Strategies Unlimited has published a new report entitled "LED replacement lamp market analysis and forecast" that projects a global LED-retrofit-lamp market that exceeds $3.7 billion by 2016. The growth in solid-state lighting (SSL) products intended for existing sockets is from a $2.2 billion base in 2011, and the firm projects an annual 30% growth in the number of units sold.
According to the report, there were 39.9 million SSL A-lamps (A19 lamps with a legacy Edison base) sold globally in 2011. Strategies Unlimited analyst Katya Evstratyeva said that Japan led the way in consuming LED A-lamps with 24.7 million of the global total. The Japanese Eco-point program was in part responsible for the high market numbers, but Evstratyeva said other factors such as environmental concerns and high prices in compact-fluorescent lamps (CFLs) contributed as well.
Perhaps surprisingly, the market for LED-based linear fluorescent replacement lamps was strong globally as well. Strategies Unlimited reports 19.3 million units sold with 41% of those sales coming in China, 21% in Japan, and only 18% combined in the US and the European Union.
Evstratyeva noted that an obstacle to more linear lamp sales is the DOE testing that has documented lower light output for LED-based replacements relative to fluorescent lamps. Evstratyeva said, "LED-tube-retrofit projects are taking place only when project owners are willing to forego the light output for the sake of energy savings."
China is a perfect example of a case where energy savings drove sales said Evstratyeva. Rising electricity rates and longer working hours in commercial and industrial applications make energy efficiency a top concern.
We at LEDs Magazine have seen an uptick in use of linear LED lamps of late that indicates newer products are closing the gap in terms of light output. Recent projects at Pasadena City College, a San Diego restaurant called Hodad's, and an Air New Zealand facility all were bullish on the technology.
The Strategies Unlimited report does temper the positive across the retrofit lamp market with some concerns. The firm is forecasting a 14% annual decline in the average selling price of LED-based lamps. That price drop can help spur growth but reduces the total sales numbers and in some cases profit margin.
The firm noted that an oversupply of LEDs could continue to benefit lamp manufacturers targeting lower prices. But most of that oversupply is in backlighting LEDs, and those components aren't ideal for general-illumination products, although some manufacturers are using them in low-cost, low-light-output products.