May 24, 2012 -- Ted Konnerth of Egret Consulting Group saw light emitting diode (LED) adoption at a turning point from “coming” to “here” at LightFair 2012, with even the biggest lighting companies endorsing the technology. “LED is now the dominant force in lighting for the foreseeable future,” Egret reports. Cooper reported a 12% adoption rate for LEDs in 2011. Would the adoption rate have been significantly higher had Cooper and the other major lighting players invested more attention to the technology sooner?
LightFair was an opportunity to see how lighting is evolving, as terminology like epitaxy and metal organic chemical vapor deposition (MOCVD), die (meaning the LED chip made on a wafer), chromaticity, binning, and so forth enter the lexicon, Egret reports. The integration of electronics with electrical has created a culture of innovation with new markets not previously explored in lighting, from smart offices and homes to controlling plant and animal growth, and much more.
While the big, established lighting companies may “be limited to modifying legacy construction-related equipment into LED-compatibility,” hundreds of emerging companies are creating unique products or solutions adapted to specific applications, Egret asserts. Many of these companies will become significant players in the new lighting industry; and most will develop their own unique channel solutions, bypassing the traditional pyramid of profits built into legacy companies.
With LED lighting finally entrenched, LightFair showcased the market opportunity for LED lamp manufacturers and electronics firms making LED lamp replacements. A “Big Three” in lamps is now outdated, Egret reports, with the potential for socket replacement of LED sources at over 30 billion sockets in the US. This kind of volume necessitates a lot of manufacturers, with far broader than traditional distribution channel strategies for legacy lamp sources.
Legacy lighting industry people are being absorbed into nascent LED companies, noted Egret. Industry talent downsized out of traditional manufacturers during the recent recession is now showing up in start-ups and other young LED companies. While some good people are now staffing emerging companies. Egret warns that some “marginal talent” has ended up in good companies that “don't understand how to properly vet a candidate due to their lack of understanding the industry channel influences.”
Egret Consulting Group is a recruiting company for the electronics industry. Read more of Egret Consulting’s views from LightFair in “LightFair and other LED issues,” by Ted Konnerth, at http://www.egretconsulting.com/2012/05/23/lightfair-and-other-led-issues/.