African consumers are ditching old-style electric light bulbs for LEDs, with the continent’s smart lighting market now forecast to reach US$5.49 billion by 2028.
By Seth Onyango
Africa’s demand for LED lighting is set to surge in the next five years, as governments promote the use of energy-efficient and environmentally-friendly bulbs.
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In an LED, or light-emitting diode, an electric current passes through a microchip, rather than a wire filament. LED’s are some 90% more efficient than the older, incandescent bulbs.
UN’s new Africa Environment Outlook for Business forecast shows the market for LED’s in Africa will grow from $3.71 billion in 2023 to $5.49 billion by 2028.
That translates to a year-on-year growth rate of just over 8% during this projected period, presenting a lucrative opportunity for businesses in the lighting sector.
Across Africa, the outlook notes, governments are supporting the use and sales of LEDs through various policies and initiatives.
In May 2021, an amendment was proposed by representatives from Africa to the Minamata Convention on Mercury, a global treaty that aims to protect human health and the environment from the adverse effects of mercury.
The amendment would restrict the special exemptions for mercury in lighting, paving the way for LED’s mass adoption and energy saving across the regions.
“The restraint from the special exemptions for mercury in lighting would pave the way for LED for mass adoption, giving power grids relief through energysaving across the regions,” states the report in part.
However, access to electricity remains a significant challenge to greater demand for LED lighting.
Governments and private organisations are now looking to expand the reach of electricity with off-grid power alternatives and by boosting conventional and renewable energy generation projects to reach a far wider population.
According to IMARC Group’s comprehensive analysis, East Africa’s LED lighting landscape is blossoming, buoyed by government-backed, LED product price reductions and an uptick in consumer awareness.
Kenya emerges as the region’s LED champion, with its dominance due to 75% electricity access – encompassing both grid and off-grid solutions – the highest in East Africa.
Delving into application sectors, the commercial domain takes the lion’s share, with street lights reigning supreme in product categorisation.
Retail stores predominantly serve as the principal distribution channels across East Africa.
In South Africa, according to a report provided by Bonafide Research, the market is expected to add some US$1.24 billion in value by 2028.
Lower LED prices, energy savings and increasing acceptance of LED lighting in various sectors such as industrial buildings are expected to drive the growth of the LED lighting market.
Nigeria, meanwhile, is expected to save some US$2,47 billion in fluorescent lighting phase-out, by 2025.
“Lighting plays a critical role in promoting energy efficiency and sustainability… and it’s directly related to mitigating the effects of climate change,” said the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) Director General, Farouk Salim.