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Future of LED lighting looks bright

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The market for LED lighting is expected to double, from 16 million units in 2012 to a forecasted 33 million in 2013, and will nearly triple by 2016, according to the NPD DisplaySearch “LED Lighting Market and Forecast Report.”

Thanks to significant expansion in manufacturing capacity, falling prices, environmental concerns and government incentives, the demand for this energy-efficient technology is rising, including spot lights, LED luminaries, street lights, LED light bulbs and fluorescent tubes. This demand will reach 90 million in 2016, increasing the global penetration for LED lighting applications to 26% in 2016, up from only 5% in 2012.

The highest growth will be in LED-based tubes that replace fluorescent (FL) tubes used in commercial applications, LED-based street lights, and LED luminaires — innovative designs that produce light across various shapes and sizes.

“LEDs are playing a leading role in the lighting industry, driven primarily by government incentive policies and consumer demand for more efficient light sources with advanced technologies, such as wireless and color control,” said Steven Sher, an analyst with NPD DisplaySearch. “This increased demand will manifest over the next three years, as consumers look to replace their traditional light bulbs with more efficient LED lighting options.”

And which countries, according to the report, will lead this LED lighting demand? Japan and China. Japan has been the largest market for LED lighting applications since 2011, and NPD DisplaySearch projects this dominance will continue through 2016, driven by the adoption of LED bulbs, spot lights, fluorescent tubes and luminaires. LED lighting growth in China will be higher than other regions from 2012 to 2016, thanks to such government policies as the 12th Five-Year Plan, which is already driving demand for LED street lights.

North America and Europe are also experiencing increased demand for LED lighting applications through 2016, particularly for LED fluorescent tubes.

This market opportunity for LED lighting is set against a backdrop of a stagnant market for LEDs in LCD backlighting, which is currently the largest application for LEDs. In 2014, general illumination will pass display backlighting as the largest application for LEDs.

In addition, the market for LED chips has been in oversupply as LED makers have invested in MOCVD equipment, particularly in China. The surplus has caused increased competition and prices to drop dramatically. This is causing higher LED penetration in lighting but lower profits for LED makers, which has led many LED makers to adopt vertical integration. This means that LED chip makers are integrating the chip, phosphor and control circuits to make lighting engines, and LED package makers are integrating the lamp assembly. Finding success in the lighting market requires technical integration, optical design and the development of brand and channel strategies, according to the report.

The NPD DisplaySearch “LED Lighting Market and Forecast Report” analyzes the LED lighting market by region, brand, technology and operation system. This report provides value chain analyses and an analysis of brands’ product roadmaps. 


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