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Replacement policy of residential lighting optimized for cost, energy, and greenhouse gas emissions

CSS Publication Number
Full Publication Date
November 16, 2017

Accounting for 10% of the electricity consumption in the US, artificial lighting represents one of the easiest ways to cut household energy bills and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by upgrading to energy-efficient technologies such as compact fluorescent lamps (CFL) and light emitting diodes (LED). However, given the high initial cost and rapidly improving trajectory of solid-state lighting today, estimating the right time to switch over to LEDs from a cost, primary energy, and GHG emissions perspective is not a straightforward problem. This is an optimal replacement problem that depends on many determinants, including how often the lamp is used, the state of the initial lamp, and the trajectories of lighting technology and of electricity generation. In this paper, multiple replacement scenarios of a 60 watt-equivalent A19 lamp are analyzed and for each scenario, a few replacement policies are recommended. For example, at an average use of 3 hr/day (US average), it may be optimal both economically and energetically to delay the adoption of LEDs until 2020 with the use of CFLs, whereas purchasing LEDs today may be optimal in terms of GHG emissions. In contrast, incandescent and halogen lamps should be replaced immediately. Based on expected LED improvement, upgrading LED lamps before the end of their rated lifetime may provide cost and environmental savings over time by taking advantage of the higher energy efficiency of newer models.

Kazuhiro Saitou
Research Areas
Food Systems and Consumer Products
Consumer Products & Packaging
Publication Type
Journal Article
Digital Object Identifier
Full Citation

Liu, Lixi, Gregory A. Keoleian and Kazuhiro Saitou. (2017) “Replacement policy of residential lighting optimized for cost, energy, and greenhouse gas emissions.” Environmental Research Letters. 12(11): 1-10.