By BizLED Bureau
Dec 8, 2015: Though LED backlight industry might experience an exceptionally healthy season in 2016, breakthroughs are expected in the tube light replacement market which will boost the LED lighting market, said Epistar Chairman BJ Lee at the 2015 Pan Wen Yuan Prize Award Ceremony at the Shangri-La’s Far Eastern Plaza Hotel in Taipei, Taiwan.
The lighting application market is expected to support LED industry developments in the next two years and the lighting market penetration is projected to reach 30% to 40% within the next two years, said Epistar Chairman.
LEDs replacement of compact fluorescent lights (CFLs) is picking up quickly in the US market, where it is projected that LEDs will fully replace less efficient CFLs within the next two years but when it would pick up in other countries? market is not sure., remarked Lee.
The US market is the front-runner in the replacement of T8 LED tube lights with T5 LED tube light. Both T8 and T5 LED tube lights have omnidirectional lighting properties, where the light beam angle reaches 360 degrees. However, the tube light casing and ballast design can obstruct most of the tube light emissions, especially the larger T8 LED tube lights, making it less efficient than the T5 LED tube lights.
Earlier, it was quite difficult for LED tube lights to replace fluorescent lights because they were less efficient. But research and development in the field of LED tube lights in the last few years has pushed up efficiency to 120 lm/W, making it an ideal replacement for fluorescent tube lights, said Lee. LED tube light is still an important retrofit product in industrial, commercial and other large scale project applications. Lee admitted the company is still facing fierce challenge from Chinese competitors in the general lighting market.
According to Lee, breakthroughs in LED tube light replacement market by the next year will generate healthy growth in tube light retrofits. The lighting market is expected to serve as an important growth driver for the LED industry next year, because backlight market continues its sluggish growth. Growth in the backlight market is expected to remain incremental next year.
When asked whether his company would consider absorbing other UV LED companies as part of their business strategy to acquire companies with technology know-how, Lee responded that it might but does not intend to spend cash on acquisitions at the moment. ?Right now we are collaborating with two UV LED companies,? he added. ?We have an open policy as far as UV LED technology is concerned, we develop in-house, but we are also keen to cooperate with companies that have advanced UV LED technology.?
Responding to the Boston University patent infringement case, Lee said, ?The involved LED patent is like an expired patent, so it is not going to impact our company’s operations this year. This is just a preliminary decision; the district court has not made a final ruling yet. We expect the final judgement of the case to be reached within the next three years.?
A Massachusetts federal jury had asked Epistar, Everlight Electronics and Lite-on to compensate US$ 13.7 million to Boston University for knowingly infringing LED patents.