Currently, the technology patent of global LED industry has always firmly held in hand of Cree, Philips, Osram, Nichia and Toyota. These five giants applied almost cover-the-entire-industry-chain patents, including raw material, equipment, packaging and application. But the patent barrier has begun to loosen. According to the provisions of the Patent Law, the patent protection period is 20 years; the protection period of utility model patents and design patents is 10 years, namely the related LED patent applied from 1990 has gradually expired since 2010 where a large part involves the important white LED. In the next 2 to 3 years, a number of core patents in the 1990s will successively expire. In addition, involving-phosphor related patents also will gradually lapse during 2012-2014.
But, as the "Shanzhai" patent of companies in Chinese market also buries risks. Carefully observed, the vast majority of patent is not original or through pick up some parts, doing some repair on the basis of the original patent of the international LED giants, or conduct some change on utility model or appearance design, so once subjected to globally large-scale lawsuit caused by international giants, more than 70% of patents in China's market will likely become invalid.
Intelligent lighting is gradually becoming the development trend for LED industry, users can set the scene lighting in accordance with their own need, so as to control the color and brightness of the LED lights to meet the lighting requirements of different occasions. In addition, through the installation of sensors, LEDs have a "perception capacity" to independently adjust the brightness based on the surrounding environment.
"We often change phones, not for it is bad; but new handsets increase many features. So if a product wants to dominate market, the supply of more added value and new functions is necessary, the same goes for LED product." Many Quanzhou photoelectric enterprises person in charge believe facing the continuous decline of LED terminal price and the resulting shrink in profit, developing intelligent lighting becomes the new growth point for the LED industry.
Industry sources rough estimate, "in the next few years, the market size of China's LED light source will exceed $100 billion. At present, the market penetration of intelligent lighting in China is less than 2%, and products are mainly used in dimmable LED landscape light, adjustable color temperature LED street light, monitoring and other fields. The future intelligent home lighting, intelligent street lighting and other markets will largely expand. Even calculated on the basis of 20% penetration rate, there are still dozens of billion dollars (a total of hundreds of billion RMB) market space for LED intelligent lighting.
In addition, the additional value of product will also greatly increase. The iPhone, iPad (with built-in application) WiFi controlled LED bulb introduced by Philips previously can independently adjust the brightness and color, the entire system is priced at $ 199.95; even a bulb separately purchased also need $59.95, several times higher than ordinary LED lamp.
According to survey, the ex-factory price of LED lamps with a power driver chip is 20%-30% higher than ordinary lamps. Such intelligent configuration can achieve at least 20% of gross profit for lamp, and some high-end dimmable products can even reach 30%.
At present, Chinese domestic LED indoor lighting mainly focuses on decorative lighting, such as entertainment venues, commercial and public lighting including underground parking, star-class hotel corridors, has yet entered market-huge ordinary household lighting. The major indoor lighting products are commercial fluorescent lights, downlights, and spotlights, incandescent- replaced bulb lights, freezers lights. Peng Wanghua, the deputy head of semiconductor lighting technology standards working group in Industry and Information Technology pointed out, according to the plan developing LED indoor lighting from some foreign countries, it is expected 2010 to 2012 will mainly push commercial lighting, then 2012 to 2015 launch ordinary lighting, namely ordinary household lighting. From a technical point of view, the quality of current light, such as light color, is not very good; but household lighting has a high requirement for light, so it is not suitable to advocate residential lighting in recent years.
As the development trend of future lighting, how is the process for LED large-scale coming into indoor lighting? Among current various LED indoor lighting products, LED bulb is one of the major forms. According to related research of global lighting bulb market, in short-term or at least before 2017, bulb market will be co-dominated by traditional light source, incandescent, fluorescent lamps, as well as new light sources such as LED bulbs. LED bulb still needs a period of time to replace various mainstreamed traditional and energy-saving light source, and LED bulb is still in the market introduction phase.
It is projected the outbreak of the LED light bulb business opportunities will be quite strong after 2014; the demand will largely lead over the fluorescent lamps and other light sources after 2018.
Overall, the growth of LED bulb in lighting market can be divided into three stages: before 2012, incandescent, fluorescent lamps and energy saving lamps will be the main light source of the lamp lighting; while LED, due to the relatively high price, is in the demonstration phase, mainly replacing incandescent. From 2012 to 2014, with the implementation of the global incandescent FMCT and policy, incandescent will gradually disappear from market after 2012. In this stage, the energy-saving lamp market is predicted to begin to enter the growing peak period, according for the main shares of lighting market; and 2014 will see LED blub greatly replace incandescent, fluorescent lamps, coming in to mature period. Meanwhile, LED blub is continuously cutting cost, and as increasing manufacturers invest LED in recent years, the price decline will be faster; the outbreak of LED market may be one to two years in advance.
