Hidden Champions – Taiwan’s LED Enterprises Reveal Their Global Strategies and Patents at TILS 2018

The ninth annual Taiwan International Lighting Show (TILS 2018) opened with much fanfare in Hall 1 of Taipei World Trade Center on 25 April. This year’s show has gathered 114 exhibitors and featured 420 display booths showcasing technologies under the categories of LED general lighting and smart lighting.

Taiwan as the third largest producer of LED components has an integrated supply chain consisting of companies serving both local and international markets. Regions that Taiwan-based LED lighting companies have penetrated include Europe, North America, Southeast Asia, and the Middle East. The strength of Taiwan’s LED industry as a whole is reflected in the immense number of designs and patents that it has amassed. The exhibitions at TILS 2018 have further confirmed that local component and luminaire manufacturers have laid solid groundwork for the development of hardware for the next-generation, IoT-based smart lighting solutions.

Epistar focuses on biometrics

(Image: LEDinside)

Aside from showcasing LED filament bulbs, Epistar for the first time in Taiwan has unveiled its newest biometric sensing module that was jointly developed with MediaTek. The device appears as a small and portable rectangular metallic case that has an IR sensor located on both sides. The sensors contain invisible IR LEDs manufactured in-house by Epistar and are used to collect data such as heartbeats, blood pressure, and blood oxygen. To start measuring health data, the user first connects the device to the smartphone and then places his/her left and right thumbs on the device’s sensors. The device will immediately display the user’s health indicators on the smartphone’s screen.

Taiwan’s Vice President Chien-Jen Chen attended the opening ceremony of TILS 2018 and visited Epistar’s display booth to know more about the company’s R&D capability. (Image: LEDinside)
Epistar partnered with MediaTek to develop this mobile biometric sensing module that collects vital stats. (Image: LEDinside)

For the invisible light applications, Epistar has a wide range of LED product lines covering wavelengths from 600nm to 1,600nm. The company’s recent focus on IR LEDs of special wavelengths for biometric sensing devices has yielded many encouraging results. Like other major LED suppliers, Epistar wants to tap into the growing demand for biometric recognition and sensing components that are now being used in the internet-connected consumer electronic devices. Apple, for instance, has teamed up with Stanford University to develop a non-invasive blood oxygen and glucose monitoring system that incorporates optical and sensing technologies. Apple is also working on various internet-connected medical technologies and intends to assemble them together onto a healthcare IoT platform. In response to this market trend, Epistar has therefore targeted its R&D efforts on data-collection sensors.

MEAN WELL unveils its latest LED drivers and cross-promotion campaign with local vendors

(Image: LEDinside)

MEAN WELL is a well-known supplier of LED drivers with a very large global market share. For TILS 2018, MEAN WELL has offered its latest series of LED drivers and power supplies for luminaires across the entire wattage range. These driver/power supply modules are suitable for conventional residential lighting as well as smart lighting applications. At the same time, MEAN WELL has used the event as an opportunity to launch its new cross-promotion campaign under the slogan “Powered by MEAN WELL.” The campaign aims to foster collaborations between MEAN WELL and other players within the LED lighting industry. With its sight sets on the overseas markets, MEAN WELL on one hand will continue to raise the quality of its general lighting products, while, on the other hand, expanding into different application segments such as smart lighting for Smart Home and Smart Building. Ultimately, the company hopes to significantly increase its market share for LED drivers used in high-end, advanced applications.

(Image: LEDinside)

The new items that MEAN WELL has put on display at TILS 2018 include its constant current mode LED power supply/driver modules for outdoor luminaires and high bay lights in the high-power to mid-power categories (e.g. the HBGC-300, ELGC-300, and HVGC-480/650 series). MEAN WELL’s exhibition also introduces its high-efficiency power supply modules for ultra-thin displays (i.e. the UHP-200/350/500 series). Besides these specific-purpose products, the company has also presented its popular ELG series of LED drivers, of which millions have been sold worldwide. Alex Tsai, director of MEAN WELL Group’s product planning department, pointed out that his company has always been focusing on its core business and successfully launched over 9,500 industry-standard products. Presently, MEAN WELL’s products serve in six major application areas – LED signage/lighting, industrial automation/control, netcom/consumer electronics/security, medical equipment, transportation, and green energy. All of the solutions provided by the company meet international safety standards. Because of its extensive portfolio, MEAN WELL provides the convenience of “One Stop Shopping” for downstream clients that want to save time and money during product development and testing. Hence, working with MEAN WELL often results in quicker market release of a luminaire product.

