Color Kinetics (CLRK – NASDAQ) is a rapidly growing LED lighting company. The company is poised to benefit from the migration of LED lighting from specialty color applications such as entertainment, TV production and exhibit displays to mainstream white lighting for commercial and residential uses. LED white light technology has the potential for much greater energy efficiency than existing lighting technologies.
Color Kinetics designs, markets and licenses intelligent solid-state lighting systems. Its systems use semiconductor devices known as light emitting diodes (LEDs) as the light source. LED lamps produce light without any filament, gas or moving parts. And they have much longer lives (about 25,000 plus hours versus 1,000 for incandescent bulbs and 20,000 for fluorescent tubes).
The commercial market for white light LEDs is just emerging, as the efficiency of LEDs has grown dramatically in recentyears and prices have declined. The potential market is enormous, estimated at $102 billion worldwide. Prices for white light LEDs remain prohibitive for the mass market at present, but technological advances should increase the cost efficiency of white LEDs in the next couple of years. Still, due to the higher cost of LEDs, the “cost of light” over the lifetime of a lamp (measured in dollars per million lumen hours) on which big purchasers make decisions remains higher than fluorescents, but is converging quickly.
According to a 2004 U.S. Department of Energy report, if solid-state lighting achieves projected price and performance targets: 3.5 quadrillion BTUs of primary energy could be saved by 2025; solid-state lighting could decrease national energy consumption for lighting by 29 percent; and more than forty 1000 megawatt power plants could be deferred, contributing to a cleaner environment and a more reliable electrical transmission and distribution system.