High-brightness LED market up 68% in 2010

Sept. 30, 2010
Yokohama, Japan--The overall market for high-brightness light emitting diodes (HB LEDs) will grow a whopping 68% this year to reach $9.1 billion according to Strategies Unlimited.

Yokohama, Japan--The overall market for high-brightness light emitting diodes (HB LEDs) will grow a whopping 68% this year to reach $9.1 billion. That’s the forecast presented during the opening session of LED Japan/Strategies in Light 2010 this week by conference chair and Strategies Unlimited analyst Dr. Robert Steele.

Now in its third year LED Japan/Strategies in Light attracted almost 200 executives from many countries to Yokohama, where the event is collocated with BioOpto Japan 2010 and InterOpto 2010.

Steele said that the biggest market growth drivers are LED backlights for LCD televisions and monitors followed by lighting. Looking forward, he predicted a compound annual growth rate for the HB LED market of 27.8% through 2014, meaning that global sales will reach $18.4 billion.

During his market review, Steele noted that the dramatic decline in LED sales during the first quarter of 2009 was followed by three quarters of solid growth, driven primarily by the demand for LED backlighting for notebook PCs and LCD TVs, and by lighting. The end result being that the market gained 6.2% in 2009 to reach sales of $5.4 billion.

While discussing the market segmentation for 2009, Steele said that growth was variable across segments and ranged from -18% for automotive to +27% for illumination. Mobile appliances (phones, notebook PCs, cameras and the like) remain the largest market segment at 42%. Sales of LEDs for mobile phones are declining however, but other mobile applications (such as smartphones, digital cameras, and portable video games) are still driving new growth.

Among the other segments, Steele explained that although sales of HB LEDs for cars had fallen in 2009, the drop was unrelated to LED market dynamics but instead to the overall decline in car sales caused by the global economic recession. Penetration of exterior and interior lighting functions continues, he said, and as auto production recovers from the recession so too will sales of LEDs for these applications. In fact for 2010 Steele forecast that the automobile segment will grow by more than 10%.

The global recession also affected the overall market for lighting (not just LED-based lighting). A precipitous drop in new construction during 2009 pushed lighting sales down about 15%. Nonetheless sales of HB LEDs for illumination (about 12% of the total market in 2009) remained robust and grew by 27% to $665 million.

At the end-user level, Steele predicts that the LED-based lamp replacement and luminaire market—which reached $2.97 billion in 2009--will grow 35% in 2010. Among the market drivers is the fact that major firms including the likes of Starbucks and Wal-Mart are currently adopting retrofit projects to replace their existing lighting with LED-based systems.

Posted by Steve Anderson

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