Amanda Slocum


Solid-state lighting (SSL) is an emerging technology that is projected to provide substantial energy savings over conventional lighting sources by 2025. There is a growing concern over the consequences of climate change, largely attributed to anthropogenic emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2; a greenhouse gas) from fossil fuel combustion. Currently fossil-fuel combustion accounts for 70% of electricity produced in the U.S., and end-use lighting applications alone consume approximately one-fifth of this electricity. Therefore, replacing conventional lighting sources with energy-efficient SSL has the potential to significantly reduce electricity consumption which can in turn reduce CO2 emissions. However, previous research has shown there is a so-called 'energy-efficiency gap' between the energy-efficient technologies that are available at a point in time, and those that are actually used. Thus, while the innovation of new energy-efficient lighting holds the potential to reduce the intensity of energy use in buildings, this savings will not be realized unless these energyefficient technologies are adopted by consumers. This research has two primary objectives: (1) to quantify the reductions in carbon dioxide emissions which can be achieved through the diffusion of SSL through the commercial building sector, and (2) to explore how policies might be used to accelerate the diffusion of SSL technology into the commercial building sector. This thesis uses simulation modeling to explore SSL technology diffusion in the commercial building sector. A solid-state lighting commercial market penetration (SSL CMP) model is constructed in STELLA, a graphical dynamic simulation software tool. The SSL CMP model simulates the process of SSL technology diffusion between 2005 and 2025, and calculates the CO2 emission reductions which will accompany the adoption of this new technology. The model is based on a probit model of technology diffusion, but will also incorporate the epidemic theory of diffusion. Policy instruments are tested using the SSL &D); an electricity tax; a rebate; and an information program. Combinations of these policy instruments are used in six different scenarios. These scenarios are simulated by incorporating these policies into the SSreduction from projected CO2 annual emissions due to commercial lighting in 2025. Scenario 2 (Medium R&D)is able to achieve a 23% reduction of emissions by this year. The rebate policy is found to generate earlier SSL market adoption and emission reductions, by approximately two years. The information program is able to accelerate the rate of market adoption. Finally, the vast majority of energy savings are found to be from one sector of the commercial building lighting market: the very high color rendering index (VH CRI) bin, indicating that incandescent lighting should be the focus of policy efforts to replace conventional lighting with SSL.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Light emitting diodes; Greenhouse gas mitigation; Technology transfer--Computer simulation

Publication Date


Document Type


Department, Program, or Center

Department of Science Technology and Society/Public Policy (CLA)


Winebrake, James

Advisor/Committee Member

Coleman, Mark

Advisor/Committee Member

Hira, Ronil


Note: imported from RIT’s Digital Media Library running on DSpace to RIT Scholar Works. Physical copy available through RIT's The Wallace Library at: TK7871.89.L53 S56 2004


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