IKEA to sell only LEDs by 2016

Swedish retailer IKEA says it aims to sell only LED lighting — LED bubs and lamps — and not other less efficient forms of lighting, by 2016. IKEA already gave up selling incandescent lighting back in 2010, and of course LEDs products can be sold for more money than lower end lighting options, so keep that in mind with this news.

But still as IKEA points out LED lighting consumes 85 percent less energy than incandescent lighting, and lasts 20 times longer.So-called light emitting diodes are semiconductors that emit light, so LED lighting can basically turn lighting digital.

IKEA has long been aggressive when it comes to sustainability. IKEA has phased out plastic bags, and has also been putting solar on the roofs of its stores, and now is the company with the 4th most solar capacity in the U.S.

In IKEA’s announcement, they included a survey on LEDs, and it’s clear that people aren’t necessarily all that educated on the benefits of LEDs — well, at least Americans:

  • Less than one-half of Americans (43 percent) have at least one LED bulb in their house compared to China (80 percent), Russia (65 percent) and Sweden (61 percent).
  • Only 27 percent of people know that these bulbs last 20 years.
  • Only one-third (34 percent) of Americans say LED lights provide similar lighting quality to incandescent bulbs, compared to China (77 percent) and Russia (61 percent).

Startups that are innovating around interesting LED technology includeDigital Lumens, Switch, and BridgeLux.