3. High electricity prices and special light culture in Europe will help the take-off of LED lighting industry.
The overall lighting market in Europe is relatively mature, but the high electricity price and special light culture make commercial lighting and outdoor architectural mood lighting have an increasingly demand for LED application. According to LED Inside, a research division of TrendForce, European LED lighting market in 2011 has exceeded $2.08 billion, expecting to rise to $3.01 billion in this year. Meanwhile, influenced by EU moratorium incandescent bulbs policies, market growth rate is expected to strongly climb on, so it is projected European LED lighting industry in 2015 will reach $10 billion, with compound annual growth rate in 2011 to 2016 expecting to amount 49%; and Europe will become the next rapid growing mature LED lighting market after Japan.
European high electricity policy as well as special light culture is an important factor to promote the rapid development of LED industry. High electricity price benefits LED lighting; taking an example of 7-W LED bulb which can replace traditional 40-watt incandescent bulb, if lighting for 8 hours a day, calculated with the EU-27 electricity price, a LED bulb will save 2 dollars than traditional incandescent every month, further saving more fees for higher power-consumption outdoor lighting or commercial lighting. European light culture focuses on creating light environment, rather than simple emphases the kind of lighting or brightness level. For instance, government in France's Lyon every year takes out some budget into light construction, and hosts the Lights Festival, establishes Lighting Urban Community International, combining lighting and urban cultural together, with both the tourism and economic benefits.
I think price is the main issue with LED lighting right now. If prices are expected to decline 20-30% per year, this will allow LED lighting to take over a large portion of the market, which corresponds to less energy consumption.
LED lighting is the trend for the next-generation LED lighting product. On one hand, it features long-life, high luminous efficiency, low energy consumption, making the LED lighting lamp have the incomparable advantages comparing with traditional lighting LED lighting; on the other hand, LED industry is compatible with the current various countries' advocated energy conservation and environmental protection policy. As an emerging industry, LED has formed complete layout of the global industrial chain.
1. Global energy issues capture a lot of concerns; LED lighting market size continues to grow.
In 2011, energy issue continues to obtain attention, LED lighting market rapidly rose. According to the latest statistic from DIGITIMES, the high-brightness LED market size in 2011 grew to $12.6 billion from $8.25 billion in 2010 with an annual growth rate of up to 53%. Driven by the policies of major countries worldwide, LED achieves a significant enhance in luminous efficiency, the overall design of lighting lamp tends to mature; along with the influence of LED lighting price expecting to have an 20%-30% decline each year, LED lighting is projected to further increase penetration. From the alternative-type LED light source used in low power residential to the full set of LED lighting equipment adopted in high-power commercial and industrial field, a variety of LED lighting application demand is rapidly climbing on. It is predicted global LED lighting market size in 2015 will reach $21.7 billion, which forecasts to drive the power supply sales amounting to 4 billion units in 2016 with total output value of $10 billion.
2. Asian LED ranks first in the world where the market development in Japan, South Korea and China can be expected.
In 2010, Asia has become the major production base of LED, the market shares of Japan, South Korea and China totaled 81.3%. Among Asian countries, South Korea had fastest growth rate. In 2002, South Korea began to invest in developing LED industry, created LED backlight LCD TV market in 2009; and in order to ensue the grain sources, it positively expanded capacity, with market shares in 2010 approaching 10%. Japan, with relatively strong quality and technical development capabilities, remained its leading position in global LED industry, with market shares in 2000 to 2005 all exceeding 50%; due to the Taiwan economies of scale and low-cost strategy, adding that China and South Korea grabbing market, the worldwide global market share of Japan in 2006 to 2010 slipped to 41.5%. In terms of China, Taiwan region in 2003 to 2006 maintained its market shares at about 20%, and later increased year by year, representing 25.3% in 2010. Chinese mainland continued slight growth with market share of only 5% in 2010. It is projected under the situation of South Korea and China continuing increase, Asia will dominate global LED industry. It is estimated, the annual growth rate of output value for the global high-brightness LED market in 2012 will be 13.4% with size arriving at $10.1 billion, while the high-brightness LED market proportion in Japan, South Korea and China's Taiwan will total 61.3%. Therefore, only grasping Asian LED industry development can manufacturers hold the global development direction of LED industry.
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