LED ‘to outsell CFL and halogen by 2018′

LED is set to overtake CFL and halogen as the top-selling type of lighting product by 2018, according to IMS Research.

LED-based lamps and luminaires are predicted to reach 30 per cent of the market in terms of units, and even more in terms of revenue because of their higher price tag.

IMS also expects lighting to overtake TVs as the main application for gallium nitride (GaN) LEDs – the bright blue ones used to produce white light for backlighting screens and general illumination – perhaps as soon as this year.

We are currently ‘in between the backlighting boom and the lighting boom’, Jamie Fox, lighting and LEDs manager at IMS Research, told the EuroLED conference. As the backlighting market becomes saturated, future growth in sales of GaN LEDs ‘really depends on how much lighting takes off’.

Currently the overall LED market is flat, but the years 2013–17 could see double-digit growth, Fox said. Lighting is expected to grow to account for a much bigger proportion of LED revenues – approaching half by 2016.

‘People who don’t like CFLs will likely find LEDs compelling at 2013–15 pricing levels as incandescents are phased out,’ said Fox. ‘Consumers are increasingly aware of LED lamps, but many aren’t ready to move just yet.’

LEDs currently account for just one per cent of the lighting market in terms of units sold, but 14 per cent in terms of revenue – showing the significant potential for growth.

The market for GaN LEDs will peak in 2015 at more than US$11 billion, IMS believes, with revenue from lighting making up about US$4.5 billion. LED product prices are expected to fall until about 2019-20, then flatten out.

However, competition will be ‘very tough’, Fox said. ‘LEDs will be a success, but not all LED companies will be.’

IMS Research has a six-person lighting and LED research team and access to data from iSuppli and Displaybank through its parent company IHS.

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