Lumileds Mid Power March Set to Grab LED Chip Market Share

Leading LED manufacturer Lumileds has started off first quarter of 2016 with a strong mid power LED product portfolio range that is positioned to overtake market shares from competitors, said the company’s Vice President of Marketing and Product Management Rahul Bammi in an exclusive interview with LEDInside.

The company’s Mid Power March 2016 LED campaign features four mid-power LED products to be launched weeks apart from each other that are targeting particular lighting market sectors, such as the LUXEON 3535L HE Plus, LUXEON 2835 Line and LUXEON HR30. The four new products will be joining Lumileds existing flagship mid power LEDs including LUXEON 3535L line, LUXEON 3030 2D, LUXEON 3014 and Matrix Platform family which offers Level 2 options.

The four new products are scheduled to be launched respectively on March 8, March 15, March 22, and March 29, but further details of upcoming products are shrouded in secrecy. The company has given only a rough summary of the three other product features: a new product range optimized to custom-fit for the highest volume applications; a new addition to the Matrix Platform and a highly robust and environment-resistant mid-power LED.

Lumileds LUXEON 3535L HE Plus has attracted a lot of market attention for its optimal luminous efficiency designs. (All photos courtesy of Lumileds)

LUXEON 3535L HE Plus draws clients with optimal luminous efficiency designs

Launch of the LUXEON 3535L HE Plus on March 8, though, has given the market a taste of what is to come. Several product performance parameters stand out for this latest addition to the Lumileds 3535L family, including typical luminous efficiency of 194 lm/W at 65 mA. The product’s max drive current of 300 mA was higher than all major mid-power LED competitors, which enables a greater luminous output to meet low bay and high bay lighting demands, or those that require greater spacing. Other applications include indoor commercial applications, such as office lighting, and efficient tube lights (TLEDs).

“It is important to note that these are our typical production values, not best of the best or record performing,” stressed the company’s Senior Director of Mid Power Products Matt Everett.

Matt Everett, Senior Director of Mid Power Products at Lumileds. 

Bammi went on to explain: “Often, people claim really high lumens per watt, but this is not necessarily what they ship. We are more conservative – we claim what we actually ship and not what we can do in the lab.”

The LUXEON 3535L HE Plus also delivers a reliable color performance at 100 mA, where it offers 1/7th ANSI color binning. Initially, the LUXEON 3535L HE Plus will be offered in CRI 80, and three Correlated Color Temperature (CCT) models 2700K, 4000K, and 6,500K, but will soon be expanded to more CCT and CRI combinations like the rest of the 3535L family.

It would be logical to assume the secret formula to drive up chip efficiency performance to new heights may have been a CSP LED or even flip chips, but according to Bammi that has not been the case. “We use lateral die technology and packaging,” he explained. Although, there are many advantages of using CSP LED and flip chips in high power applications, the company sees no economic merits of using these chips in the mid-power range. Nor do they think the new chip technologies will become mainstream in the mid power sector this year. “I think mid power LEDs will still mostly be lateral die based,” said Bammi.

The LUXEON 3535L HE Plus has gained immense interest from the industry over the past month, shipping about 10 million units in March alone, said Bammi. Sampling and shipment of the products dates back to January, client demands have been so high that the company “ran out very quickly,” he explained.

A glimpse of the upcoming LUXEON 2835 Line.

Lumileds ready to take on larger mid-power LED market share in 2016

With the first mid power LED selling out fast, it will be interesting to see whether the other queuing products are able to measure up. But one question is why Lumileds is choosing the super competitive mid power LED market?

Chinese competitors aggressive pricing strategies, combined with dwindling profits in the lighting sector, would have turned away most companies from the mid power LED sector to prevent waning profitability from shrinking any further. According to LEDInside latest statistics the 2835 LED package price declined the most by 20% to 40% in 2015, bringing average selling price to US$ 7.0 per 1,000 units. The 40W LED bulb and 60W LED bulb prices also dipped 14% YoY and 16% YoY respectively last year.

Even Lumileds forecasted the LED lighting industry growth will be slowing to single digits this year. “I think (growth will) probably be at about 3-6%,” said Bammi. Despite the increasingly hostile market environment, he was upbeat the company’s mid-power LEDs performance would grow exponentially, a strong contrast to the lackluster performance of the general LED lighting market. He forecasted demands in retrofit of conventional luminaires, and strong growth in the tube light (TLED) market in the next three years would support the company’s soaring low and mid-power LED business growth.

Rahul Bammi, Vice President of Marketing and Product Management at Lumileds.

The company’s thriving low and mid power LED business backs this optimistic outlook. “So for 2016, it will be somewhere between 6 billion to 10 billion units (for low to mid-power LEDs combined),” said Everett. “Monthly volumes will continue to grow somewhere around 500 million to 800 million units per month this year.”

It should be noted that Lumileds large volume of low and mid power LED demands is not solely from the general lighting market, since its diverse product range covers three other major application sectors including automotive, flash and displays.

Technology advantages and its solid foundation in LED chip manufacturing has given the company more leverage than competitors in the mid-power LED market. Lumileds launched its mid-power LED family range in 2012 which has grown exponentially since to comprise a comprehensive portfolio of standard and customized mid power LED products, including the more common 2835, 3030, 3535 and other specs, explained Everett.

A sneak peek of Lumileds LUXEON HR30 to be launched at the end of March 2016.

The company’s expertise and knowledge in LED chip manufacturing dates back to 1962, when it was still a business arm of Hewlett Packard. Lumileds has since built on its strength in epitaxial growth and phosphor material R&D, to become a pioneer in LED FlipChip and CSP LED technology. It has continued to optimize its LED package solutions.

Stringent tests carried out by the U.S. manufacturer also ensures the chips quality are robust and reliable. “We validate and test our LEDs more than any other competitor out there, and that gives our customers confidence that our LEDs are designed and engineered to meet the most robust and demanding environments,” said Everett

Competition might be intensifying in the mid power LED sector, but industry veteran Lumileds is ready to march on and grab competitors’ market shares with its comprehensive and reliable mid-power LED product lineup. With energy efficiency still playing a crucial role in cost conscious clients purchasing decision, the capability of driving lateral structure LED chips to 194 lm/W luminous efficiency has helped Lumileds secure a steady order.

(Author: Judy Lin, Chief Editor, LEDInside)

 

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