Category: General LED Info

Seeing the Future, 5 LED Forecasts for 2019

The LED industry is one of the most rapidly changing sectors in the world, with new technology changing the way we light—and pay to light—our spaces almost every day.

So what’s next for the LED industry? Following is a look at five important trends we see coming to the LED lighting space in 2019.

1: Taking Control
Lighting controllers are advancing at a rapid pace and likely to grow sales even more quickly than LEDs themselves in the next calendar year.

The control segment was valued at more than $3.4 billion in 2018, and the market is expected to increase steadily through 2025, according to recent reports. That means the LEDs used to light outdoor and indoor spaces will be even more efficient as consumers gain the ability to use them in precisely the manner they need. Modern controls offer the ability to adjust not only lighting brightness, but also color.

2: Getting Smart
In addition to seeing technological advances in controllers themselves, developers continue to find ways to make LEDs more compatible with smart phones and the internet of things. Networked lighting control systems, linked to all of the connected devices in a business or home, further enhance consumers’ abilities to optimize their lighting settings.

3: Convincing Consumers
Residential LED lighting has been at a tipping point for years, and multiple signs indicate LEDs will soon be overtaking incandescent lighting as the standard in U.S. homes.

Residential LEDs had grown to more than 40% of the market share by 2016, and the growth has continued in the last several years. Residential applications for LEDs comprise lighting for bathrooms, dining rooms, kitchens and hallways. And while many consumers considered LEDs too bright and expensive for their homes in the past, technology has made the bulbs more like the incandescents to which homeowners are accustomed.

4: Seeking Solar
Solar panel manufacturers continue to increase sales—with a slight dip reported due to last year’s tariffs on the devices—and that will mean big things in the years to come for 24/7 lighting operators.

Because of the high efficiency of LEDs, the lights can operate using far less solar power than legacy fixtures, making the traditionally unreliable solar source sufficient to keep lights going at all hours of the day.

5: Steady Growth
With all the changes coming to the LED market in 2019 and beyond, industry experts agree one thing is certain—LED use in general will continue to grow steadily in the near and long term.

According to Zion Market Research, the global LED lighting market sat at $26.1 billion in 2016 and is likely to cross $54.3 billion by the end of 2022, developing at a compound annual growth rate of almost 13% from 2017 to 2022.

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Interior LEDs: The Next Great Growth Market?

LEDs have replaced legacy technology as the standard in non-residential lighting, both inside and outside commercial structures.

With exterior LED lighting sales growth slowing slightly, industry analysts are looking at interior applications as the next great frontier.

“We’ve seen more and more interest in our interior fixtures,” Eleni Lelekis said. “Our exterior lighting demand is still strong, but as that market fills with high quality, long lasting LEDs, we believe we’ll continue to see non-residential customers coming to us for indoor LED retrofits.”

Six months ago, analysts at Research & Markets forecast the worldwide LED space would grow at a compound annual rate of 18.46% from 2017-2021. The latest reports indicate that while growth should remain robust, it will be closer to 12% through 2022. Industry stalwart Osram recently announced its 2018 revenues will grow, but only at about 50% of previous forecasts.

But Research & Markets reports indicate interior lighting sales shouldn’t moderate as quickly as exterior applications.

According to Arkon Power Technical Manager Graham Brown, the Florida-based company focuses its interior efforts in the more intricate lighting designs of warehouses, car service areas, and some high traffic retail spaces. Arkon recently completed an interior installation for Pet Supermarket in Belleair Bluffs, Fla. The lighting package included 81 4-foot linear low bay lights at 90 watts apiece, four wrap around strip fixtures, two flat panels, three standard wall packs, eight emergency flood lights, four down lights and four exit sign/flood light combos.

Other interior lighting projects Arkon has completed include high bays and LED tubes for Mid-County Collision in Largo, Fla., flat panels for Boos Development Group in Clearwater, Fla., manufacturing floor lighting for Vandolah Power Co. in Wauchula, Fla., recessed lighting for Economy Honda in Chattanooga, Tenn., and high bays for Nemak in Windsor, Ontario, Canada.

