The state of LEDs: Falling prices, smart homes, and global factors
From 2012 to 2014, LED installations moved from 13 to 78 million and replacement of traditional bulbs continues. Now, however, it’s the new applications for solid-state lighting and its role in the collection and processing of data that bodes well in the future for higher margins as energy consumption benefits will be coupled with greater efficiency.
Starting in 2015, consumers began to see the promise of lighting as an important aspect of their “smart” home implementation. Now, lighting manufacturers and mainstream technology brands are expanding on the end-user’s experience through home automation advancements.
According to the recent LEDinside (a division of TrendForce) 2017 Global Sapphire and LED Chip Market Report, the LED chip market value was $6,329 million in 2015, growing 3% to $6,502 million in 2016. During the latter half of 2016, Chinese LED packaging manufacturers scaled up rapidly, targeting advanced applications in general lighting, automotive lighting, and display applications.
LEDinside estimates that China will experience the largest scale of productivity surge, for over 50% of the global LED chip manufacturing productivity in 2017. Osram will complete the construction of its fab in Malaysia by 2017, further expanding capabilities in the region.
Chinese chip manufacturers are still demanding patterned sapphire substrates and Chinese suppliers are increasing output on a large scale. The report also covers advanced technology in the sapphire industry, sapphire equipment, supply-side analysis, market price trends, sapphire market demand in LED industry, and the sapphire market trend in the mobile device industry.
The question always becomes how an industry can move effectively and efficiently from a focus of having its technology adopted to being able to commercialize a newer focus into smart homes. Where, globally, will the adaptation take place, and who will be nimble enough to garner a respectable share of the market?