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How the LED Industry Will Revitalize American Manufacturing

2011-08-10

LEDs have become a common household name.  People understand the basics, how they can save money, time and most importantly energy! What most people do not know is that American manufacturing has already been positively affected by the LED industry.  According to the US Department of Energy “In 2007, lighting manufacturers employed almost 60,000 people nationwide and shipped products valued at $13.5 billion.”

While LEDs have been in the market place as indicator lights for many years the new generation of high power, high brightness LEDs are allowing lighting manufacturers to replace traditional general lighting; this has led to many new start-up companies within the United States.  According to the DOE “In 2009 alone, U.S. companies, many of them start-ups, raised about $300 million in venture capital for advanced lighting products.”  Many of these homegrown companies have completed major installations for municipalities and corporations.

Most buyers understand the need to use an American product not only for the positive effects on the American economy but also because of the stringent testing that many of these fixtures undergo resulting in a high quality product. Many American made LED fixtures go through rigorous testing processes by the Department of Energy, the Illuminating Engineering Society (IES), Energy Star, and Underwriters Laboratories (UL).  Among other things, these tests ensure the lighting fixture is robust, will last, will disperse light in a useable form, and that it will save you the energy that the manufacturer claims.  These certifications and tests results simplify buying decision for consumers and allow them to confidently adapt to innovative high quality American made LED products.

And while buyers tend to prefer American products, American LED manufactures prefer to manufacture their products in the United States due to their inability to maintain manufacturing control abroad.

While manufacturing LED products for general illumination is still new, most people understand that LED lighting is the wave of the future.   Keeping LED manufacturing in the United States will continue to revitalize the manufacturing sector and also stimulate the American economy.  According to the US DOE throughout the World “The growth of LED production increased 55 percent in 2010 to a market value of $9.9 billion (81 billion units produced;23% of the 2010 production occurred in the US). This steep growth is expected to continue through 2015, when market values are expected to hit about $18 billion.”  If the United States can continue to manufacture LED products and gain an even larger piece of the market by 2015 this innovative industry will have a profound effect on American manufacturing.

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