Another area where interior lighting is seeing record growth is in automotive applications and other small, precision spaces. Industry analysts see the LED market moving more and more toward high tech applications, end-to-end energy solutions and plugging into the “internet of things.”

Lelekis agreed. “Our existing customers know they have lighting that will last them for decades,” she said. “So they’re looking at the big picture and thinking long-term about how to light their spaces efficiently and practically. It’s remarkable to see.”

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Revving Up Energy Savings With LED Lighting

Carmakers are looking for an advantage over the competition with LEDs.

Automobile manufacturing is the latest industry to embrace LED lighting, as increasing numbers of carmakers and component suppliers around the world are transitioning to the energy-saving fixtures.

Arkon Power completed its first car manufacturing LED project several years ago when it oversaw a job for global automotive giant Nemak.

Nemak, a car component builder based in Mexico, contracted with Arkon to replace the legacy lighting in its Windsor, Canada, plant with LEDs. The facility, which manufactures aluminum cylinder heads and blocks, was looking for an edge in the highly competitive automotive supply market.

“We believe the manufacturing industry on the whole is a huge growth market for LEDs,” Arkon Power Director of Business Development Eleni Lelekis said. “We’re seeing huge projected and actual savings at large production facilities like Nemak’s Windsor Aluminum plant.”

And Nemak is not alone. Multiple automotive plants have recently jumped on the LED lighting bandwagon, according to a report in Energy Manager Today. One car maker has contracted for engineering studies at all of its North American plants and plans to complete installation projects for five U.S. facilities in 2018. The LED installer for that plant reports it has recently seen an uptick in automotive commissions, with at least two other companies considering installations in the near future.

The increase in automotive projects is part of larger growth in the LED industry worldwide. A report recently released by Research and Markets, “Global Light-emitting Diode Market 2017-2021,” indicates the worldwide LED market is expected to grow at a compound annual rate of 18.46% from 2017-2021. According to the report, one driver in the market is a favorable policy environment and governmental support as natural resources are depleted around the globe and climate change is increasingly attributed to human causes.

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New technology is making LEDs more efficient than ever.

As pricing stabilizes and consumers upgrade to LEDs in droves, manufacturers are now driving a technology boom, according to a recent Arkon Power market survey.

“Now that the high quality and long lasting design of LEDs is taken as a no-brainer upgrade for most people, we’re seeing the tech side of the industry accelerate exponentially,” said Graham Brown, Arkon’s technical manager.

On a recent installation for a Florida-based law firm, Arkon tightly controlled its lens angles to limit light pollution and precisely highlight portions of the building. That efficiency is something that’s becoming more and more pronounced throughout the LED industry.

According to a recent study by the U.K.-based University of Exeter, light pollution can have a profound effect on wildlife, but LEDs’ unique ability to be focused and directed make them suited to a solution.

“We are making fundamental changes to the way we light the night-time environment, with potentially profound consequences for a range of species,” said Dr. Thomas Davies of the university’s Environment and Sustainability Institute. “Our research shows that local authorities might be able to manage LED lighting in a way that reduces its environmental impacts.”

Meanwhile, market leaders like Osram are turning their attention to a new chip technology that could make LEDs good for more than just lighting. Deep-UV LEDs are still at an early stage, according to chip developer HexaTech, but if they can be produced reliably, they could eventually be used as disinfectants in applications like water and air sterilization.

Non-visible spectrum lights could amount to a market worth hundreds of millions of dollars, according to analysts. And with forecasts now indicating the global LED lighting market could reach $54.5 billion by 2022, LED companies can only expect more cash on hand for research and development in the coming years.

Analysts indicate two other major growth areas for LED lighting are in automotive applications and developing nations. Lower cost products are driving the growth in both sectors.

“The upshot of all of this for our customers is that we’re able to tailor the absolute best LED technology to each of our customers without having to devastate budgets,” said Eleni Lelekis, Arkon’s director of business development. “This is a win-win for folks just getting to know LEDs. The days of overpaying for a young technology are over; the days of reasonably priced, top-of-market lighting are here to stay.”

