The LED distribution space continues to evolve with Lumileds adding Arrow Electronics following the recent move by Nichia to sign Future Lighting Solutions.
Lumileds has announced that it entered a global distribution agreement with Arrow Electronics covering high-, mid-, and low-power LEDs, along with chip-on-board (COB) components. Moreover, the deal also covers ultraviolet (UV) and color LEDs, and the Lumileds Matrix family of level 2 modular light engine products. Solid-state lighting (SSL) product developers will be able to turn to Arrow for Lumileds LEDs; other enabling technologies in the power, optical, and thermal sectors; and ICs such as microcontrollers (MCUs) and wireless chips that are increasingly important with the lighting industry moving to connected, intelligent product designs.
Lumileds has substantially evolved its distribution strategy in recent years after many years having an exclusive deal with Future Lighting Solutions. In late 2012, Lumileds and Future announced a restructured agreement under which Lumileds could seek other distribution partners and Future could add other LED manufacturers to its line card.
Now Arrow becomes another Lumileds distributor with global scope, a full-service distribution model with engineering services, and a substantial SSL-centric line card. Future remains a distributor along with Digi-Key and Mouser, and Lumileds has regional distributors in other parts of the globe.
Emmanuel Dieppedalle, senior vice president of marketing and sales at Lumileds, said the company had been progressing on a plan to add another full-service distributor for some time. But he also said the move by LED-competitor Nichia to recently sign Future as its first distributor with global scope accelerated the timeline for the Arrow partnership.
Dieppedalle said broader distribution has been key to Lumileds finding new customers in the SSL sector. Mouser and DIgi-Key, with their ability to deliver samples overnight, has allowed Lumileds to reach many product developers with which it had no prior relationship. Meanwhile, Arrow adds a dedicated SSL-centric services program. While Lumileds' recent performance is due to many factors including among the broadest packaged LED lines in the industry and the distribution strategy, the overall execution has produced really good results as our recent feature article on the market details.
Lumileds evaluated a number of options for another full-service distributor prior to signing Arrow, according to Dieppedalle. He said Lumileds wanted its LED products on a line card with leading players from the semiconductor industry along with the manufacturers of building-block products specific to SSL. Dieppedalle said Arrow met those requirements and that developers can buy all of the system elements required in lighting products with connectivity from Arrow.
"Lighting is an extremely dynamic market and today’s lighting producers expect timely delivery of the right LEDs where and when they are needed," said Dieppedalle. "Arrow is a technology leader that is known for connecting customers with the right comprehensive solutions, quickly. We are confident that this agreement will expand our market coverage, and with Arrow, customers can count on the consistently high level of service that they have come to expect from Lumileds. We are excited to add them to our already best-in-class distribution network."