As LED lighting technology becomes less expensive and offers higher quality, businesses are expected to favor this energy-efficient solution greatly over traditional lighting sources, such as incandescent bulbs, fluorescent, or high-intensity discharge (HID) lighting. In fact, a new study just released by Navigant Research predicts the LED industry will grow from its current $1.5 billion annual sales to $8.5 billion between now and the year 2021.
Greater adoption of LED over other technologies has been expected, and is still in its early stages. The efficacy and quality of LED is surpassing that of other lighting technologies, just as prices are falling and companies are able to see a return on the investment more quickly. Businesses are waiting until they can see a quick return on their investments in terms of energy savings gleaned from lighting technologies.
According to Navigant Research, though the market shares for LED lighting are expected to grow tremendously, the number of LED lighting manufacturers is actually expected to fall. This is due to the consolidation of current companies, driven by expiring patents, the standards of lighting interchangeability, an upsurge in the creative lighting designs available, new entrants at every level of the supply chain, and other new technologies.
The most difficult part of manufacturing a high quality, affordable LED light is applying an ultra thin substrate, then adding a layer of gallium nitride (GaN). This is a highly technical and exact process, which alludes many manufacturers. The Chinese have had limited success with the process. Currently, the United States, Germany, Japan, and Taiwan are the only countries to master this delicate process. Companies leading the LED lighting industry are Cree, OSRAM, Nichia, and Epistan.
Navigant’s report is entitled LED Supply Chain Dynamics. It is a comprehensive study of the LED lighting market and business adoption of this energy-efficient lighting technology.