NEMA Index Shows Upswing

Silver Spring, MD – The National Lighting Bureau (NLB) reports that second-quarter 2012 NEMA Lighting Systems Index (LSI) performance gained almost 3% over first-quarter 2012’s performance and 6.6% over second-quarter 2011’s. NLB Executive Director John Bachner hailed the data as “cause for continued optimism, especially so because all five categories of lighting systems products tracked by the Index registered solid gains compared to the second quarter of 2011.”

Established in 1998, NEMA’s LSI is a composite measure of luminaires, ballasts, miniature lamps, large lamps, and emergency lighting shipped nationally and internationally from the United States by the 450 companies that comprise the National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA). Adjusted for the season and inflation, the Index uses 2002 data for its 100-point benchmark. View it at

According to NEMA International Economist Tana Farrington, the continued uptick in construction activity, while slow, seems steady. She observed, “Building permits rose nearly 7 percent to 812,000 from June to July, the highest in almost four years. Total housing starts are projected to climb from 612,000 units in 2011 to 755,000 in

2012, 886,000 in 2013 and 1.11 million in 2014, with multi-family starts expected to see outsized gains both this year and next.”

Nonresidential construction is not faring as well; advance data for the second quarter of 2012 indicate an almost 4 percent drop on an annualized basis, in part because of a significant decline in publically funded infrastructure investment.On a positive note, Ms. Farrington pointed out that “commercial construction fared somewhat better, posting a second consecutive quarter of near 10 percent annualized growth.”

Ms. Farrington and Mr. Bachner concurred that a sustained turnaround will not likely occur before late 2013: Employment and income growth remain somewhat weak and forward-looking architecture billings are anemic.

Established in 1976, the National Lighting Bureau is an independent, IRS-recognized not-for-profit, educational foundation that has served as a trusted lighting-information source since 1976. The Bureau is supported by the generous funding of its sponsors professional societies, trade associations, manufacturers, and agencies of the U.S. government, including, among others

    • enLIGHTen America
    • GE Lighting
    • Illuminating Engineering Society of North America (IES);
    • Imperial Lighting Maintenance Company;
    • interNational Association of Lighting Management Companies (NALMCO);
    • Lighting Controls Association;
    • Lutron Electronics Company, Inc.;
    • Lighting Alternatives, Inc.;
    • Magnaray;
    • National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA);
    • National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA);
    • Philips Lighting; 
    • U.S. General Services Administration.

Obtain more information about the Bureau by visiting its website ( or contacting its staff at or 301/587-9572.

NEMA is a founding sponsor of the National Lighting Bureau and creator of the enLIGHTen America communications campaign ( NEMA members manufacture a wide range of products used in the generation, transmission, distribution, and control of electricity, as well as innumerable end-use products in addition to those used in lighting. Worldwide sales of NEMA members’ products exceed $120 billion.