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EPA to Americans: Install LEDs Now

The Environmental Protection Agency on October 25 released a national call-to-action to replace millions of light bulbs with LEDs.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) marked Energy Star Day 2016 by calling on Americans to replace their inefficient light bulbs with Energy Star certified LED bulbs.

EPA said the goal is to change more than 300 million bulbs in one year. Working with Energy Star retail, manufacturer and utility partners, EPA said such a change-out would save Americans about $1.5 billion dollars in annual energy bills and prevent 17 billion pounds of annual greenhouse gas emissions.

And while the call was directed at residential applications, EPA data shows switching to LEDs could result in even more savings for high-volume commercial lighting users.

“Energy Star-certified lighting is one of the easiest opportunities for American consumers to save energy, save money and protect the environment from climate change,” EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy said. “The lighting market is poised for dramatic change towards high-quality, long-lasting products that use a fraction of the energy compared to the bulbs they replace.”

EPA is launching a year-long effort to educate people about the benefits of LED lighting. The “Light the Moment with Energy Star” campaign will leverage traditional and social media to highlight the affordability, quality and broad selection of LED bulbs and fixtures.

EPA confirmed most LED bulbs use as much as 70-90% less energy than traditional bulbs and last at least 15 times longer. A single bulb can save $55 in electricity costs over its lifetime and last more than 12 years with typical use.

“EPA is finally committing to something we’ve been saying for years—LEDs are a no-brainer,” Arkon Power Director of Business Development Eleni Lelekis said. “For businesses that use large amounts of light, the fixtures pay for themselves in no time.”

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LEDs Require Less Power, Maintenance Than Fluorescents

Replacing your fluorescent bulbs with LED tubes or panels could pay for itself in as little as a year.

Light emitting diodes have for years been longer lasting and more efficient than fluorescent lights. Now, as manufacturers continue to improve their processes, the cost of LEDs has also become competitive, making the decision to switch a no-brainer.

One area where LEDs are particularly effective is as a retrofit for traditional tube and panel lighting fixtures. LED tubes and panels at their current cost save users enough on their electric bill to pay for themselves within as little as a year. And according to U.S. Department of Energy studies, the lights can last up to four times as long as most indoor fluorescent lights, which can fail within 2.5 years (see table) and lose color and intensity before the end of their usable life.

The Department of Energy indicates interior LED tubes last up to 50,000 hours while still maintaining 70% of their initial lumens. That’s equivalent to about 11.4 years if you turn on the lights 12 hours per day and about 17 years if use the lights eight hours a day.

In most applications, lighting engineers agree a one-to-one replacement of LED tubes to T8s is appropriate . Some applications, where the omnidirectional nature of fluorescents produces excessive lost light and light pollution, can be satisfied with a reduced number of LED bulbs, increasing the monthly energy savings dramatically.

Consider that in addition to these advantages, LED retrofits:

  • Do not require an additional power source or ballast change.
  • Do not affect the original UL listing for a T8 fixture.
  • Increase warranty lengths.
  • Are about 30% more efficient than fluorescents, producing more light while drawing less wattage.
  • Produce less heat than fluorescent bulbs and can lower air conditioning bills.
  • Maintain their intensity and color through the end of their life.
  • Contain no environmentally harmful mercury and produce less landfill waste.

Fluorescent tubes, developed primarily for commercial and industrial buildings as a replacement for incandescent bulbs, were an improvement over their predecessors, using 65%-75% less energy and lasting about 10 times longer. LED lamps are the next progression for the forward-thinking company looking to stay ahead of the energy use curve.

Lighting manufacturers agree LED tubes almost universally yield at least a 30% energy savings, meaning even the lowest performing tubes pay for themselves within three years. They offer full driver compatibility with legacy fixtures, are dimmable and improve lighting color and quality. Now’s the time to flip the switch on your old fixtures.

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