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Fast Growth in LED Industry

By Danielle Stewart

LEDinside published an expansive report in November about the state of the LED industry. While some of the findings were expected, other results were surprising, to say the least. The LED industry generated $2.66 billion in 2012, which was a 23.5 percent increase over the previous year. Decreasing prices and technical improvements in color quality and luminosity have led to increased demand in all sectors, but architectural and indoor lighting saw the biggest increases.

LEDinside expects low- and mid-power lighting products to dominate the market in 2013. For example, Samsung's 5630 LED can generate up to 50 lumens of light with 0.5 watts of electricity. The Philips 75-watt equivalent LED bulb generates 1,100 lumens with 17 watts of electricity, which is about 65 percent as efficient. The cost per lumen is also much lower for low- and mid-power LED products.

Technical improvements

Price, rather than efficiency or color quality, drives current growth. Falling prices have led to 17.6 percent global market penetration in a few short years with stable growth predicted until the end of the decade.

The 2011 Japanese earthquake and tsunami increased LED market penetration in that country up to 50 percent, and LED shipments to the country doubled in a single year. Some vendors expect to reach up to 90 percent market penetration.

The United States is poised to become the next big LED market for several reasons:

  • U.S. consumers quickly adopted CFL bulbs when they dropped in price. Due to manufacturing and technical improvements and increased competition, LEDs are also experiencing severe price cuts.

  • State governments and utility companies are offering rebates, tax credits, and other incentives to purchase LED bulbs for residential use.

  • U.S. regulations are phasing out traditional incandescent bulbs. Manufacturing has ceased on many incandescent bulbs, and current inventories are drying up. Consumers must increasingly choose between CFLs and LEDs for lighting applications.

Increased competition

As emerging markets open up, thousands of small LED manufacturers will compete for market share. However, the top 10 LED manufacturers will control nearly a third of the global market share. Philips alone will account for 10 percent.

As the industry grows, LED bulb manufacturers will begin adopting product standards. Conversely, LED lamp manufacturers will continue to customize their products and will likely move away from industry standards.

Commercial LEDs market

The consumer market is not alone in their adoption of LEDs. Additional studies have shown LEDs will gain in popularity within the commercial market as costs for LEDs continue to drop.


Danielle Stewart has contributed to TriplePundit on a regular basis since the beginning of 2012. Her topics are current events and research in commercial lighting. You can find more on this and other information on the P-2 blog at P-2.com.

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