LED adoption is driving growth and advanced functionality in automotive lighting, which is starting to trickle down from high-end to mid-range and low-end vehicles, according to a new report from Yole Développement (Yole) . The research firm expects the market to reach about $27.5 billion in 2017, up from $25.7 billion in 2016.
Yole forecasts the automotive lighting market will reach $35.9 billion in 2022, growing at a 5.7 percent compound annual growth rate (CAGR) over the forecast period from 2016 to 2022. Growth will driven by lower LED cost as a result of standardization and optimization of LED modules.
Solid-state lighting (SSL) adoption also is driven by the need for differentiation. “Lighting signature achieved with daytime running light (DRL) and rear light designs is now becoming a must-have in developed countries,” said Pierrick Boulay, technology & market Analyst at Yole, in an i-micronews report.
Initially, LED technology was limited to high-end vehicles due to their cost and competition with traditional light sources such as halogen and high-intensity discharge (HID/Xenon). But with improved performance, lower power consumption, design flexibility, and now lower costs, LED technology is making its way into lower end vehicles, according to Yole.
“The main reason for lighting growth is that the penetration of LED technology is spreading from high-end cars to mid-range and low-end cars. LED technology propagation and more generally solid-state lighting (SSL) technologies will enable the development of new functionalities,” said Boulay.
He explained: “Since the early 2000s there has been strong interest in new automotive front lighting functionality to increase safety and differentiate car manufacturers. The main objective of these advanced front lighting systems (AFLS) is to offer headlamps with beam patterns that adjust automatically to the driving environment according to factors including vehicle speed, oncoming traffic, pedestrians, animals, weather and cut-off lines. The emergence of such systems has only been possible thanks to front cameras that monitor oncoming traffic. Since then, systems have become increasingly complex and require the integration of electronics and software to improve the driver's visibility at night.”
Future lighting developments will include micro LEDs, laser and LCDs as light sources, according to Boulay. “All these technologies are in development with resolutions ranging from 2,000 pixels to more than 500,000 pixels per headlamp. Car manufacturers and their tier-1, tier-2 or tier-3 manufacturing partners are developing technologies that have never been seen in automotive lighting.”
Examples cited include a new Osram package with 1,024 individually controllable light points, a LCD light source combined with dies embedded in a PCB used by Hella and Porsche, and lasers combined with micro mirrors under development at Audi.
The top five lighting suppliers to the automotive market are Koito, Magneti Marelli, Valeo, Hella and Stanley.
The report, Automotive Lighting: Technology, Industry and Market Trends 2017, finds that exterior lighting, particularly headlamps, is the key growth driver in the market, accounting for more than two-thirds of the total market revenue in 2016. This is followed by rear lighting, accounting for 17 percent of total market revenue; interior lighting, generating nearly 10 percent of the market’s total revenue, and other lighting, such as fog lamps, center high mounted signal lights (CHMSLs) or small lamps, generating the remaining seven percent of revenue.
Yole expects interior lighting growth will be tied to the “development of autonomous vehicles and the creation of vehicles as living homes.”
The high-brightness LED (HB LEDs) market will be a primary benefactor of SSL adoption in the automotive market.
HB LEDs are increasingly used as a safety measure for visibility and reducing power consumption in the automotive market, according to Hexa Research. “Increasing production of automobiles is expected to propel the sales of these lighting solutions over the next few years.”
Automotive will achieve the fastest growth rate for HB LEDs at a 10.2 percent CAGR over the forecast period from 2017 to 2024, according to Hexa Research’s new report. Other market drivers include TVs, smartphones and general lighting due to “lower energy consumption and superior brightness.”
As a result of higher demand for HB LEDs, the LED manufacturing industry has added about 100 new fabs over the past five years, now totaling 169 fabs worldwide, said Hexa Research. The HB LED market is expected to reach $27.28 billion by 2024.
“More than 100 million vehicles will be sold in 2022, but this has only a limited impact on the lighting market,” according to Boulay.
Higher adoption of LEDs – thanks to lower pricing along with energy savings – is often found in commercial, residential, industrial and outdoor lighting sectors.a
“There are various drivers across the commercial, residential, industrial, and outdoor lighting segments, but the declining prices of LEDs and increased energy savings over legacy lighting technologies are spurring adoption,” said Krystal Maxwell, research analyst with Navigant Research, in a statement. “Beyond those drivers, building codes and regulations and the desire for increased control are helping to further propel the adoption of LEDs.”
Navigant Research expects global LED lamp shipments will reach nearly 2 billion in 2026, up from 961.1 million in 2017. “Reducing energy costs was initially the primary driver for adoption; however, better light quality, longer lifespans, and improved controllability have helped accelerate LED market growth across all segments,” said the market research firm.
The Navigant report, Market Data: LED Global Outlook, looks at LED lighting in five end uses: commercial buildings, residential buildings, industrial buildings, outdoor lighting, and automotive headlights.