In July 2005, leaders attending the G8 Summit, held in Gleneagles, Scotland, signed an action plan covering climate change, clean energy, and sustainable development. Part of this plan mandated that the Paris-based International Energy Agency (IEA) identify strategies and scenarios for a more sustainable energy future. And in response, the IEA has published a 560-page book containing a comprehensive global lighting study. The book, Light's Labour's Lost-Policies for Energy-Efficient Lighting, maps out the means by which lighting demand can be curbed, and reviews current energy policy actions related to lighting.

'Without rapid action, the amount of energy used for lighting will be 80 percent higher in 2030 than today; however, if we simply make better use of today's efficient lighting technologies and techniques, global lighting energy demand need be no greater,' explains Claude Mandil, executive director of the IEA.

According to the report, grid-based electric lighting consumes 19 percent of global electricity production. The book demonstrates the way lighting, and therefore electricity, demand can be curtailed at lower financial cost than continuing with current practices. The installation of efficient lamps, ballasts, and controls would cause worldwide lighting electricity levels to remain relatively unchanged from 2005 to 2030, demonstrates the IEA. In addition, reduced energy use would lead to lower levels of CO2 emissions and would also save billions of dollars through the reduction of both energy and maintenance costs.

Light's Labour's Lost also examines the measures that will be needed if an energy-efficient lighting future is to be reached. As Mandil explains, 'Government and the private sector must grasp the opportunity that energy-efficient lighting offers if we are to attain the clean and competitive economy that we seek.'

For more information, visit To purchase the study, go to the IES bookstore. The book costs