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Lighting. It’s not as sexy as electric cars, solar thermal plants or biofuels, But it’s a key component of greentech. Kaj de Daas, chiarman of Philips Lighting North America (a subsidiary of Royal Philips (PHG)), provided an overview of the lighting market at the Dow Jones Alternative Energy Innovations conference today and here’s what he said.

  • $75 billion: the overall size of the global lighting market. The U.S. accounts for 20 percent of the total. (Philips does about $3.5 billion a year.)
  • 52: The average number of light sockets in a U.S. home. Put another way, there are 4 billion screw-in light sockets in this grand land of ours. Although the U.S. is the largest market, it’s the slowest when it comes to adopting new technologies.
  • 40: The average number of sockets in a home in the Netherlands.
  • 5, now 18: The average number of sockets in the recent past (5) in a home in Shanghai compared to the present.
  • 2012: The year, in some nations, that traditional incandescent bulbs will no longer be sold.
  • 45 lumens per watt: That’s the minimum level of efficiency he’d like to see mandated.
  • 5 milligrams: The amount of mercury in a compact florescent.
  • 3: The number of universities in Shanghai that have well-regarded departments in lighting. If you want to know why Philips is conducting more research there, that’s the answer.
  • $1 to $3.50: The average price of LED chips. It’s too high, den Daas said. Technically, companies can make LED bulbs that can dim and put out as much light as a traditional bulb. Economically, it’s just not feasible right now.
  • The Whole Enchilada: LEDs can last 50,000 hours. Thus, light bulb makers will lose their replacement market when LEDs go mainstream. The solution? Philips is shifting to making entire lamps and light fixtures. “I need ot offer something big to offset replacements,” he said.
  • $17: The amount of kerosene bought by households in Ghana to fuel lamps. Philips has started to sell cheap LED lamps in that country to reduce the danger and fossil fuel consumption presented by these lights.
  • November 5: The date that Philips will release a new line of LED lamps for the hotel industry
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