Ikea to sell only LED-based lighting by 2016, wants to be greener than your sofa bed

While some wouldn't necessarily associate Ikea with eco-friendliness given that its business revolves around plywood, the furniture chain has just staked out a clearer position as a green pioneer. It's phasing out sales of all lighting that isn't LED-based by 2016, making it the first major home furnishing shop with a US presence to entirely banish less efficient illumination. Ikea also wants to take advantage of its economies of scale with the "lowest price on the market" for LEDs, which could shake up an industry where anything beyond incandescent technology usually carries a premium. We'll still have some time to wait for the full switch, but the company at least plans to practice what it preaches by replacing over a million store lights with LEDs -- so those of us with no light replacement plans can still feel as green as the Beddinge Håvet we're taking home.

[Image credit: Rainchill, Wikipedia]

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IKEA to Sell Only LED Lighting by 2016

Survey Shows Americans Still in the Dark About LEDs

CONSHOHOCKEN, Pa.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--IKEA sheds new light on home sustainability practices with a bold move to go 100% LED by 2016 - and turns the world in a new direction by becoming the first US home furnishing retailer to sell only LED bulbs and lamps. LED lighting consumes 85% less energy than incandescent bulbs and can last up to 20 times longer. That's a long time! But, in fact, only 27% of Americans know that LED bulbs last 20 years (source: Wakefield Research).

Supporting the LED light revolution, IKEA will be converting its full lighting range to LED by 2016, meaning IKEA will sell only LED bulbs and LED lamps to enable millions of people to live a more sustainable life at home and save money on their energy bills. IKEA will be selling the LED bulbs at the lowest price on the market, thus making it affordable for the many people. Additionally, IKEA is changing more than one million light sources inside the IKEA stores to LED and other more efficient lighting.

Sustainability is a cornerstone of IKEA, which takes continuous steps to make its business more sustainable and, at the same time, makes it easier for customers to live a more sustainable life at home.

"LED is a light revolution. With household electricity bills continuing to rise rapidly and global energy consumption increasing, a small LED bulb can have a very big impact. It uses much less energy than a traditional bulb and brings a lot of home furnishing potential to the home. Building on our belief that everyone should be able to afford to live more sustainably at home, we will make sure our LED prices are the lowest on the market," says Steve Howard, Chief Sustainability Officer, IKEA Group.

"WWF is aiming for a 100% renewable energy future. In order to move away from our dependency on fossil fuels, we need to take advantage of all opportunities. Almost 20% of global electricity consumption comes from lighting, so shifting lighting to LED technology is a cost-effective way to get change at scale. IKEA converting its lighting range to LED will have a real impact in reducing energy use in many households," says Samantha Smith, leader of the WWF (World Wildlife Fund) Global Climate and Energy Initiative.

This LED initiative follows past IKEA US leadership actions such as the phase out of plastic bags in 2007 and incandescent bulbs in 2010.

"We are committed to enabling our coworkers and customers to live a more sustainable life at home. And changing to LED lights is a smart and cost effective way to be sustainable in our everyday lives. IKEA supports this to such a degree that we recently gave LED lights to every one of the 130,000 IKEA coworkers across the globe," comments Mike Ward, IKEA US President.

Today, there is a wide range of LED bulbs available at IKEA that enable customers to easily change old incandescent bulbs to LED without changing the lamp base. LED lighting is, until now, one of the best-kept secrets in home furnishing sustainability:

* If one million people changed one bulb each into LED, this would in terms of CO2 emissions correspond to taking almost 6,700 cars off the road, or planting 17 million trees per year.
The total annual cost saving (including purchase price and energy consumption cost) of switching one incandescent 40W bulb to a corresponding LED bulb, is approximately $6.25 (5.3 Euro) on average.
* LED bulbs can last nearly 20 years. That's about 20 times longer than a typical incandescent, 10 times longer than a typical halogen and twice as long as a typical CFL.
* LED bulbs use substantially less power than incandescents or CFLs. Replacing existing lighting with LEDs can save between 50% and 90% of lighting energy costs.
* LEDs can be used almost anywhere – in any room in the house or in any business. LED replacements are already available for many bulb types and can fit virtually all of your existing lamps.
* A recently conducted survey of 6,000 consumers in China, Russia, Germany, UK, US and Sweden (July 2012*), showed that many are not aware of the benefits of LED; however 60% express an interest in LED as an energy saver, especially as energy bills generally rise and 20-25% of the electricity cost in the home comes from lighting.

