Nobel Winner Shuji Nakamura Offers Advice on How Taiwanese LED Makers Can Stay Ahead of Competition

The range of LED products continues to expand, which opens up a great deal of business opportunities especially in the solid-state lighting sector. Struggling for market share, major Chinese LED manufacturers have been cutting down prices of their goods, making it even more difficult for Taiwanese makers to compete.
 
In light of this price competition, Japanese Nobel Laureate Shuji Nakamura, who has been coined as the “Father of GaN Blue LED”, suggested that Taiwanese manufacturers should patent their products to maintain their competitiveness edges. 
 
Nobel Laureate Dr. Shuji Nakamura. (LEDinside)

Strengths of Taiwan LED Industry
 
Dr. Shuji Nakamura was recently invited by National Taiwan University to give lecturers. He said Taiwan is among the world’s top LED manufactures with unparalleled technologies in mass production and has the greatest red LED manufacturing capacity. Faced with pressure from price-cutting rivals in China, Dr. Nakamura said patent is what Taiwanese manufacturers should take advantage of.  
 
Although China adopts a unique patent system that suits its own national conditions, other countries mostly comply with a uniform standard. In addition, Taiwanese LED makers have made many breakthroughs in technology and have been granted several patents. As a result, Dr. Nakamura said implementing patent strategies can help local players to leverage against their Chinese competitors.
 
He added that a close collaboration is also important. Taiwan is a small island, yet businesses can form a strong LED cluster that will make the supply chain more efficient.
 
Trends in LED Technology
 
In terms of technology trends, Dr. Nakamur was particularly positive on the development of smart lighting. He stated that in the future, lighting applications will definitely be combined with IoT technologies to form a connected and easy-to-control system that can greatly enhance the quality of life.
 
For instance, violet LEDs (with a wavelength bewteen 410nm to 420nm), a subject that he has been working on in recent years, and blue LEDs can actually complement each other. After the commercialization of blue LEDs, there have been concerns regarding their impacts on people’s health while violet LEDs are relatively safe. However, since researchers have developed the technology to control light wavelengths, Dr. Nakamura said blue LEDs and violet LEDs can be used together to create a smart lighting system.
 
Leveraging Soraa’s LED technology, the lighting system emits blue light that has a longer wavelength to help wake people up in the morning. At night, the system will remove blue light completely and retain a soft white light (violet light) that has a shorter wavelength to help people relax. This type of smart lighting system will be the future of lighting, as Dr. Nakamura pointed out. The good news is Taiwanese LED manufactures have already been working on related technologies, so he was confident that they will not lag behind in the future. 
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