London — With LED backlighting set to reach 90 percent penetration in the LCD TV market in 2013, LED suppliers are focusing their attention on a new growth opportunity in lighting, according to a report from IHS Inc.
Of the 231 million LCD TV panels forecast to ship in 2013, 207 million will use LED backlighting, with the remainder using cold-cathode fluorescent lamp technology. This marks the end of a growth cycle that started in 2009 when the LED penetration of the LCD TV panel market was only 3 percent before rising to 24 percent in 2010, 38 percent in 2011, and 71 percent in 2012, according to the Q3 2013 GaN LED Supply and Demand report.
Currently, Sharp Corp. of Japan is the only panel supplier using 100 percent LED backlighting in its LCD TV panel manufacturing, according to IHS. South Korea’s Samsung and LG are both set to reach more than 95 percent LED usage in their LCD TV panels by the end of 2013.
However, there are still some backlighting opportunities outside of the LCD TV market. Although desktop PC monitors will reach 86 percent LED penetration in 2013, they won't reach 100 percent LED usage until the end of 2015, according to IHS. Notebook, tablet and cell phone backlights have already reached their saturation points.
The combined market for LED backlighting has already started to decline due to several factors, including a shift to organic light-emitting diode (OLED) displays, which do not require LED backlighting, and lower prices for LEDs, which impact revenue growth, said IHS.
The good news is that there are big opportunities for LED suppliers in lighting. Only 2.8 percent, or 520 million LED lamps, of the total 18.6 billion lamps shipped in 2013 are forecast to use LED technology, said IHS. The research firm expects demand for LED lighting to drive revenue growth of $2.5 billion during the next five years.
"LED suppliers that are focused on lighting are predicted to gain market share," said Jamie Fox, principal analyst for LEDs at IHS, in a statement. "Some of the companies that have a large market share in LED backlighting, such as Seoul Semiconductor and Samsung, have already managed to shift much of their business to lighting and have done very well in this area, winning market share in recent years."
"Because the replacement rates for LED lamps are much longer than those made from competing technologies, annual demand is predicted to slow as the installed base grows for LED lamps," Fox stated. "Suppliers to the LED lighting market, therefore, need to position themselves accordingly in order to capitalize."
IHS said the highest penetration by sector includes retail and hospitality, at approximately six percent LED, compared to about one percent for the residential market.