Apr 10, 2017: OLED lighting is still emerging, and has the potential to penetrate into the large growing global lighting market. IDTechEx has assessed the market potential for OLED lighting across major lighting sectors, and has predicted that the market will grow to $1.9 billion by 2025. However, the market growth will be very slow until 2019 where the overall sales of OLED panel will be below $200 million, globally.
The market segments where OLED has huge potential include office, residential, industrial, hospitality, outdoor and automotive. However, each domain has different requirements regarding energy efficiency, lifespan, color warmth, light intensity and design features.
IDTechEx has predicted that architectural, hospitality and shop segments will be the key drivers for growth. Automotive is also a promising sector if the recent announcements by companies like BWM are to be believed. Residential, office and outdoor will follow later once cost decreases and lifetime is prolonged.
OLED lighting has the potential to efficiently emit warm light across large surfaces and to bring new and novel form factors into the lighting sector. These are strong selling points on their own but the challenge is that they are not always unique.
The challenge facing OLEDs is therefore identifying paths for differentiation. The differentiation challenge is also critical strategy question because many companies such as Osram and Phillips Lighting already have successful and growing business in the LED sector. Investment in OLED can provide a hedged bet and also a means of standing out in an increasingly commoditised LED market.
Surface emission is a possible differentiator although inorganic LEDs are also able to create effective surface emissions, despite being a point light source, thanks to waveguides. Flexibility is also another way although OLEDs themselves also face critical technology challenges that stand in the way of them achieving flexibility. However, the pressure building up in the value chain combined with commitments from large players such as Konica Minolta and LG Chem suggests these barriers are nearly resolved. The ability to offer customised or improved design features is also a selling point. In particular, the potential to act at the luminaire level as a slightly modified panel can be a competitive advantage.