Consumers who use LED lamps in their home are satisfied with the light they provide, but understanding the technology remains a challenge. That’s according to a new report commissioned by lighting manufacturer Osram Sylvaniaand released this past December. “Discover LED Lighting” compiles the responses of more than 1,000 U.S. households polled online last fall about their knowledge of LED lamp technology.
“[A]t times, lighting can be very confusing and a bit overwhelming for those outside our industry,” Pamela Price, Osram Sylvania’s retail marketing manager, said in an email. “The terms we use every day may not resonate with most residential consumers. Therefore, as lighting leaders, our first task is to make the message relevant and easy to understand. Consumers appreciate guidance, but we need to resist the temptation to teach them everything we know about lighting.”
To understand end-users’ grasp on new LED technology, the company is conducting consumer-behavior surveys. For the past six years, Osram Sylvania has conducted a separate survey, called the Socket Survey, addressing consumer knowledge of the incandescent phase-out and its related regulations and technologies. With the phase-out having gone into full effect in 2014, Price says the company wanted this latest report to dig deeper into the factors that are both helping and hampering consumer adoption of LED technology.
Among the report’s findings:
More than three-fourths of those surveyed had not researched an LED lamp’s color temperature prior to purchase and three in five did not research its brightness. However, more than one-third of respondents each claimed to have researched a product’s energy consumption, lifetime, and associated cost-savings.
When presented with a list of products that use LEDs, more than two-thirds did not associate the technology with standalone lamps. A majority of survey respondents (51 percent) associated LED lamps with holiday lights, followed by outdoor lighting (40 percent).
The survey found that, overall, LED lamps are not widely used in the home. Spaces in which more survey respondents said they used the technology than didn’t—the living/family room (47 percent use) and kitchen (49 percent use)—tend be sites of regular activity. Fewer respondents said they use LEDs in the bathroom (38 percent) and bedroom (41 percent) than those who do not, with 50 percent and 52 percent, respectively, of survey respondents saying that they do not use related products in those two spaces.
Of those who do use LED lamps, however, nine out of 10 were “very satisfied” or “somewhat satisfied” with each of the technology’s brightness and color. Slightly fewer—seven out of 10—were “very satisfied” or “somewhat satisfied” with the related products’ price.
The survey is part of a campaign by Osram Sylvania to improve consumer knowledge of LED technology.
Hallie Busta is an associate editor of products and technology at ARCHITECT, Architectural Lighting, and Residential Architect. She holds a bachelor's degree in journalism from Northwestern University's Medill school and a LEED Green Associate credential. Previously, she wrote about building-material sales and distribution at Hanley Wood. Follow her on Twitter at @HallieBusta.