LED Lighting & the Road to Success

Space on store shelves for lighting is filled with LED and CFL bulbs.

Management consulting firm McKinsey & Company says that the global LED lighting market will grow 34% from 2010 to 2016 (CAGR).  The researchers expect the LED lighting market to grow to almost $94 billion US by 2020, representing close to 60% of the total lighting market.  Market penetration of LEDs in general lighting (also known as solid state lighting) is about seven percent In Asia, North America and Europe, but is expected to expand to around 70% by 2020.

Government subsidies and regulation worldwide have promoted alternatives to incandescent lighting to save energy.  Recently, enforcement efforts to promote alternative lighting took a slight turn, but it may not matter.  That horse may have left the barn as other governments around the world are moving ahead with their regulations and incentives

During the first week in June, Republicans in the US House adopted a provision designed to give Thomas Edison’s invention a little more life.  Language in the provision blocks enforcement of the new energy standard for lighting.  The first phase of the standard, passed as part of Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007, has been challenged by members of Congress connected to the Tea Party. In a Bloomberg story, Michael Burgess, a Texas Republican that sponsored the light bulb amendment said, “People are sick of the government treading where it just doesn’t belong.” The US Senate has yet to vote on the measure.

Despite the politics and regulations, the allure of saving money may be enough to propel the LED light bulb to success in the US. LED light bulbs have made significant progress in the manufacturing community.  Many manufacturers have already retooled and transitioned to make the next generation light bulbs.  The North American market for suppliers of LED lamps is estimated to be about $55 million, and projected to grow by about 32% per year between 2012 and 2016, said Konkana Khaund, building technologies research manager at the consulting firm Frost & Sullivan.

Solid state lighting is gaining ground around the world simply based on the economics of energy savings and low maintenance costs.


LEDs Magazine, Lighting market report predicts strong growth for LED lighting, http://ledsmagazine.com/features/8/9/13

Bloomberg News, House Adopts Measure to Halt Light-Bulb Efficiency Law, http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-06-06/house-adopts-measure-to-halt-light-bulb-efficiency-law.html

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About Beth

It seems like LEDs are in everything these days – backlighting everything from your mobile phone, Apple iPad and flat screen HDTV to traffic lights, light bulbs and even the kitchen sink. But, making LEDs is a complex process that begins with the creation of sapphire. Not the pretty blue gemstone, but large commercial crystals that can weigh as much as 400 lbs. Once these large sapphire crystals are grown into boules and cooled, they’re cut into cores, cut further into flat circular wafers, polished and then used to grow LEDs. About 85 percent of HB-LEDs (high brightness) are grown on sapphire. There’s not that much information out there about the process. This blog is meant to shed some light (excuse the pun) on sapphire, LEDs and the industry that is devoted to making our lives just a little brighter. In the months ahead, we’ll tackle some topics that will help you understand a little more about sapphire and LED industry. Here’s a sample of what we’ll cover in the coming months: • Growing sapphire • For a wafer, size matters • Quality - When sapphire wafers go bad • LED light bulbs • Market & myths • Interviews with industry shining stars • Reports from industry events • Current events in perspective Please join us each week to learn more about sapphire and the LED market. We look forward to seeing you.

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