) have reported that the NEMA Lighting Systems Index increased by 1.4% in a year-over-year comparison in the first quarter of 2015. However, in looking at a breakdown of quarterly change, the index dropped 3.6% from the fourth quarter of 2014 to the first quarter of 2015. Emergency lighting and fixtures rose on a year-over-year basis while ballast and lamp components–large and miniature–declined.
Regarding specific lamp sectors, demand for high intensity discharge (HID) lamps dropped in the first quarter of 2015, with significant decreases for sodium vapor lamp shipments and mercury vapor lamps on a year-over-year basis. The index for metal halide lamps experienced a minimal year-over-year increase of 1.2%, but shipments were still down compared to the same period last year.
Demand for incandescent A-line lamps continued to decline, decreasing by 89.4% in a year-over-year comparison as a result of legislation pertaining to incandescent lamps as outlined in the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007, which took full effect in the first half of 2014. Compact fluorescent lamps also saw a decrease of 9.4%.
Replacement lamp types, such as LED A-line and halogen A-line lamps, experienced year-over-year increases of 61.5% and 153.6%, respectively. The quarter-to-quarter performances of those replacement lamp types do not reflect as much significant growth—the index for LED A-line lamps only increased by 7% and that of halogen A-line lamps declined by 16.2%.
The linear fluorescent lamp shipment indices for the first quarter of 2015 continued to decline, a trend that began in 2014. The index for T12 lamps decreased for the fifth straight quarter on a year-over-year basis, falling 39.5%. This is the result of energy efficiency regulations that have been in place since 2010. Shipments of T8 and T5 lamps dropped 21.7% and 14.8%, respectively.
The latest Electroindustry Business Conditions Index, a broad category that focuses on electrical industry manufacturers, shows a two-month decline. A panel of senior managers at NEMA member companies is almost split on whether they anticipate a rise in business conditions in the coming six months: 35% of participants responded that conditions will improve while 30% expect a decline.