The market for luminaires, lamps and lighting controls is forecast to reach $108bn in 2016 as consumers and industry increasingly pay more up-front for efficient, controllable lighting solutions. Semiconductor revenue for light engines and drive electronics is set to top $10bn in 2016 as a large proportion of the conventional low-cost lamp market is eroded by high-value LED luminaires.
Now is a key turning point in the history of the lighting industry. A period of rapid technology change creating both competitive challenges for established suppliers and new opportunities for vigorous growth. At a period in time where many industry sectors face uncertainty as the world recovers from the financial crisis and subsequent episodes of economic turmoil, the lighting industry shines out as a beacon of opportunity, welcoming in a new age in the way we all think about energy use.
The global recession has been very severe in North America and Europe and clearly had an immediate negative effect on some lighting applications owing to a slowdown in new builds and commercial retrofits. However, the depth of the economic woes has had a sharp impact on adjusting the way corporations, government agencies and individuals think about and budget for energy, creating a situation where “everyone” is prepared to pay a little more up-front for technology that delivers long-term savings. This is clearly very good news for the lighting industry and a long-term trend which will continue to unfold over the next decade.
For other economies in South America, Eastern Europe, Russia, Southern Africa, China and India, the story has been more positive. Despite concerns over exports which are critical to these economies, they have maintained resilient underlying growth in infrastructure construction and social improvement. Essentially this has had a smoothing effect, protecting the global lighting industry from the worst of the recession.
The first energy efficient “Lighting Revolution” began in the 1970s, and took around 40 years for CFLs to