Power Electronics

Energy Efficiency Needs to Drive Growth of Electronic Ballasts

A marketing report released by the Darnell Group projects that unit sales for electronic ballasts will grow at an average annual rate of 12.1% from 2005 to 2010. According to Darnell, this growth will be driven by efficiency-related regulations, technology advances, lower prices, increased consumer demand as well as other factors.

The report, “Global Electronic Ballast Markets: Technologies, Applications Trends and Competitive Environment, Fourth Edition,” defines the electronic ballast market as consisting of six different technologies and spanning a wide range of applications. These technologies include cold cathode fluorescent lamps (CCFLs), compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs), high-intensity discharge (HID) lamps, linear fluorescent, light emitting diodes (LEDs) and halogens. Together, these technologies make up a $10 billion electronic ballast market.

Darnell notes that while some segments could be threatened by the advances in the new technologies, particularly the high-efficiency LEDs, each segment within the electronic ballast industry will remain strong over the period of the forecasts. For example, consumer demand for flat-panel computer monitors and flat-panel televisions is leading to explosive growth for the CCFL market.

Darnell estimates that the average annual growth rate for CCFL ballasts will be 15.4% over the forecast period—the most growth of any segment in the report. However, the firm cautions that long-term prospects for CCFLs may be less rosy as LEDs are expected to eventually become a cost-effective, better-performing alternative to CCFLs.

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