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Open Access Publications from the University of California

The evolving price of household LED lamps: Recent trends and historical comparisons for the US market


In recent years, household LED light bulbs (LED A lamps) have undergone a dramatic price decline. Since late 2011, we have been collecting data, on a weekly basis, for retail offerings of LED A lamps on the Internet. The resulting data set allows us to track the recent price decline in detail. LED A lamp prices declined roughly exponentially with time in 2011-2014, with decline rates of 28percent to 44percent per year depending on lumen output, and with higher-lumen lamps exhibiting more rapid price declines. By combining the Internet price data with publicly available lamp shipments indices for the US market, it is also possible to correlate LED A lamp prices against cumulative production, yielding an experience curve for LED A lamps. In 2012-2013, LED A lamp prices declined by 20-25percent for each doubling in cumulative shipments. Similar analysis of historical data for other lighting technologies reveals that LED prices have fallen significantly more rapidly with cumulative production than did their technological predecessors, which exhibited a historical decline of 14-15percent per doubling of production.

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