Ikea stores to sell only LED lighting by 2016

Plymouth Meeting, Pa. -- Ikea said Monday that it plans to sell only energy-efficient LED lighting by 2016. The move comes two years after the Swedish retailer phased out incandescent bulbs.

Ikea said it believes the shift to the longer-lasting bulbs will help set an environmentally friendly example in the industry. It also will help save the company about $10 million to $20 million a year, or 10%, in lighting costs at its 300 stores around the globe, said Steve Howard, the company's chief sustainability officer.

"You can have kids, they can grow up and go to college and you can have the same light," Howard said of LED bulbs, which can last about 20 years — longer than incandescent or halogen bulbs. "There's money to make in your own ceiling."

Ikea announced in 2010 that it planned to have all incandescent bulbs out of its stores by 2011. The company then shifted toward only selling more efficient options including compact fluorescent bulbs, LED and halogen lamps.

While the purchase price for LED bulbs remains more than the other options, LEDs are more efficient and give off better light, Howard said. LEDs still cost several times more than other bulbs.

"We think that this can drive market acceptance in a good way," he said of the shift by the company. The all-LED shift will take place by a combination of taking the other items off the shelves and just letting them sell out, Howard said.