Tridonic refocuses on LEDs, plans exit from legacy business

Tridonic has announced that it is preparing to launch a new line of LED drivers, and that it will exit the magnetics business that supports legacy light sources at the end of 2013.

The hastening pace of the transition to LED-based solid-state lighting (SSL) is impacting many companies with a long lighting history including Tridonic that just announced its intention to exit the magnetic ballast and transformers business at the end of the year. In part, the decision is in preparation of changes driven by European Union (EU) legislation that will regulate low-efficiency magnetic products beginning in 2017.

Tridonic said that announcing the plans now will allow customers plenty of time to prepare for the change. Customers can place final orders through November while securing alternative supplies. The announcement will lead to closure of manufacturing plants located in Fürstenfeld, Austria and Melbourne, Australia.

The company clearly sees that it must emphasize its focus on LED lighting technology to thrive going forward. "For several years now we have known that it was only a question of time before a pullout from magnetics technology would take place," said Tridonic CEO Alfred Felder. "In our efforts to secure the future of Tridonic in this decisive phase of the technology shift to LEDs, this is the right time to make a coordinated withdrawal from the magnetics sector. Of course we regret this step in view of the employees who are affected. Through their commitment they have played their part in Tridonic's success for many years. We are not only grateful for this but also want to assure them that we will live up to our responsibility towards them in full."

From the LED perspective, the near term evidence of Tridonic's direction will come in a new driver family. "Today's decision means that we will be able to focus more strongly than ever on LED technology," said Felder. "Over the 2012/13 financial year we were able to increase the proportion of revenue accounted for by LED products to 18.9%. Right now we are about to launch a new generation of LED converters in what will be one of our most important core projects at Tridonic in 2013/14."

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