Lighting market and global energy dilemma stimulate calls for an LED industry association

Feb. 19, 2007
In the first of a series of columns for LEDs Magazine, Jed Dorsheimer of Canaccord Adams presents thoughts from the 2006 LED Leadership Summit, including a call for the formation of an LED industry alliance.
Recently, I was invited to attend the inaugural LED Leadership Summit in San Diego, California. The conference, the first of its kind, was organized by the “big five” LED manufacturers: Nichia, Cree, Philips Lumileds, Toyoda Gosei and Osram. The goal; to create a forum where LED companies, lighting companies, and regulatory and legislative bodies could come together at a senior level to start the first real LED industry association.

The message was simple - the LED industry has successfully penetrated several niche applications, the largest of which has been the mobile handset market. However, recent growth has slowed, as this market has saturated and competition has increased. At the same time, LED technology has dramatically improved and handset volumes have allowed prices to decline, opening up new market applications such as digital billboards and signs, LCD backlighting units (BLUs), automotive interior and forward headlights, and specialty lighting. While these markets are creating sustainable business models, the desire among many of the invited speakers was to disrupt the general illumination market.

Why? Because the market for general illumination is huge. The Freedonia Group, a leading market research firm estimates the lighting market is currently around $102 billion annually, and will grow to over $130 billion by 2011. When one takes into account the longer term inherent advantages of LEDs, as James Sweeney of Stanford University outlined during his talk, “real economic value” is created in the form of a multi-billion dollar annual market – a goal embraced by suppliers, customers, designers, institutional investors and venture capitalists.


This article was published in the February 2007 issue of LEDs Magazine.

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