【TILS 2019】Rooted in Taiwan and Aim for the World —MEAN WELL Supports Multiple LED Lighting Applications

The 2019 Taiwan International Lighting Show (TILS) rounded off in the beginning of May. The show demonstrated that LED technology has delved deep into general lighting, and major LED lighting manufacturers have expanded to multiple niche applications. However, regardless of the changes and upgrades in applications, LED driver is always the core element of lighting and the heart of electronic application.

As LED lighting moves towards differentiation and niche development, how will LED driver, the star behind the scenes, play to its strengths and keep up with the industry? At this year’s TILS, LEDinside interviewed MEAN WELL, who has been cultivating LED driver for many years, and shared how MEAN WELL has stayed grounded in the industry with high-quality and diverse brand features, as well as its secret to expanding its clientele continuously and laying out global strategy amidst current market turmoil.

(Rex Lin, Product Manager at MEAN WELL)

MEAN WELL equips itself with diverse products and channels in the ever-changing lighting industry

There has been fierce competition in the LED industry in recent years. Many major international manufacturers have announced separation or withdrawal from the lighting business, which was a huge blow to OEMs and suppliers. But the LED business of MEAN WELL, a manufacturer of LED driver, has grown instead, even with recent market fluctuations.

When discussing how to swim upstream, MEAN WELL’s Product Manager Rex Lin emphasized that “risk diversification” is why MEAN WELL can always stand firm in an unpredictable, fluctuating market.

MEAN WELL’s main customers are mostly leading regional companies (local kings) or companies that sell mainly small and medium-sized products through distributors and do not take large orders from a single manufacturer as a main source of revenue. From customers to sales channels, MEAN WELL puts its eggs into different baskets. This is why MEAN WELL was not threatened by the impact from major international manufacturers pulling out of the lighting industry in the past two years. MEAN WELL’s LED-related revenue in 2018 continued to grow.

Rex Lin said MEAN WELL balances the proportion of LED driver to be at 40% of its total revenue. The company hopes to maintain this ratio, continue to improve product development, and keep up with the consumer market. Since LED lighting is a consumer product, product succession is faster, and its life cycle is around five to eight years. It must be constantly updated with innovative applications.

At this year’s TILS, MEAN WELL displayed a variety of new products, including the XLG and XBG series equipped with outdoor lighting. Whether it is the IoT smart lighting that has received a lot of attention lately or the evolving horticulture lighting, MEAN WELL, which is established upon diverse reference standards, can provide corresponding power products to meet customer demands.

Regarding smart lighting, MEAN WELL has already reserved dimming function for power supply. It can be used with the DALI lighting control system or other smart control designs. The development of a new product equipped with the upgraded DALI 2 is also underway. But what is even more challenging is outdoor lighting, which is where MEAN WELL can put its talents to use. With high performance and stable power supply, LED lamps can be used in any location.

Creating a high-quality private label — the new XLG series joins the ranks

The launch of the new XLG series power supply is a major event for MEAN WELL this year. Compared to previous products, the XLG series features constant power output, a compact design, and compliance with the latest safety regulatons.

The constant power design provides a wide range of voltages and currents that allow customers to choose between different LED sources. Only one product is needed to meet the demands of a wider range of applications, eliminating the need to select different power supplies for slight variations in voltage or current, making it easier to use.

The XLG series also complies with the latest safety regulatons. Besides the addition of the dimmable cord and output isolation to meet the latest EU IEC61347 specifications, common safety regulaton like the Australia RCM, India BIS, Japan PSE, and Korea KC are also included in the standard edition of the product.

“Reducing the size of the power supply was the biggest challenge of the XLG series,” Rex Lin explained. The smaller the power supply, the harder it is to dissipate heat. MEAN WELL used double-sided PCB and thermal silicone gel to reinforce heat dissipation, successfully reducing the size of the power supply to more than 20-30% of general commercial power supply. In response to the lamp miniaturization trend, MEAN WELL offers LED lamp consumers greater design flexibility with thinner and smaller power supplies.

MEAN WELL continues to observe market demands, designing and developing products that hit closest to home. MEAN WELL establishes its brand reputation with a small number of diverse products that support multiple LED applications, so it can grow steadily in a fluctuating industry. In addition to the current ten main product series, new series are gradually being developed.

MEAN WELL’s innovation activities aim for the world and strengthen industry chain cooperation

In order to support the growing business and promote new product lines, MEAN WELL launched a series of innovation activities in 2019 to strengthen its overseas strategy from production to sales.

Since last year, the global economy has been unstable due to international trade conflicts. In order to diversify the risks under such macroeconomic challenges, MEAN WELL initiated its “LED Overseas Production Transfer Plan.” MEAN WELL worked with upstream suppliers of materials, parts and equipment to establish new production bases. MEAN WELL and its partners visited Hanoi, Vietnam in early May this year to evaluate the potential of increasing production bases.

In addition to regularly attending various exhibitions, MEAN WELL will hold the opening ceremony of the Industry Technology Application Center during the Guangzhou International Lighting Exhibition in June. MEAN WELL will present the technological cooperation of its power products and various LED applications through dynamic operation.

At the same time, MEAN WELL is actively expanding overseas sales locations. Currently, MEAN WELL has more than 200 distributors across 80 countries and is striving to “become the leading distributor brand in the world.” The Power by MEAN WELL (PBM) joint marketing plan initiated last year is a major propellant for MEAN WELL’s future goal.

Starting with LED companies, the PBM project has gradually expanded to industrial control manufacturers. Currently, MEAN WELL already has 28 partners from around the world, and the number continues to grow. Through the PBM project, MEAN WELL wishes to connect its long-term SME customers to maximize their specialties and share of voice in their respective fields, and together with MEAN WELL’s brand credibility, the “1+1 is greater than 2” effect can be achieved. This will increase the sales and share of voice for both and MEAN WELL will continue to shine in the global market.

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