Yole Développement's analysts estimate that the open LED lighting module market including flexible LED strips will nearly reach US$3 billion in 2015 and will grow to more than US$10 billion by 2020. Yole's market metrics take into account mid- and high-power modules, COB and flexible strips sold on the open market. The "More than Moore" market research and strategy consulting company, Yole proposes today a comprehensive survey dedicated to the LED module technologies, markets, applications and associated limits. It also details the main functions and integration into lighting systems.
This new Yole's report describes each LED module type. Additionally, it provides insights into the positioning of each module type. Yole's analysts describe the LED lighting module industry structure, the evolution of the supply chain and future market and technical trends. This analysis has been performed in collaboration with PISEO, an independent lighting innovation platform. PISEO proposes high added-value services to the lighting industry, such as consulting, testing lab, and training.
"Many LED lighting modules are currently available, including mid-power and high-power modules", explains Joel Thomé, PISEO's General Manager. And he adds: "Mid-power LED modules offer low power consumption, high flux in association to large led count and lighting surfaces whereas high-power LED modules deliver more flux and in smaller LES. COB LED modules provide a compromise between size of light, LES, flux power and power consumption."
However they need additional components to give the light effect desired, such as clamp holders and optics. The choice of the LED module technology will depend on an application's system requirements with regards to power consumption, LES and light flux.
"The main benefits to lighting integrators of using LED modules cover faster product development cycles, less complexity for integration as well as the management of high level parameters, which is directly handled by the LED module supplier," explains Pars Mukish, Business Unit Manager, LED, OLED and Sapphire at Yole. But the choice of the module requires a deep knowledge and understanding of the three areas: application, technology and system architecture. These factors are highly interdependent. As a consequence, specifications of the main functions of the module, including thermal management, optical design and power supply, need to be carefully studied to ensure the right components and materials are used.
Growth of the LED industry initially came from small display applications and was driven forward by larger LCDs. Since 2012, most companies have been participating in the ultimate application for the LED business, general lighting. Now, for solid-state lighting to grow, the industry expects strong price decreases though development of new LED platforms.
Furthermore, complete standardization of these sub-systems is still difficult as integration of LED modules must follow specific rules in areas such as design and electrical insulation. In this context, the Zhaga consortium has been created to develop guidelines for interchangeability of LED light sources made by different manufacturers. Standardization will further reduce development and maintenance but will also limit the possibility of differentiation between suppliers. Most LED lighting module suppliers are packaged LED manufacturers that have used vertical integration to capture more value within the supply chain. These players have a strong competitive advantage in terms of mastering the LED binning strategy. However some other types of players are also involved in this business. They mainly want to diversify their activities and/or define new strategies to support the development of their primary business. They are: LED luminaire, LED driver, optic, connector, heatsink … manufacturers.
Under this new report, both organizations, PISEO and Yole highlight the emergence of flexible LED strips. Flexible LED strips represent a new form of LED lighting module that can also be directly used as LED lighting systems. They were initially developed by Asian manufacturers for the Asian market. But today, they are spreading to other regions of the world. "Such modules allow new applications due to their design flexibility and are mostly driven by indirect lighting applications and high-end applications at the moment", asserts Pierrick Boulay, Technology & Market Analyst, LED, OLED and Lighting Systems at Yole. "In the future, we expect, at Yole, these modules to continue penetrating indoor lighting applications such as residential lighting, and commercial lighting."