I was speaking at a energy efficiency event yesterday hosted by Fountain Blue / Applied Materials (A Redwood smart lighting customer) where someone in the audience asked me: Is there any reason we should still be buying fluorescents at this point? Wow, how far, how fast we've come. For those that track lighting, LEDs have long "penciled" for certain applications - such as street lights, or signage, or increasingly, for downlights, spotlights, and mid-power lamps (Par38s). But what has remained the "last bastion", and certainly the the last viable alternative, the linear fluorescent, is now under seige.
To be credible, in my answer I did I concede that we're not ready to utterly close the door on fluorescents for commercial spaces. After all, present realities are that fluorescent lights still have some first cost advantages, are still strong on energy performance (especially compared to all other non-LED options for interiors around incandescent, halogen, CFL. I then went on to explain that there could be some circumstances around maintenance, color quality, sustainability, etc. that could compel you over to LEDs today. I also mentioned some custom applications, such as refrigeration, where LEDs are far and away more compelling.
Perhaps more fundamentally, that the question was framed as it was... any reason left to use fluorescents at all... gives me reason to think that general adoption may run faster than predicted. Certainly, this present wave of LED viability, performance improvement and cost reductions for 2x2 and 2x4 and 1x4 LED fixtures seem to be running faster than Haitz's Law (akin to Moore's law, a doubling of performance/cost every 18 months.) I'd like to see someone chart this and show the inflection/speed up were seeing. Please feel free to email anything you find as well to jeremy (at) redwoodsys.com