EVERLIGHT’s Strategic Planning towards Both Mid & Low Power LED and Specialty Lighting Markets

To shift or not to shift, that is the question. At this point within the LED industry, in terms of business transformation, companies are facing a turning point to shift business focus to new niche markets with high gross margins such as UV and IR LED, or to stay at LED lighting, where they began with; and of course, some chose to embrace all.

To get a grasp of strategies the industry use towards traditional LED lighting market and high margin niche markets, LEDinside, a division of the global market research company TrendForce, had an exclusive interview on 11th June with EVERLIGHT’s Sam Lee, Vice President of Sales and Marketing China Group; Louis Tsao, Senior Director of L/M Business Center; Jim Lin, Lighting Product Marketing Manager; and Michael Peng, Vice President at HercuLux Photoelectric Technology, a partner company of EVERLIGHT. LEDinside would therefore like to share their insights on EVERLIGHT’s strategic planning, the present and the future of LED lighting.

EVERLIGHT’s Jim Lin, Lighting Product Marketing Manager; Louis Tsao, Senior Director of L/M Business Center; Sam Lee, Vice President of Sales and Marketing China Group; and Michael Peng, Vice President at HercuLux Photoelectric Technology (From left to right) (Image: LEDinside)

Mid-power 2835 LED Package: One Spec For All

Currently the market presents a few mainstream mid and low power LED applications. The LED packages of 3V 0.2W/0.5W is mostly seen in LED tubes and linear fixtures. In the face of more stringent lighting standards, no longer complacent about realizing the luminous efficacy of 180lm/W at 60mA , LED makers are still scrambling for higher luminous efficacy.

It is also worth noting that, in terms of LED bulb, despite 9V 1W as the mainstream specification, a new solution for cost reduction -12V/18V high voltage products with linear power supply of same voltages- rolled out in the market. Some clients even requested for solutions with higher voltages such as 36V or 48V. Even if 9V is still the most common design in 2017, a competition of the development of high-voltage non-dimmable LED bulbs to pair with linear power supply is expected to begin in no time.

EVERLIGHT pursues not only high voltage but high efficiency. At present, the company is able to mass produce 1W 9V 100mA LED with a 2700K CCT and a luminous flux of 130lm, 15% higher than that of 113lm widely adopted in the industry. It also scheduled to officially mass produce a series of 1W 12V/18V products in 3Q17, attempting to raise luminous flux of its current products by 2% on a quarterly basis. EVERLIGHT’s high efficient 2835 package series have already reached a flux of 210lm/W at 60mA at most. Although large-sized chips can be used to improve luminous efficacy, EVERLIGHT experimented with various chip types in hope to tailor an optimized solution with a reasonable price for clients.

In the market of 2835 LED package, EVERLIGHT takes the lead in the development of both high voltage and luminous efficacy. Its phosphor technology also render improved CRI ratios. It is anticipated to start offering clients a small batch of production with CRI>95 and R9>90 for more design options.

Plant Growth Takes Time; Most Demand Still Goes For Standardized Products

Here, we divide consumers of agricultural lighting into two groups: one we called ‘the DIY group’ that consists of people less demanding of efficacy and mainly satisfied with standardized single-color LEDs; and one refers to professional plant growers, which is also the exact group EVERLIGHT targets. Another piece of information for reference here is that the demand in the market of professional agricultural lighting does not soar within a short time. Plant growth takes time. Acknowledging this fact, EVERLIGHT works in tandem with its clients during R&D processes. Already with five years of experience in this field, it has developed several partnerships with massive companies in Europe and the US and been capable of the mass production of various power levels of agricultural LEDs.

The main exhibits of EVERLIGHT at GILE 2017 included three series of packages-1-3W 3535, 0.5W 3030 and 0.2W 2835. The 3535 package series feature high power ceramic substrates formulated for high power applications within limited installation space. Different power options of 3030 and 2835 series provide clients with multiple designs for light tubes, grid ceiling lights, PAR lamps and other modules. In regard to those single-color fixtures, EVERLIGHT chose to partner with major Taiwanese chip manufacturers to ensure the reliability and light concentration.

The majority of agricultural lighting demand in the domestic market is for mass-producible standardized products so far, with the demand for LED tubes contributing to the largest share. These products allow customers to modify the proportions of red and blue LED chips for experiment and comparison. On the other hand, overseas clients normally give specific requests in terms of wavelength and power when placing orders. Thus, most products shipped out are customized modules and combinations, or even specialty modules with particular wavelengths. We reckon the demand for professional agricultural lighting from overseas is still relatively high compared with its counterpart.

UV LED: Industrial Use UVA Market Takes Off First While UVC Market Is Worth More

The UV LED segment covers applications of UVA (360-410 nm) and UVC (260-280 nm). As UVA technology gradually takes hold, the UVA sector in the market is estimated to first witness a mild growth and it is mostly used in applications such as printing and curing. As for the dynamic of UVC market in 2018, in light of the fact that the price per chip is yet to be economical, the sentiment at the demand side is still reserved. Not until 2018 will a few buyers start to employ UVC LEDs in their products, and applications at the early stage will still be mostly commercial and industrial equipment. These consumers tend to have higher tolerance of high selling prices. Consequently, even if UVC LEDs are priced at higher rates, they could end up with a larger market value than that of UVA LEDs.

LEDinside observes that major UV LED suppliers are from Japan and Korea and a small proportion of mid & low range equipment is offered by Chinese packaging firms. They might share similar UV LED packaging technology, yet materials and processes those firms adopt vary. Each party in the UV market emphasizes reliability. Because of different needs from different participants (most of them are for curing and printing equipment, though), which materials to choose for light sources is very critical, considering the high cost spent on equipment production. In terms of UV performance, Chinese packaging companies provide quality similar to that of Japanese and Korean ones, yet still couldn’t reach consuming companies from Europe, Japan and the States except for ones in the mid and low range market. Obviously, Chinese firms need to tackle the ‘product reliability issue’.

All considered, general LED lighting is unlikely to solely generate or even sustain profits for the LED industry. However, companies can still sail through fine if they could optimize their solutions and enhance price/performance ratios to secure their share in the general lighting market, at the same time speed up their R&D of UV LED, agricultural lighting and other niche applications. That is what EVERLIGHT does and will do in the future.

(Author: LEDinside Skavy)
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