IPCC Fourth Assessment Report: Climate Change 2007
Climate Change 2007: Working Group III: Mitigation of Climate Change High efficiency electric lighting

Presently 1.9 GtCO2 are emitted by electric lighting worldwide, equivalent to 70% of the emissions from light passenger vehicles (IEA, 2006b). Continuous improvements in the efficacy[7] of electric lighting devices have occurred during the past decades and can be expected to continue. Advances in lamps have been accompanied by improvements in occupancy sensors and reductions in cost (Garg and Bansal, 2000; McCowan et al., 2002). A reduction in residential lighting energy use of a factor of four to five can be achieved compared to incandescent/halogen lighting.

For lighting systems providing ambient (general space) lighting in commercial buildings, the energy required can be reduced by 50% or more compared to old fluorescent systems through use of efficient lamps (ballasts and reflectors, occupancy sensors, individual or zone switches on lights and lighter colour finishes and furnishings. A further 40 to 80% of the remaining energy use can be saved in perimeter zones through daylighting (Rubinstein and Johnson, 1998; Bodart and Herde, 2002). A simple strategy to further reduce energy use is to provide a relatively low background lighting level, with local levels of greater illumination at individual workstations. This strategy is referred to as ‘task/ambient lighting’ and is popular in Europe. Not only can this alone cut lighting energy use in half, but it provides a greater degree of individual control over personal lighting levels and can reduce uncomfortable levels of glare and high contrast.

About one third of the world’s population depends on fuel-based lighting (such as kerosene, paraffin or diesel), contributing to the major health burden from indoor air pollution in developing countries. While these devices provide only 1% of global lighting, they are responsible for 20% of the lighting-related CO2 emissions and consume 3% of the world’s oil supply. A CFL or LED is about 1000 times more efficient than a kerosene lamp (Mills, 2005). Efforts are underway to promote replacement of kerosene lamps with LEDs in India. Recent advances in light-emitting diode (LED) technology have significantly improved the cost-effectiveness, longevity and overall viability of stand-alone PV-powered task lighting (IEA, 2006b).

  1. ^  This is the ratio of light output in lumens to input power in watts.