The UV LED market is booming
Yole D??veloppement announced its new report "UV LEDs: Technology & Application Trends" which presents UV LED new applications and associated market metrics for the period 2012-2020, and a deep analysis of UV LED technology and UV LED lighting industry.
Thanks to its compactness, low cost of ownership and environmentally-friendly composition, UV LED continues to replace incumbent technologies like mercury. Hence, the UV LED business is expected to grow from $45M in 2012 to nearly $270M by 2017, at a CAGR of 43% -- whereas the traditional UV lamps market will grow at a CAGR of 10% during the same time period.
|Thanks to UV curing, UV LEDs should become a $270M business by 2017, and could hit $300M if new applications boom|
In 2012, UVA/UVB applications represented 89% of the overall UV LED market. Amongst these applications, UV curing is the most dynamic and most important market, due to significant advantages offered over traditional technologies (lower cost of ownership, system miniaturization, etc.). This trend is reinforced by the whole supply chain, which is pushing for the technology's adoption: from UV LED module and system manufacturers to ink formulators and (of course) the associations created to promote the technology. And with Heraeus Noblelight's recent acquisition of Fusion UV (Jan. 2013), all major UV curing system manufacturers are now involved in the UV LED technology transition.
Concerning UVC applications, they are still in their infancy and their sales are mainly for R&D purposes and analytic instruments like spectrophotometers. But given some newly published results (increase of EQE over 10%, etc.) and the recent commercialization of the world's first UVC LED-based disinfection system (2012), the market should kick into gear within the next two years.
In addition to traditional applications (UV lamps replacement), and due to their unique properties (compactness, higher lifetime, robustness, etc.), UV LEDs are also creating new applications that aren't accessible to traditional UV lamps, i.e. apps that are miniaturized and portable.
"In 2012, several new UV LED based products were launched, including cell phone disinfection systems, nail gel curing systems and miniaturized counterfeit money detectors - and this is likely to continue!" explains announced Pars Mukish, Technology & Market Analyst, LED, at Yole D??veloppement. "We estimate that if new UV LED applications continue emerging, the associated business could represent nearly $30M by 2017, which would increase the overall UV LED market size to nearly $300M," he adds.
Supply chain battle to intensify
The booming UVA/UVB market (mostly UV curing) has attracted several new players from different backgrounds over the past few years: traditional UV lamp suppliers, traditional UV system suppliers, pure UV LED system suppliers, and others. Each player employs a different strategy for capturing the maximum value created by this disruptive technology: horizontal integration (from UV lamp to UV LED), vertical integration (from UV LED device to UV LED system and vice-versa) or both (from UV lamp to UV LED system). We should point out that traditional UV lamp manufacturers are under the most pressure since they have to compensate for the waning lamp replacement market by diversifying their activities in higher supply chain levels.
In the end, every UV LED device/system manufacturer faces the same technical issues when it comes to integrating UV LEDs into a system (thermal management, optics, etc.), but experience is gained with each passing year. Once UVC LEDs achieve sufficient performance, there's no way a manufacturer will allow the opportunity to pass them by.
Solid State Technology | Volume 56 | Issue 3 | May 2013