Numerous leaders in Taiwan’s LED industry come together to support the “Powered by MEAN WELL” campaign. From left: CooLED’s Director Channy Lin, Epoch Lighting’s Y.J. Chang, Sunyeer Technology’s General Manager Kway Lin, Shinyou Light’s CEO JC Lin, and Neotroni Lighting’s General Manager Gross Chen (second from the right). (Image: LEDinside)

“Powered by MEAN WELL” is also the overarching theme of the larger joint exhibition by MEAN WELL and its local partners at TILS 2018. These local partners include five of Taiwan’s top LED luminaire brands (Epoch Lighting, Sunyeer, Shinyou Lights, CooLED, and NeotroniLighting) and two of MEAN WELL’s authorized resellers (JIDIEN and Taiwan Control). Yvonne Chen, manager of MEAN WELL Group’s marketing center, noted that her company launched the “Powered by MEAN WELL” campaign this year to find trustworthy business partners that recognize the value of the MEAN WELL’s brand. Together, MEAN WELL and its partners can develop affiliate marketing strategies that promote their respective brands and cultivate mutually beneficial relationships.

Among the five local partners, Neotroni Lighting is recognized for its high-power luminaires that are provided lighting in factories, sports venues, and even military bases across nearly 20 countries. Neotroni’s products are also installed in headquarters of major enterprises in North America, including Amazon, Google, and Facebook. Gross Chen, general manager of Noetroni, stated that the “Powered by MEAN WELL” campaign has created a global marketing platform that provides the needed exposure for Taiwan-based brands. With this strategy, Taiwan’s LED companies will be able to transform themselves from “hidden champions” to internationally competitive brand names.

Shinyou’s exhibition features high-power lighting solutions for wide open spaces. (Image: LEDinside)

JC Lin, who has previously worked in the energy sector and is now the CEO of Shinyou, said that technological advances has created substantial benefits for LED lighting in terms of cost and energy efficiency. Compared with solar generation systems, LED luminaires can start producing noticeable returns a year after its installation. A specialist in high-power and high-efficiency LED lighting, Shinyou has spent many years in developing heat dissipation technologies. Shinyou’s high-power luminaires, for example, has the additions of convection holes on the base board and vapor chambers (heat pipes) that can quickly transfer heat away from the critical parts. These design features can raise energy efficiency and brightness while extending the operating life of the luminaire.

Epoch Lighting presents its edge-lit LED luminaires at TILS 2018. (Image: LEDinside)

Epoch Lighting has been a partner of MEAN WELL since 2009. Initially a supplier of small- and medium-size backlight modules, Epoch has successfully transformed itself into a manufacturer of energy-saving luminaires. The company has won numerous domestic and international awards for its series of edge-lit luminaires that feature clean and elegant designs. As Epoch continues to satisfy the need for both style and energy efficiency, the company is also finding strategic allies to jointly open up new opportunities. For instance, Epoch has teamed up with Panasonic to develop thinner and lighter alternatives to the conventional down light and panel light systems. To expand space and flexibility in works of interior design and furnishing, Epoch has created high-quality luminaire panels that are less than 2 cm in thickness. These ultra-thin products still perform to the highest standards (e.g. excellent light uniformity) while minimizing the harm to human eyes (e.g. no flickering and glares).

Sunyeer’s booth at TILS 2018. (Image: LEDinside)

Sunyeer and CooLED mainly manufacture high-power luminaires for outdoor and factory settings. Clients in the high-power luminaire market have much stricter quality requirement. Therefore, vendors working in this market generally focus their research and development on technologies that raise energy efficiency, improve heat dissipation, and slow down lumen degradation. Sunyeer, for example, has released high-power street lights with coverages of several tens of meters. CooLED on other hand has released high-power high bay lights and projection lamps – the latter are designed to be installed in harbors and have ranges between 30-40 m. Eyeing the Southeast Asian market, CooLED has established a production base in Indonesia in order to be closer to its business partners in that country as well as in Philippines and Thailand. Additionally, exports to foreign market currently make up around 30% of CooLED’s total sales. 

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