LED Manufacturers Target Smart Lighting Market Amid LED Bulb Price Declines in May 2014

The global 40W equiv. LED bulb Average Selling Price (ASP) declined 3.2 percent to US $14.20 in May, with price decreases most evident in China. Additionally, the ASP for 60W equiv. LED bulbs dipped slightly by 3.6 percent to US $19.50. With continual LED bulb ASP declines, manufacturers are looking to smart bulbs to break free from intense pricing competition, according to the latest LED bulb retail findings for May 2014 from LEDinside, a division of research organization Trendforce. 

As the ASPs have been declining the LED bulb penetration has been gradually rising. Smart bulbs have become a major trend this year in the LED lighting industry, and their impact in the market is deepening. Meanwhile, an increasing number of manufacturers have begun introducing smart lighting application and control systems into lighting solutions to maintain a competitive edge in market. The firm said that after large international manufacturers, such as Philips and Samsung established a name for themselves in smart lighting, many Chinese and Taiwanese manufacturers have followed suit by launching smart bulbs, including Foshan Lighting, Adata Lighting, and even U.S. based consumer electronics manufacturer Belkin.

Smart bulb prices remain relatively expensive, despite growing popularity. In the U.S. market for example, a normal 60W equiv. bulb is priced around US $16, but smart bulbs can cost about double with a hefty price tag of between US $30-$60, according to data compiled by LEDinside. Consumers are now demanding bulbs with dimmable capabilities for residential and decorative lighting in order to create more ambient atmospheres. Additionally, manufacturers are introducing control systems such as apps to act as a communication bridge between bulbs and mobile devices to enhance added-value features. LEDinside said consumers are more willing to accept higher price tags for smart bulbs because of the value-added capabilities. 

Smart lighting consumers are mainly concentrated in Europe and the U.S. where buying power and maturity is higher. Comparatively, smart lighting is still in the conceptual stage in the Chinese market where high price and lack of standards for lighting control solutions inhibit smart lighting development. Smart lighting popularization in China, therefore, still requires a mature supply chain and cooperation, the firm added.

LEDinside also noted that LED smart bulb costs and ASPs are estimated to drop further following an increase in popularization and production volume expansion. 

40W and 60W Equiv. Prices Maintain Global Downward Trend Amid Adjustments to Product Retail 

The ASP for 40W equiv. bulbs in China were down 12.8% in May 2014. Existing products also dropped in price, with the Haide Lighting Technology 5W bulb ASP declining from US $4 to US $2.60. Moreover, a portion of high-priced products were temporarily terminated, such as bulbs by manufacturers Osram and Samsung. 

The U.S. product ASP also dipped in May, declining around 8.3%. Products entering the promotional period showed a dramatic price drop. The Insignia 9W bulb ASP for example declined 50%. Philips’ 9W dimmable bulbs showed a similar price decline. 

In the 60W equiv. LED product sector, the ASP in China declined 9.1% in May. Existing product ASPs remained steady, with a portion of high price products temporarily terminated or declining in price, such as Samsung’s 10.8W bulb, which was originally priced at US $14.30. The UK ASP in May 2014 saw a dramatic decrease of 22%. Existing products, however, remained steady since some higher priced products were temporarily discontinued, such as Ledon’s 12W 800LM bulb originally priced at US $40.50, noted LEDinside. 

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