Automotive lighting: a billion-dollar market arises

May 20, 2016 // By Julien Happich
The lighting market for automotive applications should reach a compounded annual growth rate of 23.7% from 2015 to 2121 reaching a US$27.7 billion market in 2021 (compared to $22.4B last year), reports Yole Développement in its latest LED market research “Automotive Lighting: Technology, Industry and Market trends”.

The growth is driven by the increased lighting system content per vehicle and a strong adoption of LED-based front lighting systems, with headlamp and Day Running Light (DRL) systems representing 43% and 28% of total 2015 revenues, respectively. Rear combination lights/center high-mounted signal lights, interior lights, and side turn-signal lights comprised the remaining 29%.

Looking further out in the future, the market research company sees more integration of new lighting technologies such as OLED and laser, the development of Advanced Front Lighting Systems (AFLS) and other security functions, and lighting being increasingly used as a new design feature (think reconfigurable patterns).

Since their first commercialization in 2008 on luxury cars like the V10 Audi R8, full LED headlamps have since then penetrated the C-segment vehicle market in 2012, and are now being commercialized in emerging markets. Today, nearly all Tier-1s have developed full LED-based headlamp systems.

The first commercial car (BMW i8) with laser-based headlamps was unveiled in fall 2014 while the first commercial car (BMW M4 GTS) with OLED-based Rear Combination Light (RCL) was unveiled in fall 2015. Laser-based headlamps could enable long-distance night vision (up to 600m) while the adoption of OLED in RCL is a good fit to move from 2D to 3D light source designs, thanks to OLEDs being thin, bendable, and large emitting surface sources.