Philips Lumileds Expands Solutions Market to Meet Changing LED Industry Needs

Philips Lumileds continues to develop new products to satisfy the ever changing needs of the LED industry. LEDinside had the opportunity to speak with Philips Lumileds Sr. VP of Sales & Marketing Emmanuel Dieppedalle, Sr. Director of Marketing and Business Development Ray Chock, and VP of APAC Sales Alvin Tse during the Guangzhou International Lighting Exhibition 2014 last week to discuss the company current situation and future outlook.

Emmanuel Dieppedalle, Sr. VP of Sales & Marketing at Philips Lumileds standing in front of the Philips Lumileds booth at GILE 2014. (LEDinside) 

Q. How did Philips Lumileds’ revenue perform last year?

Dieppedalle: We are seeing growth in LEDs. In terms of revenue, illumination grew the most last year. Our company went through a change in management two years ago when we changed CEOs.  Afterwards, the company started to move into the mid-power, CoB, and other new application fields. This helped us gain greater market share in illumination. 

Q. What is the breakdown of application fields for Philips Lumileds? 

Dieppedalle: We are very strong in the outdoor lighting segment because it requires high-powered solutions, which has always been our expertise. We have invested a lot in IP such as epitaxy, which is very important for the efficacy in LEDs.  We also invest a lot in phosphor which we develop in-house. Our LUXEON TX product is doing very well in the market in terms of efficacy, as well as LUXEON M. They are great for outdoor applications.  We are also very active in the consumer lighting sector, such as light bulbs, which is mainly mid-power. In March this year, we released 10 new mid-power products.  We are already adding more capacity to address all the demands because the mid-power market is just starting to explode.  Low-power is another area we are active in. We are building a lot of capacity for low-power because there is currently a lot of demand in this area.  In summary, we are investing a lot in IP around our epitaxy, phosphor, and device architecture. These three areas are very important in order to bring the best LEDs to the market. On top of that, we are also expanding our portfolio. We are asking our customers what kind of solutions they need and we are bringing them these solutions because we want to become a supplier who is able to address all the solution needs. 

Philips Lumileds booth at GILE 2014 swarmed with visitors interested in the company's wide array of CoB products. (LEDinside)

CoB Everywhere

Q. I have noticed a lot of CoB products at the exhibition this year. What are Philips Lumileds’ plans in this area? 

Dieppedalle: We have released many CoB products into the market. We have available products with 1000 lumens up to 7000 lumens already released in the market. We are going to continue to release more solutions in the second half of this year. We are working to have an even more complete portfolio. We are also bringing special solutions to the market, such as LUXEON CoB with CrispWhite Technology, for target certain segments. We also have partnerships with manufacturers for clamps, lenses, heat sinks and more to provide full solutions for customers. 

Chock: When we look at the CoB market, we knew there were certain gaps in terms of what manufacturers offered and what customers need. We implemented three things into our product line to make it stand out. One is that it is the highest efficacy CoB on the market. We have just had a lumen upgrade to 130 lm/w. The second is that it has the smallest light emitting source (LES). It is the diameter of the fried egg. The smaller the “fried egg,” the smaller the beam angles you can support. The third is very low thermal resistance that enables more flexibility in the system design that can be used for higher efficacies, smaller heatsinks or higher flux.

Tse: It is much easier for your ecosystem using reflector-based  designs. In optic design, a smaller light emitting surface is much easier to control. 

Q. I have spoken to lighting manufacturers who said that they do not like to work with CoB because of the customized specs for CoB products. They would prefer to use standard products. Does Philips Lumileds have a solution to this problem? 

Dieppedalle: That is why it is difficult when a consumer asks what type of product we recommend for application in a downlight for example. It depends on the customer’s design objective, if they want to achieve low costs, high lumens per watt, high quality of light and CRI, etc. It also depends on the customer’s history, what they want to achieve, market approach, and design architecture. So that is why there is not one single answer to this question.  

Q. Are CoBs able to be applied in all lighting products? 

Tse: CoBs are  excellent options for downlights and spotlights where a single light source provides crisp beams and uniform lighting.  Other options are area lighting, such as low bay and high bay applications.   

