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11 December 2014

Organic LED market to grow almost tenfold from $2.7m to $26m in 2020

Until recently, the organic light-emitting diode (OLED) lighting market was far from mature. While OLED products have been available for some time, their comparatively high price has resulted in low shipment quantities. However, with recent advancements in OLED technology, interest in OLED lighting is starting to rise, according to a research note from Mike Hornung, IHS Inc’s market analyst for lighting and LEDs. Also, while OLED is still more expensive than other technologies, it is a versatile and energy-efficient architectural lighting source. In fact, the market for OLED panels will grow tenfold from just $2.7m now to about $26m in 2020, forecasts IHS.

The main reason for OLED market growth is fast technical development of the product. Historically, the main drawbacks of OLED lighting products were their huge manufacturing costs. A comparable LED fixture costs significantly less than the OLED equivalent and, even with all the advantages that OLEDs possess, they just could not compete with LEDs in applications such as general lighting, where the look and feel of the product was not the most important procurement consideration.

Over the past few years, developments in OLED technology have reduced average selling prices (ASPs) for OLED panels – a situation that is expected to continue. The ASP of an OLED panel in 2013 was just under $31, but prices are expected to fall by at least 40% over the next seven years.

In terms of efficiency, lifetime and brightness, it will continue to be difficult for OLED lighting to compete with LED lighting. However, OLED has advantages in light quality, panel weight, heat distribution and stylistic effects and, as prices fall, panel shipments are forecast to increase dramatically.

It is important to remember that as OLED technologies are rapidly developing, LED technologies are too, notes IHS. The prices of LEDs are still falling, and luminaire manufacturers are thinking of new ways of using them. Historically, OLEDs have held a stronger value proposition over LEDs in light quality, surface emission and other key functional areas. Continuous development of LEDs could soon challenge OLED in these areas, and it can be argued that they already do, adds the market research firm.

In all probability, LEDs will remain significantly cheaper, more efficient and longer lasting than OLEDs, so LEDs will remain the mainstream technology for the foreseeable future, reckons IHS. Despite ongoing market growth, OLEDs will not be able to match the many benefits of LEDs before the next new technology comes along, it is concluded.

Tags: LED market

Visit: www.ihs.com

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