Legislation and technology improvements to illuminate world LED lighting markets

Paul Boughton

Low penetration in indoor lighting applications has, so far, been a bane for the light emitting diode (LED) market. However, improving technology and supportive legislation are set to push residential buildings – the largest lighting application sector – into adopting LED technology for their lighting needs.
New analysis from Frost & Sullivan World LED Lighting Markets (2012 Update), finds that the market earned revenues of $3,573.5 million in 2011 and estimates this to reach $23,242.7 million by 2018.[Page Break]
“The LED lighting market is being driven by legislation that will essentially phase out incandescent lighting and other inefficient lighting technologies,” noted Frost & Sullivan Industry Analyst Hammam Ahmed. “This will effectively narrow the competition for LED lighting. Declining LED prices will further boost the demand for, and penetration of, LED across multiple lighting applications.”
The European Union has been among the first to adopt legislation supporting the withdrawal and ban on the production and sale of incandescent lighting. Although such legislation will be implemented in multiple phases, it has already begun to have an impact on the demand side.[Page Break]
Similar policies have been adopted and, in some cases, implemented in countries like the United States, Switzerland, Canada and Australia. In Asia, Japan, China, Taiwan and Korea are also adopting supportive legislation, with some of these countries even offering financial incentives to consumers and manufacturers.
Pricing and technology have been the key factors limiting the penetration of LED in general lighting. However, sharp and continued declines in prices, are expected to help LEDs achieve price parity with other lighting technologies by the turn of the decade.
However, while prices are declining, it is important for manufacturers to provide better value for money. This implies that the lumens per dollar ratio needs to improve.[Page Break]
“R&D in this respect has been a priority for manufacturers, and improvements are being made in brightness, design and quality of components to overcome this challenge,” stated Hammam.“It remains to be seen how customers receive these new product developments.”
Manufacturers will also need to address the pricing pressure that has developed over the last year to make sustainable, long-term growth plans.
“Participants from Eastern Asia, who have the ability to compete on prices, need to address quality issues to expand into the more developed markets of North America and Europe,” concluded Hammam.“Leading market participants, on the other hand, need to offer high quality products and explore avenues for reducing cost of production.”
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