Q. Some manufacturers have started using CoB in street lights.   

Dieppedalle: The main goal for street lights is to put light on the street uniformly. That is why high-powered packaging today is still the best solution and has a 99 percent market share in street lights. There are manufacturers who are testing mid-power LEDs and CoBs for street lights now. However, the market is still mainly high-powered. 

Chock: Beyond street lights, the next wave of application we see is in stadium lighting for sports and arenas where HP will be used exclusively.

Tse: The next wave in Europe and the Americas will be in stadium lighting, but horse track lighting for Asia.  


LED is still growing

Q. Is LED technology able to replace all kinds of light sources on the market right now? 

Dieppedalle: Yes, that is correct. We predict that the market will start to grow a lot. It is estimated that revenue for the LED market in the future will be around 15-20 percent. It is unsure if this will happen, but all the technology is already available at a reasonable price point so we are optimistic. 

Q. What growth percentage are you expecting?

Dieppedalle: It depends on the segment. For illumination there will be a definite 20 percent increase. We of course are active in more areas that just illumination. 

Q. What about the lighting segment?

Dieppedalle: If you look at China, the outdoor lighting segment is growing. Other segments such as retrofit and consumer lighting is also large in China. This is why we introduced many of our new products including single die, high voltage, high CRI, and lower power into the China market. Since we have a lot of IP, we can develop many different solutions. We can combine different phosphor and die architectures to develop new solutions. We are very active in the consumer market in China with bulb manufacturers. Another market in Asia which is large is in hospitality and retail lighting. This area requires downlights, spot lights, etc. We are seeing tremendous growth in this area. 


Capacity expansion

Q. What about capacity?

Dieppedalle: We are doing a lot of capacity expansion because the market is growing a lot. There is strong demand in the market and it is growing tight. 

Q. Do you have any plans to expand your in-house capacity in China?

Dieppedalle: No. Our plans are to continue expansion in our plant in Malaysia, which is where all of our backend is located.  

Q. So you still have a plans to expand capacity this year?

Dieppedalle: Yes, we are still expanding capacity in all of our plants. We have bought a lot of equipment over the past couple of years. So we have that available. 

Q. Do you have any plans for OEM or outsourcing?

Dieppedalle: Yes, we are current working on this. This way it is not one strategy and one country, but will have capacity everywhere. 


Asian market

Q. How do the market conditions vary within Asia?

Dieppedalle: Market conditions are completely different. In China, the market is focused on consumer, street light, and outdoor. In Japan, there are a lot of downlights, indoor, and hospitality. 

Chock: In Japan, after the tsunami and earthquake that hit the country a few years back, power consumption was displayed in the subway stations and other public areas to inform the public how much energy was being used. Once it reached 80 percent capacity, they would start rotating brown outs throughout the city. This was a huge motivator for consumers to purchase LED lighting, so the adoption rate in Japan is very high.  

Dieppedalle: Indoor lighting penetration rate in Japan is around 50 percent. The market will soon move towards outdoor lighting. 

Q. Is the Japanese and Chinese market the largest in Asia right now?

Dieppedalle: Yes. Korea is still growing, but is still small. There is some development in indoor, but it is not a big market yet. 

Tse: The market in South East Asia is stable but they are mainly focusing on indoor and not outdoor lighting. India is growing in indoor mainly, but it is still small in terms of market. 

Q. What do you think about the supply chain in India?  

Dieppedalle: For the India market, we mainly rely on distribution networks to resell our products in India. We mainly go through local distributors who know the market, trends, and consumer needs. 

Q. Green colored LEDs are pretty rare. In your LUXEON Rebel line, what made the company decide to design lime? 

Dieppedalle: We have developed a lot of IP with customers depending on certain needs. They come to us and ask to help them develop a specific product. This is how the LUXEON Rebel Lime got started. Philips came to us as a customer and said that they would like to develop a high-efficacy, color-tunable product. If we did not have this product available, the Hue bulb would not have been possible. This is how we were able to create a high efficacy product with 16 million colors by color mixing. The first product which was developed over a year and a half ago used two blue, four red, and five lime LEDs. We are now working on reducing the number of LEDs and improving the product.  

Chock: As a comparison, direct green is 80 lm/w. We have more than doubled the efficacy by using phosphor converted (PC) lime with up to 200 lm/W. 

(author: Leah Allen http:// Editor LEDinside)
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