MAGAZINE: LED market stumbles in 2009, but long-term outlook remains bullish

Oct. 12, 2009
The LED market is expected to decline by 3.7% this year, but the fundamental drivers for LED adoption have not weakened, says BOB STEELE of STRATEGIES UNLIMITED.
The worldwide economic recession has had a negative impact on many industries, including high-brightness LEDs. Although market growth for 2008 was positive (+11%) despite a shaky fourth quarter, a decline of 3.7% is expected for this year, resulting in a market size of $4.9 billion. However, this decline will not affect all LED market segments equally. For example, although some of the more mature markets such as automotive lighting and mobile phones are experiencing substantial downturns, other emerging segments, such as backlights for LCD displays in notebook computers and TVs, are showing strong growth. Moreover, the LED lighting market is also continuing to grow, although at a somewhat slower pace than in recent years.

Since Strategies Unlimited began tracking the LED market in 1995 there has never been a down year, although the market in 2001 was flat. However, that was during a worldwide recession in which all other technology- based markets experienced dramatic downturns (for example, the silicon semiconductor market contracted by 32%). In the current economic environment, it is not surprising that a number of end-use sectors that consume LEDs are experiencing downturns. Worldwide automobile production is expected to shrink by 20% in 2009, while mobile phone handset shipments are expected to decline by 10% in 2009 after years of steady growth. These two segments accounted for 15% and 42%, respectively, of LED consumption in 2008.


This article was published in the Sept/Oct 2009 issue of LEDs Magazine. To read the full version of this article, please visit our magazine page, where you can download FREE electronic PDF versions of all issues of LEDs Magazine.

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