LED Product Trends at EcoLightTech Asia 2014

A distinctive trend in the Thai LED market reflected at EcoLightTech Asia 2014 was the lack of LED chip, driver and component manufacturers, and the overly dominant presence of LED luminaire manufacturers and traders.

Thai LED manufacturer Acrolux attracted bypassers attention with its lampshade design at its booth. Most of the products displayed were LED bulbs. (LEDinside)

LED T8 tubes and bulbs most popular

Nearly every booth at the Thai lighting show which recently took place at The Queen Sirikit National Convention Center, in Bangkok, Thailand, displayed LED T8 tubes, large M16 high bay lights or LED streetlights. The products displayed by manufacturers including Philips, Nex Inotec, and Civic Media Lighting and others, indicated most LED manufacturers were targeting industrial, commercial and government lighting sectors at the trade show. Only a handful of manufacturers showcased retail lighting solutions, such as GE Lighting, L&E, Opple and others.

LED T8 tubes similar to these displayed at Hatari's booth were found at nearly every booth at the EcoLightTech Asia 2014 trade show. (LEDinside)

Most of the 33 manufacturers surveyed at the trade show told LEDinside the bestselling luminaire products have been LED tube or bulbs. Beam angles of LED T8 tubes surveyed ranged from 125 degrees to 330 degrees, while luminous efficacy ranged between 125 lm/w to 160 lm/w depending on the type of LED chip used in the products. Prices of LED tubes varied with one of the lowest prices coming from Thai manufacturer Racer’s 9W T8 LED tube, which was retailed at 399 Thai baht. Many manufacturers also reported significant price declines.

Shanshan Wei, Sales Manager, Thailand, Opple stands underneath the company's LED panel light Shining Moon Ceiling Light. The company was one of the few at the trade show that was also promoting residential lighting products. (LEDinside)

“Our company’s LED T8 tube prices in the Thai LED market have dropped 30% this year compared to last year,” said Shanshan Wei, Sales Manager, Thailand, Opple. She pointed out The Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (EGAT) policies launched in 2013, especially the launch of energy saving label EGAT No. 5 for electronic appliances, which is equivalent to the U.S. Energy Star standards. Products that meet the standard can receive EGAT subsidy, which pushed down LED 5W and 7W bulb prices to 115 and 125 Thai baht (US $3.81and $3.96) respectively, and has greatly raised the popularity of LED products in the country. “Manufacturers product prices are now even lower than this,” she added.

Dutch LED manufacturer Lioris Asia was one of the few manufacturers offering LED T5 Tubes at the show. (LEDinside)

Manufacturers vying government streetlight projects

Streetlight projects are also an area where many LED manufacturers are very active in, including L&E, Philips, and smaller LED manufacturers such as Unity Opto and Glaring International, and T&T innovation. L&E for instance is involved in a streetlight project in Pathum Thani province located in Central Thailand, said Pongskorn Ouvuthipong, LED Product Director, for Lighting and Equipment (L&E). He declined to give exact figures on the volume of LED streetlights used in the project.

Philips showcased some of its LED streetlights products to show its support. (LEDinside)

Global lighting conglomerate Philips has also acquired a major government streetlight project from EGAT to replace conventional streetlights in Thailand’s Srinakarin Dam with LEDs, said Wasawat Kittaweesinpitiya, Key Account Manager, Professional Channel-Lighting, Philips Electronics (Thailand). The company supplied 107 LED streetlights out of the 10,000 streetlight retrofit project. For large scale projects, the Thailand branch will directly contact the client, but small scale projects are managed through distributors, said Kittaweesinpitiya.Philips Lumileds LED chips were applied in the GreenVision Exceed series. 

Civic Media showcased a smart LED display. (LEDinside)

Other innovative lighting products

There were also a handful of manufacturers offering smart lighting solutions or applications, two were Thai LED manufacturers, such as new player Lumoz which demonstrated a smart lighting system and Civic Media, which showcased a smart LED display that could be controlled using smartphones. Other companies offering smart lighting products were mainly foreign manufacturers including Soitec, Sensacell, and Chinese smart LED manufacturer MiPower.

Ratn Manomat, Director, NPT Green introduces the company's induction lamps at EcoLightTech Asia 2014. (LEDinside)

Two LED manufacturers were also offering induction lamp options. Induction lamps run on a completely different technology concept from LEDs, instead of using semiconductors the lamps retain most of the same technology as fluorescent tube lights, and relies on magnets to change the electric current in the lights, said Ratn Manomat, Director, NPT Green. Compared to LEDs, the lamps have the advantages of better luminance maintenance, longer lifetime of 100,000 hours, and more affordable at around 200 to 300 Thai baht per unit. The lights can be 50% more energy efficient then halogen or metal halides. The company’s lamps which come with phosphor coated are now being used to light up the exterior of SET Index of Thailand.

Up close induction lamps are similar to a very fat fluorescent tube light. (LEDinside)

“We generally try to convince our customers to buy induction lamps, before selling them LEDs,” said Manomat. “We are offering it more like an option to LED lighting. There are only around 20 induction lamp manufacturers in Thailand, so the government isn’t really supporting this industry. The are no financial incentives for the induction lamp industry. Many induction lamp manufacturers are dropping out and selling LEDs instead because of government policies.”

A comparison between high bay induction lamps (left) versus conventional halogen lamps (right) shows the lamps on the left are more energy efficient. (LEDinside)

Many LED players in Thailand are not traditional light makers

Another interesting trend spotted at the trade show has been many Thai LED manufacturers were not traditional lighting manufacturers and are relatively new to the industry. Nex Inotec, a Thai LED manufacturer that has been in the LED business for four years and works closely with Taiwanese LED OEM, was originally in the bathroom toiletry business. Hatari, another Thai LED manufacturer in the industry for nearly two years was a fan maker.

Other new players, such as Japanese lighting manufacturer ECOTS had been a trader in the Thailand market for 15 years before becoming a LED manufacturer this year. TD Halo too had only shifted from being a trader of imported Chinese LED products to a LED manufacturer this year. In general, the majority of LED manufacturers LEDinside spoke to had been in the industry for around two to three years, and are still learning the ropes in LED technology.

(Author: Judy Lin, Chief Editor, LEDinside)

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