Swedish retail giant IKEA has announced a total global halt to sales of halogen or fluorescent lighting.

As of 1 September 2015, only LED light bulbs will be sold at IKEA stores worldwide. The retailer has also committed to a pricing policy that will make the technology affordable.

“With household electricity bills continuing to rise rapidly and global energy consumption increasing, the LED lighting will have a big impact,” IKEA USA chief sustainability officer Steve Howard said. “Building on our belief that everyone should be able to afford to live more sustainably at home, we will make sure our LED prices are affordable for the many.”

Since 2013, the retailer’s US customers have purchased 7.6 million LED bulbs, delivering an estimated saving of close to US$3 billion on household energy bills.

Uptake of LEDs by households has rapidly gathered momentum, with studies by the company in 2012 and 2015 finding that in 2012, 39 per cent of Americans had purchased multiple LED bulbs, and in 2015 that number had grown to 51 per cent.

“Using less energy reduces greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to climate change. Changing a light bulb may seem like a small action but many small actions can lead to a big change,” IKEA US president Lars Petersson said.

“Note that if one million people changed one bulb each into an LED this would be equivalent to taking 6700 cars off the road or planting 17 million trees per year. That’s significant.”

Canberra solar installation almost complete

Meanwhile in Canberra, the company announced construction is almost complete on a new 26,000 square metre store that has been equipped with close to 2000 solar panels. The store also has LED lighting installed throughout, is heavily insulated and has airlock revolving doors to maintain indoor temperatures.

It’s part of IKEA’s goal of being 100 per cent powered by renewable energy by 2020.

In a Canberra Times report, IKEA Australia’s sustainability manager Richard Wilson said the solar PV was expected to meet 100 per cent of the store’s power needs during daylight hours, an amount equivalent to the power use of 106 average ACT households.

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