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Why It Matters

Lighting is essential but often inefficient.

Lighting accounts for 15% of global electricity use - more than the electricity generates by all nuclear plants worldwide. It extends human activity into dark hours and expands the spaces that are useful beyond those that are sunlit. Lighting is essential for modern life.

But much of the source for lighting - incandescent and fluorescent lighting - is energy inefficient. Light-emitting diodes (LEDs), in contrast, are the brighter and efficient lighting choice that can help commercial and residential buildings become more energy efficient.

LEDs: efficient, brighter, longer-lasting.

LEDs are semiconductors that contain a circuit board, with a light switch acting as the keyboard. LEDs work like solar panels in reverse, converting electrons to photons instead of the other way around. LEDs have a broad range of applications, from electronics, displays, monitors, Christmas lights, and of course, lighting buildings. 

One of the big appeal of LEDs is their energy efficiency. When turned on, an LED uses 90% less energy for the same amount of light than an incandescent bulb, and half as much as a compact fluorescent. LEDs transfer 80% of their energy use into creating light, rather than heat like older technologies. They also last much longer - 25 years when turned on five hours a day. This translates to 10-30% return on investment if you buy and replace older lighting fixtures with LEDs.

All of these benefits translates into cutting emissions associated with energy use. If 90% of all households and 82% of commercial buildings are lit by LEDs, we can avoid up to 17.5 gigatons of CO2 emissions by 2050. 

These companies are making it happen.

In the Climate Index, we take all of the companies making LEDs, take out the ones that specialize in LEDs for purposes other than building lighting, and further exclude companies that derive a greater share of revenue from fossil fuel-dependent business than from LED lighting. And as always, we exclude penny stocks whose share prices were lower than $0.50 in our last update. 

This means that the Climate Index includes all of the LED companies that are at the forefront of improving building energy efficiency through manufacturing the best lighting option there is.

If you are a Carbon Collective member, you own all of these companies through the Climate Index.

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