NEMA Lighting Systems Index: Fourth-Quarter 2009 Performance Gives Reason for Optimism, NLB Says

NEMA Lighting Systems Index: Fourth-Quarter 2009 Performance Gives Reason for Optimism, NLB Says
Type : News
Silver Spring, MD: The National Lighting Bureau (NLB) reports that performance of the NEMA Lighting Systems Index (LSI) was 4.1% higher in the fourth-quarter of 2009 than in the third-quarter, marking the second consecutive quarter of improvement.

Established in 1998, the NEMA Lighting Systems Index is a composite measure of lamps, luminaires, ballasts, emergency lighting, exit signs, and other lighting products shipped nationally and internationally from the United States by the 450 companies that comprise the National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA).

As in the third quarter, every covered lighting equipment category except emergency lighting showed improvement, pushing the LSI level to 77.0. The Index uses 2002 data for its 100-point benchmark.

“A two-quarter uptick gives us reasons for optimism,” said NLB Executive Director John Bachner, “but it’s still far too early to celebrate. While we finished 2009 with better quarterly performance than we began it, the fact remains that 2009 was the LSI’s worst year on record.”

Bachner commented that residential lighting shipments were stronger in 2009 than 2008, principally because of the federal government’s first-time-homebuyer tax credit programs. “It’s difficult to be confident about residential-market projections, because of the impact of the incentive programs,” Bachner said. “These programs will end, and we cannot be sure if they’ve primed the pump. The market remains fragile. More foreclosures could be devastating, and – unfortunately – more foreclosures are a distinct possibility.”

Brian Lego, NEMA’s director of economic analysis, commenting on commercial and industrial lighting-system demand, said the market “is poised to weaken for the foreseeable future as conditions in most commercial real estate markets will remain poor through 2011… Commercial lighting equipment demand might benefit from retrofitting activity, but businesses will likely keep spending on hold for new lighting systems until growth in final demand is healthier and more sustainable.”

Lego observed that outdoor lighting “associated with public-sector infrastructure projects should be a bit of bright spot, but even this will be a short-term boost as the bulk of remaining stimulus funds are spent over the course of 2010.”

The NEMA Lighting Systems Index can be viewed at http://www.nlb.org/Index/ .

Established in 1976, the National Lighting Bureau is a not-for-profit, independent, lighting-information source sponsored by professional societies, trade associations, manufacturers, and agencies of the U.S. government, including, among others:
GE Lighting;
Illuminating Engineering Society of North America (IES);
interNational Association of Lighting Management Companies (NALMCO);
Lutron Electronics Company, Inc.;
Magnaray;
National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA);
National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA);
OSRAM SYLVANIA; and
U.S. General Services Administration.
For more information about the Bureau, visit the Bureau’s website (www.nlb.org) or contact Bureau staff at info@nlb.org or 301/587-9572.

NEMA is one of the National Lighting Bureau’s founding sponsors and creator of the enLIGHTen America communications campaign ( http://www.nemasavesenergy.org). NEMA members manufacture a wide range of products used in the generation, transmission, distribution, and control of electricity, as well as innumerable end-use products in addition to those used in lighting. Worldwide sales of NEMA members’ products exceed $120 billion.

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