EVERLIGHT Focuses on Japanese Auto Lighting Market and Actively Seizes Tokyo Olympics Business Opportunities

Automotive LED has been one of the LED applications whose market scales are huge and still rapidly growing. According to LEDinside, The trend that global auto lighting has shifted from traditional light bulbs to LED light sources has accelerated in 2016. More matured markets have steadily migrated into high portion of LED light sources. Emerging countries have stably followed the trend. LEDinside's research data showed that 2016 exterior LED lighting market value reached US $1.57 billion. This sector's compound annual growth rate (CAGR) is projected to hit 6% from 2016 to 2020.

Major LED package manufacturer EVERLIGHT has actively developed the auto LED component market, and has expanded its investment in Taiwanese factories. In the exhibition of NEPCON Japan and Light Tech Expo in Japan in 2017, EVERLIGHT focused on auto LED series of products and CoB LED products. LEDinside interviewed EVERLIGHT Japan Corp.'s Managing Director Hideaki Shikata and FAE Team 1 Director Satoshi Uchida who is in charge of Japanese LED market's product technologies, and EVERLIGHT Electronics Co. Ltd.'s Automotive Product Research & Management Business Div. Chief Min Shie who is responsible for auto product marketing and management. In this way, readers can understand current auto LED applications and Japanese market's future trends and directions.

Hideaki Shikata, EVERLIGHT Japan Corp.'s Managing Director (LEDinside)

The development of Ambient Lighting, In-Vehicle Applications, and LED Headlights

Currently, the development of both automobile exterior and in-vehicle lighting of car manufacturers has been diversified into different patterns based on regional preferences. European car makers show their keen interest and ambition to introduce ambient lighting to their manufacturing. Noted corporations such as Benz, Audi, and BMW, not only invest a great bundle of effort in-vehicle LED applications, but in the development of LED Matrix and LED multiplexing technologies. This dynamic can also be seen among the Tier 1 light manufacturers in the automotive lighting industry, and is most noticeable in factories of Hella, Valeo, and Maruili. On the other hand, American and Japanese vehicle manufacturers are slightly behind yet still considered with great potentials to introduce ambient lighting to systems.

Regarding the innovation of in-vehicle LED applications, EVERLIGHT presented its new products of LED Matrix in hope to collaborate with automobile manufacturers who would like to embed the products on the surface of dashboards in a way that information, including names of music, weather, temperatures, and driving speed, would be more visible to passengers. Displays assembled to the seat back, mostly sporting automotive LCD or OLED screens, are able to provide visual content to passenger sitting at the back seats.

As for in-vehicle LED ambient light sources, LED multiplexing, the current state-of-the-art technique, requires two to four LEDs for color-changing. EVERLIGHT offers dual-color and four-color LEDs, of which the actual application  meet with a favourable reception from car manufacturers.

EVERLIGHT has put more and more effort in automotive LED lighting. In 2016, automotive lighting contributed to 16% of EVERLIGHT’s package shipment, and it is expected to continue to rise at 30% in the long term. Judging by the current automotive lighting shipment, it suggests 70% out of which is in-vehicle lighting, while the rest belongs to exterior LED lights. With excellent customer services and years of packaging experiences and technologies, EVERLIGHT has accomplished quite a lot in auto LED taillights, reversing lights, and DRL sectors. As to auto LED headlights, market trend is currently pointing at matrix model (combination of DRL and headlight). EVERLIGHT has matching solutions for this trend and is working with auto manufacturers and getting certified.

Renowned electric scooter developer Gogoro use EVERLIGHT’s LED headlights on its scooters and the adoption is well-received in the market.

EVERLIGHT overcomes auto lighting's rigid requirements by consistency, reliability and verifications of life span

Europe, USA and Japan markets of auto daytime running lights (DRL) have expended due to legislation. EVERLIGHT's DRL 3030 and DRL 3535 LED products have equipped quite a lot of certifications.

Toward auto LED's requirements, in terms of physical tests of reliability, EVERLIGHT has earned certifications of interior lighting for 4,000~6,000 hours, and exterior lighting for more than 10,000 hours. These auto LED lighting's requirements of life span are much longer than average specification LED lighting's requirements. Meanwhile, auto giants request that stocked-up LED materials must be available for years to come. Therefore, EVERLIGHT and upstream LED chip manufacturers have both spent a lot of effort ensuring long-term consistency.

In order to advance in the auto LED sector, EVERLIGHT invested the factory in Tongluo, Taiwan. This factory passed TS494 standard. TS494 has been far more rigid and careful than general LED production line's specifications and requirements. This action proved that EVERLIGHT has maintained consistent quality and sufficient preparation for customers' products.

CoB market's positive outlook among lighting applications

EVERLIGHT has cultivated Japan's lighting market for a long time. Both Shikata Hideaki and Uchida Satoshi expressed, Japanese market's usage amount of LED products (5630 and 2835) indeed has been huge. Nonetheless, CoB and high power lighting sectors have built a certain level of competitive barriers. These two segments have experienced severe competition amid Japanese manufacturers and their foreign rivals.

Hideaki Shikata, EVERLIGHT Japan Corp.'s Managing Director (LEDinside)

In Japan's CoB LED market, each market share of foreign rivals' could not match share of Citizen or Sharp. For example, Chinese manufacturers strived to enhance their CoB presence in the Japan market, but market acceptance was not high. The major reasons have been that Japanese market has special requirements. Japanese expect that manufacturers can serve accurately in details and provide reasonable prices, and Japanese emphasize high efficiency and energy saving features.

EVERLIGHT's strategy caters to Japanese local requirements, and provides comprehensive customer services. Its CoB product strategy specifically offers PIN to PIN model. When Japanese customers are considering CoB LED light sources, EVERLIGHT charms them by strategic consideration, convenient availability, and technical supports during deploying and migration. EVERLIGHT has successfully stood on a firm ground in the Japanese market.

Not only that, EVERLIGHT proactively expands its territory in intelligent property. Its G series LED products (including chips and packaging materials) in the Japan market do not conflict with Nichia's patents. EVERLIGHT's "Shuen" series match Citizen's same-level product series, and its "Ju" series parallel Sharp's equivalent CoB product series. In this way, EVERLIGHT offers more options for Japanese customers.

Tokyo Olympics spurs demand of new- and upgrading-lighting from buildings & gymnasiums

Shikata Hideaki pointed out that currently Japan is actively preparing for 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Thus, construction of various public buildings, transportation, general buildings, and gymnasiums is continually going on. For their lighting demand, the market has anticipated rising demand of new- and upgrading-LED tubes, spotlights, and light bulbs.

Hideaki Shikata, EVERLIGHT Japan Corp.'s Managing Director and EVERLIGHT's booth (LEDinside)

He explained with further details. For the outlook of upgrading and new-installation lighting projects, the market demand will soar in 2018 ~ 2019. After all, projects must be completed and get done with acceptance testing by 2020. Therefore, EVERLIGHT aggressively develops its grasp in the Japan market. It faithfully promises to supply fully-stable LED products, and ensures customer satisfaction in quality and quantity of delivery.

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