HB LEDs take spotlight at Strategies in Light conference

March 9, 2010
The high-brightness (HB) LED market is humming, and the nearly 3000 registrants at Strategies in Light 2010 showed that the industry recognized that hum.

The high-brightness (HB) LED market is humming, and the nearly 3000 registrants at Strategies in Light 2010 showed that the industry recognized that hum. With nearly 90 sponsors and exhibitors, the conference set all-time records.

To address the demand and buzz, conference leadership added new programs such as a separate lighting track to meet the needs of "luminaire" aficionados and a new Solid-State Lighting (SSL) Investor Forum for venture capitalists and investment bankers. Presentations were given by 12 by-invitation-only start-up companies and also included a panel discussion of solid-state lighting VCs.

The HB LED market in 2010 is expected to climb 53% to $8.2 billion, according to Bob Steele, conference co-chair and director of Strategies Unlimited's LEDS practice, who presented his highly positive market forecast at the conference. His forecast calls for HB LED market growth to $20.2 billion by 2014, driven mainly by the market for LCD backlights and lighting applications.

Via Twitter and Linked in, the industry had plenty to say about the conference and about the HB LED market. “I just returned from my first ‘Strategies in Light’ conference, and as a newcomer to this industry, I have to say that I was struck by the complexity of this industry,” said Jonathan Baptist, physics student at San Jose State, on LinkedIn. “It seemed as if there was a separate group of companies for every part of the process. There were materials companies, thermal management companies, power driver companies, companies that provide testing services, companies that make software tools, companies that make the optics for the diodes, companies that made complete packages for end users, and oh, there were even a few companies there that fabricated actual dies.”

Baptist wanted to know if this fragmentation was good thing. “You were also looking at one of the few ‘large volume’ ends of the photonics business, most other products tend to be niches, which means horizontal fragmentation with unique technologies to address each market,” replied David Huff, vice president, business development at Clear Align. “The other large volume parts [of the optoelectronics market] are things like optical drives and multi-mode fiber optics. Check OIDA for broad market perspectives.”

An LEDs Magazine article reviewed the conference presentation by Jed Dorsheimer, principle senior equity analyst at Canaccord Adams. “Dorsheimer projected a bright near-term outlook driven by the LED-backlit TV market. Dorsheimer predicts that LED penetration in the TV backlight market will hit 74-85% by 2012. He believes that the industry will experience significant under capacity beginning this year and a 70 to 100 billion LED deficit by 2012.” The article continues, “Today, Dorsheimer estimates the LED portion of the BOM at $25. He believes that number needs to drop to $4 to enable a $10 retail price for a 1000 lm bulb. Dorsheimer also discussed how the industry might get to lower prices. He sees a move to larger wafers as key.”

Next year Strategies in Light will be held February 23-25, 2011 in Santa Clara. Strategies in Light is produced by Strategies Unlimited and PennWell. Also be sure to check into LED Japan/Strategies in Light and Strategies in Light Europe, which debuts this year in Frankfurt, Germany in September. —Gail Overton

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