Publication Library

Study: retail prices of LED lamps dropping rapidly

CLASP’s Europe program has studied retail prices for LED lamps finding a rapid rate of price reduction globally and in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, and the United Kingdom.

LED lamp prices have experienced a rapid decline in pricing around the world. Recent analysis of price trend information from LED Insider, US DOE and LBNL shows a strong downward trend globally – from around US$30 per 60W equivalent LED lamp in 2012 to around US$10 per 60W equivalent just four years later – a reduction of 67%.

Focusing on Europe, the price of directional LED lamps has dropped by 80-90% over the last five years. Consumers are experiencing payback periods of just a few months followed by years and years of savings. In 2012, an Ecodesign measure was adopted to steer markets toward high quality, high efficiency lighting products across Europe. Now, starting on 1 September 2016, manufacturers and importers across Europe will stop placing mains-voltage (230V) directional halogen lamps (also called “spot lights”) on the European market. This measure removes the least efficient (D-class) directional lamps from the market, in favour of B-class and better options. There are no C-class directional lamps. This Ecodesign measure is yet another example of how EU product policies can bring significant financial benefits to households across Europe.

Before (Halogen) After (LED)

Please click on the links below to download a PDF copy of the LED pricing memo with all the country analyses as Annexes in that memo, or the individual country analyses you can download directly for the five European countries studied:

  • Global – 67% decline between 2012 and 2015; EU country Annexes
  • France – 90% decline in LED lamp prices over the last 6 years
  • United Kingdom – 85% decline in LED prices over the last 6 years
  • Spain – 85% decline in LED prices over the last 5 years
  • Germany – 80% decline in LED lamp prices over the last 5 years
  • Italy – 80% decline in LED lamp prices over the last 4 years


Example case study – Germany

CLASP obtained retail prices of mainstream LED bulbs sold between 2011 and 2016 on Amazon.de and www.gruenspar.de. Models changed over the analysis period, but were normalised to fixed light output of 250 lumens, which is approximately equivalent to a 35W halogen spot light. Only models from major manufacturers, including Philips and Osram, were chosen to ensure a quality sample of lamps. The prices shown were not adjusted for inflation (ie, they are presented as ‘nominal’ Euros) – simply showing the prices when they were listed on the websites. The figure below depicts the case study for Germany, Europe’s largest economy.

This figure shows that, on a ‘per lumen delivered’ basis, these lamps went from approximately €25 in 2011 to just under €5 in 2016. That is an 80% reduction in price in just five years.

On a life-cycle basis, with the purchase and electricity running costs included, this means that German consumers today enjoy a rapid payback from switching from halogen to LED lamps. Consider the following scenario – a 50W Osram Halogen Lamp with a 2,000 hour lifetime, costing €1.50, replaced by OSRAM LED Star PAR16 GU10 lamp, 5.5W LED, 15,000h lifetime and €4.33 from www.gruenspar.de;[1] €0.295/kWh (average residential electricity price for Germany). For sockets operating 2 hours per day, the LED will pay for itself in 4 months, and then go on to operate for a further 20 years, yielding €9.58 of savings each year in electricity costs. If the LED is installed in a socket that operates 4 hours per day, the benefits are even greater – payback is halved to 2 months and annual savings double to €19.17 per year in electricity – with the lamp lasting over 10 years. Thus, in Germany, LED directional lamps offer payback period of 2 to 4 months from switching a halogen spot light, with total savings that will accrue to over €160 per lamp over the LED lamps’ lifetime.[2]

For information on CLASP’s March 2015 report about the mass-market for LED lamps in Europe, please click here.

For information about CLASP’s Europe Program, please click here.


1 Link to the website selling this lamp, accessed on 24 August 2016
2 Total savings per lamp, discounted to 2016 Euros at a 5% discount rate, including electricity savings and replacement halogen lamps (price held constant during analysis period)