Will profits move from LED packages towards LED drivers?

Will profits move from LED packages towards LED drivers?

Market news |
By eeNews Europe

Authored by Shawn Hsieh, Chairman of GlacialTech, the report entitled ‘LED Lighting Industry and Value Chain Shift’ makes a number of observations and predictions including: a shift in profit margins from the core LED package to the thermal module and LED driver, price competition in the LED package segment, the growing popularity of CoB LEDs, and the opportunity for smaller companies to grab market share.

“The LED industry is currently around $27.5 billion and growing,” said Shawn Hsieh, Chairman of GlacialTech. “Newer technologies such as the CoB LED are driving this growth so opportunity exists for emerging companies with strong business models and innovative designs. Price competition within the LED package segment will erode profit margins while LED driver and thermal module manufacturers will stand to gain.”

The report predicts that price competition within the LED industry will grow, especially in the LED package segment. Compared to the computer industry, where high barriers to entry limit processor manufacturing to a few key players, the LED package segment is more competitive with a much larger number of providers large and small. GlacialLight predicts that price-to-performance ratios of the most efficient LED lighting modules will drop to $0.13/W by the end of the year.

With lower costs as well as carbon footprint per unit and product quality increasing over time, the Chip On Board (CoB) LED is making a impact on the industry. More compact than Metal Core PCB based LEDs, the CoB LED’s small size makes it easy to integrate into a larger variety of luminaire shapes and designs. Lighting fixture assembly with CoB LEDs is simplified – a powerful lighting fixture can be built with little more than a CoB LED, lens, thermal module, and LED driver, making it easy for manufacturers to create new luminaires at lower costs.

While LED package innovations move the industry forward, the stiff price competition in that segment and high capital costs of manufacturing means profits will be cut thinner over time. On the other hand, fixed per-unit material and labor costs involved in manufacturing LED drivers and thermal modules will help these components retain their value.

Related articles and links:

News articles:

Small LES COB LED packages deliver advanced color quality

COB LED arrays lower the cost of industry-leading efficacy

Compact LED offers alternative to low-lumen CoB LEDs

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