Edison Opto Carves Out Its Path in the Fierce LED Market with Aggressive Automotive Lighting Strategy

As market competition intensifies, LED manufacturers are adjusting their strategies to expand into new niche markets and create new opportunities with their technological advantages. As a specialist manufacturer of high-power LED components, Edison Opto has accumulated more than a decade of R&D experience in LED technology, especially concerning spatial distribution. With this expertise, the company has recently made the strategic decision to enter the automotive LED lighting market.

Ken Chen, R&D Director of Edison Opto, stated that this is the best time for the company to enter the LED automotive lighting market during an interview with LEDinside. Among LED applications, car headlights and fog lights in particular have seen the most developmental growths. As the interview continued, Chen furthermore outlined the company’s automotive lighting strategy in relation to highlights of the LED lighting industry’s progress in 2015.

Ken Chen, Director, R&D Division, Edison Opto (LEDinside)

Branching out into automotive lighting tests the strength and endurance of Edison Opto’s LED technology

According to LEDinside’s latest analysis, the global LED automotive lighting market will reach US$2.5 billion by 2018. However, the high technological requirements and the long certification process present difficult barriers to market entry. “Reliability is critical in the LED automotive lighting market,” said Chen, “There is no opportunity for manufacturers to recover from any mistakes.” While Chen’s statement emphasizes the high barriers to entry, it also reveals that LED automotive lighting market is a niche market with many opportunities that come with the challenges.

Cutthroat pricing is not the sole solution for LED manufacturers as the competition becomes intense. Chen said while expansion into the automotive lighting market will take several years of hard work to achieve results, Ediso Opto’s steady and deliberate efforts actually creates more business opportunities. The company has a team of professionals with hands-on knowledge of the current technology, so they can capitalize on the many existing prospects in the LED automotive lighting sector.

Since its formal entry into the LED automotive lighting market in June 2014, Edison Opto has jointly developed products with many business partners. Edison Opto provides a complete product and service solution, from design to sample making and testing. The company provides targeted clients product samples after in-house testing. Edson Opto furthermore aims to establish good relations with potential clients by being attentive to their demands while showcasing a range of technological advantages. The company has also prepared detailed product catalogs as well as related certifications so that it never misses a chance for business collaboration.

Edison Opto and Korean car brand set up joint venture to enter Chinese automotive lighting market

Speaking of business partners, Chen noted that in 2014, his company established a joint venture with a Korean car brand in Yangzhou, China. The joint venture’s primary focus is to provide products and services to Korean automobile manufacturers in China. Edison Opto is presently involved in the frontend LED component R&D and supply, whereas the joint company is working on backend optics and structural components (such as module design). Furthermore, the joint venture is working along with the Korean partner’s existing client network to open up business opportunities in China.

Chen pointed out high-power LED is used in headlights and fog lights, indicating higher technical demands for these products. The design of automotive light products, for example, is limited by the structure and size of the products. Light source has to be miniaturized as much as possible in order to create the right and uniform light distribution. The above mentioned all place emphasis on the manufacturer’s technology. As the specialist in high-power LED, Edison Opto has the absolute advantage in this respect. “We have achieved a right balance in terms of providing technology and services of excellent quality at reasonable prices,” said Chen.

Edison Opto plans to invest in equipment, sales, and R&D personnel as part of its LED automotive lighting strategy for 2015. Moreover, SOPs for product R&D and certification process will also be established. Currently, Edison Opto is dedicated to finding partners among Tier 1 and aftermarket suppliers and have been actively providing sample products for their testing and feedback.

Edison Opto will also focus on outdoor lighting in the second half of 2015 as customized LED luminaires present huge business potential

Aside from the automotive lighting application, Edison Opto’s other major business focus for 2015 is LED lighting. The rapid growth of the LED lighting industry in the recent years has caused a constant lowering of prices for related products. As a result, traditional light source manufacturers and luminaire companies have begun making the transition to LED. Luminaire companies in particular are moving towards integrated LED luminaires, and this presents another opportunity – Edison Opto can offer its design talent in the making of these products.

As for the company’s light source clients, Chen revealed some China-based lighting companies have received sizable contracts for LED light bulbs and tubes, so the demand for LED components is huge. As a major supplier of LED components, Edison Opto expects sales will be better in 2015 than the previous year. Edison Opto moreover sees itself as having the greatest competitive advantage in the luminaire market. Even though demands from clients are not as strong in this niche market, customized luminaires are high-end products with high margins. Edison Opto is thus able to give full play to its strengths; and at the same the company is able to avoid being undercut by competitors because it has the export channels for these products.

Chen is also very optimistic about the outdoor lighting market, which will also become a major focus for Edison Opto during the second half of 2015. Presently, the company is assessing many streetlight projects from foreign clients, and it is actively bidding for similar projects in the emerging markets. Chen forecasted the company revenue would show considerable growth in 2015.

 “The most interesting aspect of the LED lighting industry is the process of finding suitable clients,” said Chen. Based on Edison Opto’s current business plans, the company has set a clear direction in identifying target clients and understands how to use their advantages to create new opportunities. The company is also confident that it is on the right path, and will be able to meet all its visions.

(Author: Angela Yang, Editor, LEDinside / Translator: Judy Lin, Chief Editor, LEDinside/ Editor: Thomas Hsu, Translator, TrendForce)

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