Kicking off the 15th anniversary Strategies in Light Conference in Santa Clara, California, Strategies Unlimited analyst Katya Evstratyeva opened the conference Investor Forum with a preview of the results of the firm's latest packaged LED market research. There was moderate growth in the 7% range from 2012 to $14.4B (billion) in 2013, but the forward projection calls for double-digit growth over the next five years to $25.9B. General lighting already dominates consumption and will reach 57% of the packaged LED market in 2018.
Strategies Unlimited analyst Katya Evstratyeva
For comparison of the latest data, you may want to refer to the presentations made at Strategies in Light 2013. The firm updated much of the prior data including the release of the latest top-ten list of LED manufacturers for 2013:
Osram Opto Smeiconductors
There was little change in the rankings, although Cree moved up a spot while Lumileds dropped a bit. Still, the changes were relatively minor in a time when LED manufacturers from around the globe are making extraordinary efforts to increase sales.
Evstratyeva discussed the top markets for LEDs, starting with backlighting for large displays including TVs and computer monitors. The LED revenue for that market will decrease by about a third over five years from the $2.6B level in 2013 as devices use fewer LEDs and the LED component prices drop. Likewise, the mobile market will drop from $2.6B in 2013 to $2.3B in 2018 with growth in LEDs for camera flash applications mitigating some of the impact of lower-cost LEDs used to light the screens.
Automotive usage of LEDs, meanwhile, will experience what Evstratyeva called "slow steady growth," going from $1.4B in 2013 to $2.3B in 2018. The growth will comes as automakers transition to LED headlamps on mainstream models and from increased usage of LED lighting in cabins as a stylistic feature that can drive sales. The signage market is also projected to grow from $1.8B to $2.4B in LED revenue over the five-year period, driven by the China market.
Still, it was lighting that was the most compelling portion of the opening presentation. And the lighting market brought an interesting pie chart to the fore. In terms of where LEDs used in the lighting market are manufactured, the US stands out at 31%. Evstratyeva noted a major US company that is responsible for that stat. She didn't name Cree, but that company's focus on the lighting application has clearly paid off with it taking a leadership position in the fastest-growing application that consumes LEDs. Meanwhile, Japan produces 21% of the LEDs used in lighting and Korea is the source of 15%.
Evstratyeva also provided some details on sub-segments of the lighting market ranging from retrofit lamps to commercial fixtures to industrial luminaires. We will cover more of those details in a feature-length article in an upcoming issue of the magazine. But one point of interest is that higher-power LEDs will remain the dominant technology over the next five years in lighting applications even as the mid-power LEDs garner headlines. Both types of products will gain significant market share, but Strategies Unlimited is not projecting mid-power devices to take a dominant position.