A flick of a switch at home can set a handful of light bulbs aglow. Open the car door, or the refrigerator door, and a light comes on. City streets are illuminated by overhead lights, stores brightly advertise their presence through light.
All this light, however, comes at a cost; producing the electricity creates pollution from power plants and greenhouse gas emissions. Many now see light-emitting diodes, or LEDs, as the potential solution to the problem.
Our current system of light is tremendously inefficient; incandescent bulbs waste 95 percent of the energy flowing through them as heat. Fluorescent bulbs are more efficient, but their harsh colour has prevented them from fully penetrating the lighting market.
LEDs are long-lasting, extremely rugged and promise to be ten times more energy efficient than current incandescent lights.
In addition, they remain at room temperature, which can cut down energy use even further by reducing air-conditioning that today offsets heat from lights.
With the increasing importance being given to LED lighting not only in US and Europe but recently more so in other nations such as India , a sale of more than 1 billion LED lamps was projected in year 2014, which was estimated to result in a revenue growth in the range of 30-40%.
In 2016 it can be estimated to reach 3 billion unit LED lamps. The total revenue generated by LED lamps in 2014 was estimated in the range of 6 to 8 billion US$.
Examples of LED lamps include spotlights, bulbs, LED-luminaries, streetlights and tube lights. The complete high brightness LED market grew at around 20% in 2014 in the US.
Between 2012 and 2013, LED backlighting in LCD panels gave the launch pad for the growth of LEDs as light source. The backlighting market has now quickly matured, except in large screen size (above 32 Inch) TVs.
In general lighting applications, the growth started in mid 2013. There is lot of optimism that fast growth will continue up to 2018. However some are predicting a temporary dip in year 2015 due to excessive supply, mainly from Chinese manufacturers.
A light emitting diodes with high efficacy close to 150 lumens per watt is now available from many vendors. Finally for the end-user, it points out to more lumens of light they can buy per dollar/rupee. At present users can expect close to 600-700 lumens per dollar. The cost of 40 watts incandescent replacement LED bulb is now in the range of 3-4$.
In home lighting, 40 watts replacement LED lamps consuming less than 8 watts are gaining popularity as a replacement for traditional incandescent bulb. The reason for the increasing use of such lamps is falling cost of LED lamps.
The top end manufacturers of such lamps include Philips, Samsung, GE, Sharp, Toshiba, and Panasonic. And there are lot of less known makers in this market too.
In India MoserBaer and Wipro are also making 40 watt LED lamps. Moser Baer is selling its LED bulbs online at a price starting from Rs 390 on its website. Moser Baer LED bulbs can also be purchased at online stores such as Flipkart and snapdeals.
The tube LEDs market is forecast to reach 1 billion by 2018. The important markets for LED tube lights are offices, where the tube lights are switched-on for around 15 hours a day. LED tubes save 50% of power consumption compared to fluorescent tube lights.
In automotives, LEDs are preferred for many lighting applications including head lamps.
In region- wise consumption, Japan leads due to significant rise in use of LEDs for lighting applications. South Korea closely follows Japan in adopting LEDs for lighting. Other important regions include US, Europe, Taiwan and China. Asian countries such as Malaysia, Thailand and India are also significantly increasing the use of LEDs. These bulbs can work for 50,000 hours without failure.
Pic above: 40 Watts replacement LED lamps consuming less than 8 Watts
There are huge number of second level players whose market is centred around backlighting. Such companies include Samsung and Everlight.
The third level manufacturers are those in China, who make low-power LEDs for backlighting as well as low cost lighting.
Chinese companies control nearly 35% of LED market and the trend of their rising share continuing. This clearly tells China's LED factories are running full capacity. The factories are producing large volumes of LEDs at cheaper prices. Some of the companies have a production capacity of 500,000 pieces per month.
South Korean leading LED manufacturer Samsung uses much of its production for its own products such as televisions notebook computers, tablets and smart phones. Samsung is also aggressively marketing high efficacy package LEDs for lighting applications.
Among the Chinese LED lamp supplier, MLS Electronics shines brighter and is the star performer globally. The MLS makes LED downlight, LED ceiling, LED panel light, LED candle light, LED bulbs and package LEDs.
In packaged LEDs, chip on-board and flip chip packages are gaining more popularity. Chip on-board is more suitable for street lighting and high-powered lighting.
Another interesting trend is switching on and switching off the LED lamp wirelessly using ZigBee/bluetooth wireless interface even from the mobile phone. This technology called smart lighting or digital intelligent lighting creates another set of opportunities for power semiconductor companies, where LED lamp is integrated with processor and a wireless chip.
The street lamps can be programmed to get dimmed in the midnight compared to early part of the night. They also can be programmed to dynamically increase the brightness by seeing the movement of people or vehicles.
India LED market
Though late, Government of India has prioritized LED manufacturing. LEDs made by local vendors are covered under preferential market access. India ESDM policy covers LED manufacturing. The market in India though small in the range of Rs 200-250 million is expected to grow above 50% every year in next 2-3 years.
There are lots of LED lamp assembling companies in India, who design and make LED lamps but they import basic LED chip elements. De Core Nano-semicondutors Limited is the only LED semiconductor device maker who has LED wafer fab in India.
De core is the India's first commercial compound semiconductor foundry with its facility 20000sqm located in Special Economic Zone (SEZ) of Gujarat state capital Gandhinagar.
De core has the facility to produce GaN/InGaN based high brightness LED chips is volumes and save the India from import burden in coming years.
The quality of LED made by De Core is nothing less than any leading Chinese manufacturer. De Core makes LED chips (bare-die), LED modules and Lumainaires, which include downlighters, false ceiling, grid light and tubes.
What's more interesting is LEDs finding applications in agriculture. Indoor commercial farming installations are being developed using LED lighting for photosynthesis to maximize plant productivity.
The solar PV and LED which are much related both in manufacturing and usage are heading to become a perfect couple; one is light to electricity and other is electric to light. The combination is best recipe for saving this earth from global warming.
The Light Emitting Diode (LED) market in India has grown over 50% for the last five years (2009-10 to 2013-14) and expected to sustain this growth rate in the next five year (2014-15 to 2018-19). Although late, the government of India has announced a lot of incentives and measures in order to prioritize LED manufacturing in the country.
However, there are lot of LED Lamp assembling companies in India, who design and make LED lamps but they import basic LED chip elements.
The Indian LED Lighting Market Forecast to 2019 research report, in one of its chapters, provides elaborate coverage of Indian LED market. Providing detail statistics, the report analyses the market size, market growth and market share. The segment-wise future outlook has been given in the report which will help readers to identify the future growth spots and the market target.
Profiles of LED lighting companies like Amptek Led Lighting, Bajaj Electricals Limited, Binay Opto Electronics Private Limited, Eco Lite Technologies, GE Lighting, Goldwyn Limited, Havells India Limited, Innovlite India Private Limited, Instapower, Laaj Lighting, MIC Electronics Limited, NTL Nemnis, Opple Lighting, Osram India Private Limited, Philips Electronics India Limited, Promptec, Reiz Electrocontrols Private Limited, Sanarti Group, Sujana and 3S International are provided in this research.
India's LED market is forecast to reach $1,457.8 million by 2019, at a rate of 35.9%, during 2014-19. Government initiatives to replace incandescent bulbs with LED bulbs, increasing energy demand supply gap, declining prices are the factors driving the growth of LED lighting in India. Street lighting application accounts for a majority of the market revenues in Indian LED lighting market.