After an outstanding fourth quarter 2014, which saw the highest lighting-equipment demand since the third quarter of 2008, first-quarter 2015 activity “has to be labeled disappointing,” said National Lighting Bureau Executive Director John Bachner. Quarter-over-quarter data show that first-quarter 2015 demand was 3.6% below fourth-quarter 2014 demand, and, according to Bachner, “essentially the same overall as that recorded during the second quarter of 2014.”
Lighting-equipment-demand data are provided via the NEMA Lighting-Systems Index (LSI), a seasonality- and inflation-adjusted composite measure of luminaires, ballasts, miniature lamps, large lamps, and emergency lighting shipped throughout the United States by NEMA’s lighting-equipment manufacturers. NEMA used 2002 data to create the LSI’s 100-point benchmark.
Although first-quarter 2015 data are disappointing, NEMA Director of Statistical Operations Stacey Harrison pointed out that first-quarter 2015 performance outpaced first-quarter 2014 results by 1.4%, thanks to increased shipments of emergency lighting and fixtures. Shipments of ballasts and large- and miniature-lamp components declined year over year, he said.
According to Bachner, first-quarter 2015 performance should sow seeds of optimism. He said, “Stronger year-over-year emergency-lighting and fixture sales suggest that the commercial market has finally been making its long-awaited comeback. We also need to consider how new technology – light-emitting diode (LED) technology, in particular – may be affecting markets. In other words, while we may be disappointed, what we may be seeing is not so much a decline as a change in what’s being purchased and how what’s being purchased may affect demand. We expect second-quarter 2015 results to be more revealing.”
Established in 1976, the National Lighting Bureau is an independent, IRS-recognized not-for-profit, educational foundation that has served as a trusted lighting-information source since 1976. The Bureau’s services – all provided free of charge – are 100% dependent upon the funding provided by its sponsors: professional societies, trade associations, manufacturers, and agencies of the U.S. government, now including, among others:
- A.L.P. Lighting Components, Inc.;
- GE Lighting;
- Illuminating Engineering Society of North America (IES);
- Imperial Lighting Maintenance Company;
- interNational Association of Lighting Management Companies (NALMCO);
- International Landscape Lighting Institute;
- Jan & Brooke Luminae, LLC;
- Lighting Controls Association;
- Lutron Electronics Company, Inc.;
- National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA);
- National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA);
- OSRAM SYLVANIA;
- U.S. General Services Administration; and
- Viscor Group of Companies.
A founding sponsor of the National Lighting Bureau, NEMA is the association of electrical-equipment and medical-imaging manufacturers, established in 1926 and headquartered in Rosslyn, Virginia. NEMA’s 400-plus member companies manufacture a diverse set of products, including – in addition to lighting systems – power-transmission and distribution equipment, factory-automation and control systems, and medical-diagnostic-imaging systems. Total U.S. shipments for electroindustry products exceed $100 billion annually.