LED Lighting Industry and Home LED Lighting
THE COLORED LED AND WHITE LED MARKETS
Whereas the market for colored (Red, Green, Blue) RGB LEDs is well established, the market for white LEDs is still growing. Why? When you think of industries that still rely on white, non-LED lighting, such as televisions, automotive manufacturers, computer monitors, notebook computers, LCD backlights, etc., you can understand the push to become the leader in white LED manufacturing. Many people are surprised that a business would pass up a revenue generating opportunity that converting a home or business to LED would create. However, just because replacement white LED bulbs and retrofits are finally on the market, does not mean that they should be on your immediate shopping list. In very simple terms, the market for colored and color-changing LEDs is mature. While engineers are still finding ways to make them brighter and more efficient, the holy grail of the LED industry is in developing volume production of high-efficiency, high-brightness white LEDs.
It may be easier to think of colored LEDs (RGB) and white LEDs in terms of another industry: Automotive. RGB LEDs are like the internal combustion engine: Reliable, abundant, easy to use and manufacture, and fairly well developed in terms of the potential for new or breakthrough technologies. There are lots on manufacturers and each has their own set of patents and “tricks of the trade” to help give themselves some marketing leverage over the competition. White LEDs are like the alternative energy industry for transportation: Quite varied, still relatively “new”, still needing to be market proven, more expensive, more challenging to manage. There are many manufacturers, each using a different technology or combination of technologies to achieve what they believe is the “the next big thing.” Following this analogy, RGB LEDs are mature enough to compete on cost alone and the drop in costs is what fuels new applications for colored LEDs that had not been thought of previously. White LEDs, on the other hand are still developing technically and should not be shopped based on cost alone. The need for quality and longevity is what fuels the further research and development into white LEDs.