While growth rates among applications will vary, the global market for LED luminaires is expected to grow to $8.3 billion by 2014, according to researchers at Strategies Unlimited, Mountain View, Calif.
Several factors are behind that growth. Rapid improvements in performance and price of commercially available high-brightness LED packages, heightened awareness of energy efficiency, phasing out of incandescent bulbs and fiscal stimulus by countries around the world have all combined to create conditions for adoption of white light LED technology that otherwise would have faced the low-volume-high-cost conundrum.
Quality issues that affected the market penetration of previous energy-efficient lighting technologies continue to affect this market, but the resolve to reduce energy consumption is likely to propel this technology to wide commercial adoption.
Being the most efficient light source technology for applications requiring a directional beam of light and batteries, consumer portable applications were the largest segment of the LED luminaire market in 2010. The quality of LEDs has improved to a point that performance is no longer an issue. The issue now is the price of designing LEDs into luminaires.
Color and color-changing application in architectural and entertainment applications together had revenues of more than $1 billion in 2010. Residential lighting, the fastest growing segment of the market, starting from a small base, is forecast to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 44 percent through 2014.
Global revenues for LED luminaires in commercial/industrial applications are expected to hit more than $1 billion in 2011. The outdoor area lighting applications, which benefited from fiscal stimulus and the need for energy conservation, are expected to grow at a 38 percent rate through 2014.
Solar powered lanterns will be a low margin-high volume application assisted by nongovernmental organizations and governments trying to save fuel subsidies. The revenues for this sub-segment are forecast to grow at a rate of 58 percent for the same period. LED exit signs have become a mature market in the U.S. and are in the initial stage of market penetration in white light application in egress signage lighting outside the U.S. China is the largest market as well as the largest supplier of LED luminaires.
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