LED lighting market continues to change

LED lighting market

The global financial crisis and European debt crisis remain not without consequences for the LED lighting market. However, decisions on energy policy made by many governments ensure that energy-efficient light sources such as LED are increasingly being used. For example, the Chinese leadership has passed a law prohibiting the future production of classic light bulbs, similar to legislation already passed in the EU. Moreover, after the nuclear disaster in Fukushima in March 2011, many states are considering following Germany in phasing out nuclear energy. Power-saving light sources are becoming ever more attractive if energy is to be saved in post-nuclear countries.

In its forecast for 2020, McKinsey expects global revenues of € 100 billion. For Europe, as compared to last year’s forecast and against the macroeconomic background, McKinsey has corrected the current LED market share on the European total lighting market from 10 to 9 percent. For 2016, the company predicts a share of 45 percent, which will probably grow to over 70 percent in 2020.

With a market share of almost 50 percent, the currently largest sub-segment of LED applications remains the background lighting or LED backlighting of, for example, smart phones, cameras, computers and televisions. Although the areas of application will continue to grow here, device manufacturers need fewer LEDs per unit than for earlier generations due to technology that has developed further. Furthermore, more and more organic LEDs (OLEDs) are being used specifically for mobile devices.

According to McKinsey, in 2013 general lighting will replace backlighting as the highest-revenue application area for LEDs – faster than estimated a year ago. That is why an increasing number of backlighting suppliers and manufacturers of conventional lighting systems are also endeavouring to exploit this market segment. More than 70 takeovers and mergers took place over the last five years in this context. A fair number of the takeovers were also focused on lighting control systems, for which McKinsey predicts annual growth of 20 percent between 2011 and 2020. Lighting control systems prevent, for example the illumination of rooms not being used, which currently wastes 30 percent of light energy. Moreover, lighting control systems ensure a longer lifetime for LEDs, an improved ambience for living creatures and faster plant growth.

Seen globally, in comparison to the previous year little has changed in the forecasts for the automotive sector from McKinsey’s perspective. These stated that the lighting volume for 2011 was € 14 billion. This should rise to € 18 billion by 2020. However, in regional terms there may, for example, be relatively high fluctuations due to the low sales figures for automobiles in Europe.

Overall, in the LED lighting market McKinsey sees not only lighting control systems, but also services as a wide field for new business opportunities. The relatively high costs of investment in LED strengthen the demand for financing services, while the highly technological nature of general lighting is leading servicing and maintenance as well as technical service solutions to flourish.


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