General lighting surpasses displays backlighting market

February 14, 2013 // By Christoph Hammerschmidt
LED component revenue for lighting applications for the first time exceeded the display backlight segment in 2012: Sales for lighting components reached $3.11 billion while LED backlight components added up to just $3.06 billion, market research firm Strategies Unlimited has reckoned. Through 2017, the worldwide market for LED components is expected to reach $16.4 billion. This figure translates into a CAGR of 3,7%.

At the opportunity of the Strategies in Light industry fair, market researcher Strategies Unlimited announced its recent figures for the LED market. The company estimates the total illumination market for 2012 at $14.52 billion. LED lighting includes LED replacement lamps and luminaires is estimated at $11.72 billion—an increase of 26% between 2011 and 2012—and it is forecast to grow at a CAGR of 12% over 2012-2017. Strategies Unlimited for the first time estimated the market size outside the traditional replacement lamps and luminaires.

The 2012 estimate for revenues for the illumination market, not addressed by the LED Replacement Lamps and Luminaires is $2.75 billion revenue. These other applications include: decorative/festive/Xmas light strings; tube lights that go into many untraceable applications including signs; flexible tape and strips of LEDs sold in applications ranging from step lighting to lighting stairs to DIY cove lighting; and all other miscellaneous.

Commercial applications are the largest segment and grew the fastest—72%—in the LED lighting market followed by replacement lamps. Japanese market was the primary driver for the 22% growth in replacement lamp revenues from 2011 to 2012. The slower growing segments such as emergency and industrial lighting depend on the overall economic activity; entertainment lighting was a victim of slow down in European financial crisis, after the frenzy for the Olympics.

Image: LED market by application segments.

LEDs used in large display backlights also reached a new record at $3.06 billion in 2012. This is chiefly due to the success in penetrating the CCFL stronghold of the 32- inch TV. Low cost direct technology, also known as “chubby TV” technology because the TVs are thicker than edge-lit ones and narrows the price gap between CCFL and LED backlit TV to an insignificant level. Both Samsung and LG have announced they will stop making CCFL TVs.

The number of cars with LED headlights nearly doubled in 2012. Revenue for 2012 was $97 million and the five-year