LED market sees record 67 percent growth in 2010

The worldwide market for packaged LEDs saw an impressive 67 percent growth in 2010, rising from $6.1 in 2009 billion to $10.2 billion last year.

In a report by IMS Research it is said that the $4.1 billion growth is by a long distance the largest in the history of the LED market. The impressive growth was largely attributed to the use of LEDs in the backlighting of LCD TVs which also enjoyed a good performance last year.

IMS Research analyst Jamie Fox says: “Packaged LED sales for TVs grew from $0.4 billion to $2.5 billion as LED penetration increased dramatically to 27% in 2010.”

It was this massive jump in revenue of $2.1 billion, related to sales of LCD screens, which accounted for half of the growth.

It is noted that growth was further driven both by economy recovery, which particularly affected some sectors in 2009 such as automotive and industrial, as well as an increase in sales for backlighting notebook computers and desktop monitors. Furthermore general lighting is said to have made its most significant contribution yet in 2010.

However the impressive performance seen last year is not considered a likely repeat performance, as mature markets return to a flat or steadier growth level, and backlighting markets saturate, the report shows.

“2010 was a boom year for the LED market, and it is unlikely that it will be repeated.  This boom was partly due to economic recovery after a poor performance in 2009 where growth did not reach what it was expected, and so such massive growth is not likely to be seen in the near future,” Fox told TechEye.

IMS Research forecasts 25 percent growth in 2011 and somewhat lower in 2012. All major backlighting applications including TVs are forecast to be at or very close to 100 percent LED penetration in 2013, according to Fox.

From 2013, LEDs in general lighting are forecast to account for the most growth. In fact it is said that with general lighting excluded, LED revenue will decline after 2013 due to price erosion, more efficient LEDs, which means that less are required, and market saturation.

It is therefore thought that the next few years could be a challenging period for some manufacturers in the LED industry and could possibly lead to some consolidation.

Due to the huge potential of general lighting applications, the long term future of LEDs remains bright as hotels, retail, residential and outdoor such as street lighting boom.