Lighting Science Group Corp., a lighting manufacturer sharing the eco-friendly lighting sector with Cree, Inc. (Nasdaq: CREE) of Durham, NC, announced yesterday that in Q1 of this year it produced one million LED light bulbs.
“Today,” observed Lighting Science CEO Jim Haworth in a quiet ceremony, “we celebrate not only past successes, but encouraging present trends, and the promise of a sustainable, job-creating, green future made possible by LED lighting solutions. Indicative of our company’s solid growth and numerous accomplishments is that while last year we produced and sold 1 million bulbs primarily in the second half of last year, this year, we surpassed the 1 million bulb milestone in just a few months.”
In its press release for the occasion, the company noted that it had produced not only the first, but also the most Energy Star qualified bulbs. The EPA administrator came along to help celebrate the occasion.
“These LED lights prevent harmful emissions from entering our air, while also cutting electricity costs for American families and creating jobs for American workers,” said EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson. “We’re proud to join with Lighting Science Group and all our Energy Star partners to show how protecting our environment inspires new innovations and builds off one of America’s greatest talents: using ingenuity to improve our economy while at the same time improving our health and the health of our children. Innovations like these are critical to a clean, secure and affordable energy future.”
The company cites among its LED lighting achievements such customers and installations as the International Space Station, the Times Square Ball, retail chain Yankee Candle, Starbucks, the cities of Dallas, Mexico City, Salt Lake City,Washington, D.C., and Lewiston, ME, as well as military installations such as the Naval Base in Ventura County, CA. They credit much of their success to the “help and support of Pegasus Capital Advisors and other investors.”
EPA Administrator Jackson’s comment about company efforts preventing “harmful emissions” is a reference to mercury used in many other classes of lighting device. LEDs make no use of mercury and their light is often subjectively regarded as ‘more natural’.
Industry analysts continue to have bright expectations for LEDs, mostly due to efforts of governments worldwide to reduce or eliminate the use of standard incandescent bulbs. The U.S. has embarked on a multiphase schedule to virtually eliminate incandescent bulbs over the next few years. Sharing the profits anticipation, Cree’s website maintains a running countdown clock to the end of the first phase in January 2012, which late Tuesday showed 214 days, seven hours, 47 minutes, and 46 seconds remaining. Cree, however, has not been as fortunate in its share prices as Lighting Science, with Cree shares now down to $44.83 from a January 2010 high of $63.95, compared to Lighting Science’s shares’ meteoric climb in the same period from about $0.90 to their present $3.20.
Strategies Unlimited, which organizes LED conferences and exhibitions through its 12-year-old annual ‘Strategies in Light®’ convention, reported on its website “a 93% surge in the HB LED market for 2010 to a total of $10.8 billion, and forecast growth to $18.9 billion by 2015, driven mainly by the market for LCD display backlights and lighting applications.”