LEDs go everywhere

January 29, 2016 // By Tony Armstrong
Tony Armstrong of Linear Technology’considers the progress of the LED industry.

The general LED lighting market is analogous to the Analog IC market insofar as it is very fragmented. For example, its sub-segments consist of replacement lamps, strips and strings, outdoor area, industrial, commercial, residential, consumer portable, entertainment, retail display, off-grid, and safety/security.

It should be noted that the general LED lighting market represents ~57% of the total LED market of $25.9 billion projected for 2018. The other categories are signage, automotive lighting, mobile devices, backlighting in displays, monitors, and other.
General lighting LED applications continue to gain traction in both commercial and residential markets, and are further accelerating growth. According to LEDinside (a division of TrendForce), “Phenomenal growth was seen in the high lumen LED lighting systems for commercial use. This is because the LED lighting for household use is still too expensive for most consumers. Backed by its long-term benefits, energy-saving and environment-friendly attributes, and its relevant tax reductions, there will be a substantial increase in the use of LED lighting in commercial spaces such as the parking lot, office space, factory facility, and warehouse. LED lights can replace not only high pressure sodium lamps, halogen lights, incandescent bulbs, but also CFL and fluorescent lights in some areas. It is estimated that rapid growth and widespread adoption of LED commercial lighting took place in 2011, while LEDs used for household lighting did not take off until 2012.”

It is no surprise that commercial/industrial applications are leading the transition to LEDs as lighting generally represents anywhere from 25 to 40% of total energy use in commercial buildings. As these applications require long hours of high intensity light, the economic payback of the saved electrical power is relatively short-term. Secondly, the long life of LED fixtures dramatically reduces the replacement cost of the bulbs. These replacement costs include not only the price of the bulb itself, but also the labor cost to physically replace them, which in certain applications, such

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