Released on Feb. 25th, the fifth annual SYLVANIA Socket Survey  from Osram Sylvania  finds that consumers are adjusting to new legislation and energy-efficient lighting options, with about half saying that they plan to switch to new lighting technologies. Federally mandated legislation, which was enacted in 2007, has already begun phasing out two incandescent-bulb wattages (100W in 2012 and 75W in 2013) and will begin its final phase in January 2014 with 60W and 40W bulbs.
Osram Sylvania’s industry-benchmark Socket Survey shows that 38 percent of those polled are aware that the 100W bulb was phased out in 2012, which is up from just 29 percent last year and 19 percent in 2010. While these findings show an increase in consumer awareness of the initial legislative phase outs, nearly half are unaware that there will be additional wattages phased out in 2014.
“Consumers are taking time to evaluate their lighting choices, which are now more abundant than ever, and accepting more energy-efficient options,” says Rick Leaman, President and CEO, Osram Sylvania. “Our company remains dedicated to offering the very best in next-generation lighting choices because it is our responsibility to keep pace with the ever-changing world of technology to meet the various needs of our consumers.”
More than a third of Americans have evaluated their lighting options in the past six months, and more than half (53 percent) have done so in the past year. With lighting education promoting the acceptance of energy-efficient alternatives and about half of consumers planning to switch to new technologies, it is evident that consumers are shifting their lighting preferences based on their understanding of the evolving industry.
Commissioned annually by Osram Sylvania, the Sylvania Socket Survey is the industry’s foremost national measurement of the evolving consumer lighting landscape. Now, in its fifth year, the survey shows a significant decrease — a 16 percent drop year over year — in those who said that they have incandescent bulbs in their homes. About one in 10 consumers say that they have LED bulbs in sockets.
Additional findings of the 2012 Sylvania Socket Survey include:
Consumer Habit and Trends
· Since 2008, the number of consumers that listed “burned out or broken" as their main reason for switching out their bulbs dropped by 10 percent. 68 percent of Americans say that they have switched lighting for increased energy efficiency.
· While replacement of burned out or broken bulbs and energy efficiency remain as top reasons why consumers choose to switch bulbs, they are increasingly interested in the amount of light (up 16 percent since 2008) and quality of the light color produced (up 19 percent since 2008).
· Longevity, brightness, energy efficiency and price are the top light bulb evaluation factors and are considered important by nine in 10 consumers.
· Instituted in last year’s survey, the value that consumers are placing on their lighting products being made in America has increased, as 77 percent of Americans now believe it is important that their bulbs are “Made in America.”
Phase-Out Preparedness and New Technology Adoption
· Consumers are evenly split about their awareness of the phase-out of additional wattages through 2014.
· Six in 10 consumers say that they are more excited about the phase-out than they are concerned about it, yet 28 percent of respondents are still worried, as they prefer using traditional incandescent bulbs.
· Sixteen percent of respondents say that they plan to save up or “hoard” 100W incandescent bulbs while they are still available, which is very similar to the 13 percent that said that they would stockpile 100W bulbs in 2009, 2010 and 2011.
· About half of consumers are likely to switch to alternative technologies, significantly less than in 2010 and 2009. While the remainder is more likely to use lower wattages or stock up on 100W bulbs.
The survey was conducted over an eight-day period in November 2012. More than 300 interviews were conducted via landline and cell phone.