LEDinside: Where does LED stand in consumer lighting market?

The LED lighting consumer market in China has always been more or less stagnant and the market prospects have been largely debated: what is the future looks like for LED consumer market in China? How can LED lighting see a wider adoption in consumer-based areas?

At LEDinside’s LEDforum Guangzhou 2012 held at Guangzhou International Lighting Exhibition in June 2012, Sean Zhou, the Regional Marketing Director of Philips Lumileds, noted that in spite of a considerable amount of expectations riding on the LED consumer market, its market share pales in comparison with that of the specialized LED lighting market.

Many industry experts believe the consumer lighting market holds great demand, and LED lighting will not see a bright future until LED conquers the consumer market. The policy to phase out incandescent light bulbs which to take effect in October will open the consumer lighting market’s door to LED lighting.

Despite the great prospects of Chinese consumer lighting market, LEDinside notes that LED lighting fixtures’ lifespans largely determine the future development of LED lighting market. The energy-saving strength and long lifespan are what really sets LED lighting fixtures apart from traditional ones.

Generally speaking, there are two scenarios under which people buy LED lighting fixtures: 1. The construction firms buy when furnishing houses. 2. Regular consumers go to the stores to buy to replace their old lighting fixtures.

For numerous construction and furnishing companies, LED lighting fixtures are not a luxury choice anymore. Given the increasing environmental awareness, many construction companies will suggest their clients to go with LED products, and most clients will accept the suggestions as well. Under the circumstances, it is easier to promote LED products. However, the buyers are constructions companies, not regular consumers; it is still mostly up to the construction companies to decide which lighting brand to go with. Thus, the LED companies need to design their products catering to the preferences of construction companies. Also, this sector is greatly affected by the real estate market.

The second scenario is that regular consumers go to the stores to buy LED lighting products, which is still relatively uncommon. Firstly, most consumers still sees LED as an immature technology. Secondly, due to LED lighting fixtures’ high prices, consumers will mostly likely choose cheaper traditional lighting fixtures. Nonetheless, with incandescent light bulbs soon to be phased out, there is more room for LED lighting to break into the consumer market.

Given the lukewarm outlook for the real estate market, LEDinside points out that the industry can not be overly optimistic about the consumer lighting market due to the long lifespans of LED products. LED lighting fixtures’ lifespans can be up to 30,000 hours. If a consumer uses it 5 hours per day, it can last for 6,000 days. Hence, LED lighting fixtures can be good for more than a decade. By the time the LED lights fail, the houses probably have already been refurnished. As for the second scenario, the sales it brings in are very limited and still requires much more time to reach high popularity. However, be it the first or the second scenario, the establishment of distribution channels in the LED consumer market remains the top priority.

Japanese LED lighting market is one of the most mature LED markets in the world, which results in the high LED penetration rate in the Japanese consumer market. LEDinside believes that Chinese LED lighting market should follow the example of Japan in terms of LED-related policies and actual LED applications in everyday life.

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