NEMA's shipment indexes for T5 and T8 linear fluorescent lamps increased 30.2 and 12.5 percent, respectively, during the first half of 2011 compared to the same period last year. Moreover, the Q2 2011 index values for both T5 and T8 lamps were at record highs. Meanwhile, first-half shipments of T12 lamps declined 11.1 percent on a year-over-year basis.

There were nominal variations in the market shares for each lamp type during Q2 2011. T5 and T8 lamps increased their share of the combined market by 0.2 and 0.1 percentage points to 7.6 and 62.4 percent, respectively. T12 lamps gave back 0.3 percentage points, decreasing to 30 percent in the lead up to next summer's phase-out of these lamps.

Meanwhile, NEMA's shipment index of incandescent lamps increased for the second consecutive quarter in Q2 2011, showing an improvement of 5.6 percent over the same period last year. Conversely, the index for compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) declined for the fifth consecutive quarter. Moreover, the rate of decline in the shipments index accelerated to 18.5 percent on a year-over-year basis (YTY) versus 16.8 percent YTY and 8.7 percent YTY during Q1 2011 and Q4 2010, respectively.

The incandescent lamp share of 80 percent for the combined incandescent-CFL market is the highest reading since Q4 2007. Weakening demand for CFLs drove down its share of the combined CFL-incandescent market to 20 percent. The sales ratio for CFLs decreased to one out of every five lamps from one in four lamps ratio exhibited during the previous two years.

All of which makes us wonder, are nostalgia buffs and hoarders driving that growth in demand for incandescent lamps?