A look at the rapid growth of LED technology
To the everyday consumer, it may seem ridiculous for a product you purchased a year ago to be discontinued the next, replaced by a newer, but not identical model. If we were talking about phones or cars, the answer might be obvious – the result of money hungry corporations eager to sell the next big thing. But, when we’re talking about lighting, specifically LED lighting, it’s a different story altogether.
LED Lighting is an ever-changing, ever-growing market. Since 2016, demand for more energy efficient lighting from climate conscious consumers has driven this growth, as has government lighting regulations and laws. Since LED was first introduced, the price of production has reduced immensely, and manufacturers have begun to find new ways to improve its implementation and applications.
For you, the consumer, this means that something you buy today may be impossible to get in a years’ time.
More than just a gimmick
According to market research reports, the global LED lighting market size is projected to reach $54.28 Billion by the end of 2022, with a compound annual growth rate of 13% from 2017. While this is just a projection, there’s no denying that LED has quickly proven itself the future of lighting.
The main driving force behind this growth is the advantages LED Lighting has over incandescent and florescent technologies, and the environmental benefits it offers. LED consumes drastically less energy than both incandescent and florescent lights, making it more energy efficient, better for the environment, and cheaper for the consumer to run.
As a result, environmentally conscience government bodies around the world have been pushing for the uptake of LED within households and commercial properties. An example of this push can be seen within Australia, where government energy Incentive schemes are encouraging businesses to upgrade to LED through lighting subsidies: The VEU in Victoria, ESS in New South Wales and REES in South Australia.
In hand with these new subsidies, a string of new lighting regulations and laws surrounding lighting technology has driven the growth of the LED sector. Measures to phase out Incandescent bulbs has been the biggest of these changes – with bans on both the manufacturing and sale of these bulbs since the late 2000s meaning that alternatives such as compact fluorescents and LEDs have become the new norm.
Smart Lighting - Not just for retrofitting
As the LED market is projected to grow a significant amount between now and 2022, one of the biggest segments of that growth will be Smart LED Lighting - estimated to grow from $7.93 Billion in 2018 to $20.98 Billion by 2023.
While in the beginning LED lighting was primarily targeting the retrofit market, that is, replacing existing lights, new innovations in connectivity and smart technology such as Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and LPWAN have revealed its true potential.
Smart Lighting uses a Wi-Fi network to allow light bulbs to talk to each other, enabling the user to control them through other networked devices such as their phones and laptops. This technology is linked to the growth of the larger ‘smart home’ technology market, which allows everything from lights to televisions to be connected through a central hub.
Innovating on what we already know
Smart lighting isn’t the only way LED lighting is changing the lighting industry. Products such as the Tri-Colour Downlights are innovating on the typical downlight design, offering a replacement to the older MR16 and GU10 technology. Highbay lighting has seen a massive shift from the previously standard High Intensity Discharge Lamps, to LED UFO highbays, which not only improve the lighting of warehouses, but the safety of the space as well.
What this means for you
So, LED lighting is a fast-changing technology, how does this impact you, the consumer? The simple answer is this – as LED technology changes rapidly every year, the products you can buy today may be impossible to get in a year. While there’s often a newer version on the market as a replacement, these aren’t always identical in design or look – or even price.
Luckily, LED lasts a long time, so the chances you’ll need to upgrade immediately are slim. This is one of the biggest benefits of the technology – it’s longevity.
That being said, if you’re concerned about not being able to acquire the same product again, especially in the case of commercial applications, buying extras to keep on hand is the best way to ensure you can replace or upgrade old bulbs quickly.