* The survey was performed by YouGov for IKEA.

The U.S. Department of Energy has estimated that an increased adoption of LEDs over the next 15 years would:

* Reduce electricity demands from lighting by 62 percent
* Prevent 258 million metric tons of carbon emissions
* Eliminate the need for 133 new power plants


New surveys from IKEA US reveal that Americans are starting to take steps to keep their homes more sustainable by using LED bulbs, but are still learning about the benefits of LED lights. Here are some of the IKEA survey findings:

Americans are Starting to See the (LED) Light

* Slightly less than one-half of Americans (43%) have at least one LED bulb in their house (source: IKEA Global Study), compared to China (80%), Russia (65%) and Sweden (61%)
* Knowledge Gap: only 27% of people know that these bulbs last 20 years (source: Wakefield Research)
* Knowledge Gap: only one-third (34%) of Americans say LED lights provide similar lighting quality to incandescent bulbs (source: IKEA Global Study)
* That's compared to China (77%) and Russia (61%) (source: IKEA Global Study)
Electric Bill Going Up? Time to Turn On LED

* More than half (52%) of Americans have seen an increase in their home electric bill over the last 12-24 months (source: IKEA Global Study)
* 69% of Americans say that lighting accounts for up to 40% of their electric bill (source: IKEA Global Study)
* Knowledge Gap: more than 1/3 (34%) of people don't know that LED bulbs use less energy (source: Wakefield Research)

Show Us the Bulbs... Americans Who Know About LED Ready to Switch!

* When told of LED savings, 86% of Americans say they're interested in switching (source: IKEA Global Study)
* Nearly half of Americans (44%) feel they would save up to 30% on their electric bill by using LED bulbs (source: IKEA Global Study)
* Nearly Half of Americans Don't Think Their Significant Other Will Last as Long as an LED Light Bulb - so your most enduring long-term relationship might be with an LED!

People who buy an LED bulb today can count on that bulb for the next 20 years. Research shows that...

* 55% of Americans feel they will be with their significant other for the time that one LED bulb lasts – up to 20 years (source: Wakefield Research)
* Only 31% feel they'll have the same best friend 20 years from now (source: Wakefield Research)
* Only 33% feel they'll be living in the same house – will have to take their LED bulbs with them (source: Wakefield Research)

Americans Have Some Bulb-Changing to Do

* More than one-fifth of Americans (22%) are currently using between 11-20 incandescent bulbs in their homes (source: IKEA Global Study)
* That said, nearly 30% are only using between 1-5 incandescent bulbs in their homes (source: IKEA Global Study)

What Eco Generation? Turns Out More Boomers are Buying LEDs

* More Americans over the age of 40 have bought an LED bulb than those 18-39 (source: Wakefield Research)
* Knowledge Gap: 28% of Americans 18-29 are not sure of the cost of LED bulbs (source: IKEA Global Study) *

*Survey Methodology Notes

The IKEA survey was conducted by Wakefield Research ( among 1,006 nationally representative Americans, ages 18 and older, between September 10th and September 17th, 2012, using an email invitation and an online survey. Quotas have been set to ensure reliable and accurate representation of the U.S. adult population 18 and older. Results of any sample are subject to sampling variation. The magnitude of the variation is measurable and is affected by the number of interviews and the level of the percentages expressing the results. For the interviews conducted in this particular study, the chances are 95 in 100 that a survey result does not vary, plus or minus, by more than 3.1 percentage points from the result that would be obtained if interviews had been conducted with all persons in the universe represented by the sample. The IKEA global survey was conducted by YouGov among 6,000 consumers in China, Russia, Germany, UK, the United States and Sweden in July 2012.