Growth is being driven by the rapid transition from alternative technologies to LED lighting across many applications. The main driver for LED adoption is its superior efficiency, which results in energy cost savings.
"LED lighting shipments are now dominated by low-power applications, with the residential sector estimated to account for 46 percent of all LED power supplies shipped in 2014," explained Jonathon Eykyn,Senior Analyst for IHS Technology. "In higher-power applications, such as the factory and warehouse segment, LED lighting adoption is much lower; however, LED adoption in higher-power applications is growing rapidly, due to continuing innovations in LED technology".
LED power supplies typically have different voltage and current requirements than power supplies used in other applications; moreover, many opportunities exist for non-established power-supply manufacturers to occupy their own niche in the LED lighting market. Doing so allows them to compete with larger power-supply manufacturers in other areas that are unable to bring many of their existing products to the market.
"As with any emerging technology, there are some challenges to overcome for LED supply manufacturers, despite a host of opportunities," suggested Eykyn. "For instance, the LED luminaire market is still very fragmented: the leading supplier, Philips, accounted for nearly nine percent of the total market in 2013. Philips, which is also the leading supplier of LED lamps, comprised 27 percent of the market in 2013".
Eykyn points out that given the large number of LED luminaire suppliers, there is a lot of fragmentation among the various products. Each supplier typically requires its own unique set of current and voltage profiles, which makes it harder for LED power-supply manufacturers to provide a standard product for a large number of companies or applications. In turn, LED power supply manufacturers find it more difficult to reduce manufacturing costs, through standardizing processes and sourcing similar product parts.
Aside from market fragmentation, power supply prices are also falling rapidly, due to a higher number of product shipments and increased price competition. Many suppliers, especially from China, are willing to undercut prices and sacrifice margins, in order to capture more global market share. Suppliers that are able to adapt quickly to the market will emerge as the winners, set to capitalize on a market that will triple from 2014 to 2019.
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