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Tuesday, February 7, 2023

LED Trail is a US based led lighting manufacturer that supplies clients with high-quality LED lighting solutions; our led lighting blog is the place for insights regarding the latest led lighting technology, expert lighting advice, and some of the hottest led technology trends.

Sam Manafi

LED Trail's president was a major resource for a recent study by the Maxim Group about LED lighting industry

Hey all, LED Trail's president was a major resource for a recent study by the Maxim Group about LED lighting industry. Please feel free to contact us if you want a copy of the entire research paper.

LED Industry                        

Spotlight on 3Q12: Lighting Penetration Deepens with CREE’s XP-G2 and Nichia’s 757A Poised to Seize Share of Outdoor and Epistar and Bridgelux Strong Contenders for the Indoor Market

Based on discussions with LED packaging houses, fixture makers, and distributors, we offer an update on LED competitive dynamics and demand trends in 3Q12. Despite a deluge of manufacturers, a wide variance in quality remains among producers with intangible factors such as degradation and heat dissipation helping Cree and Nichia maintain a firm lead. In outdoor, Philips and Bridgelux are also strong—with Epistar a growing force indoor—but even the best Chinese have yet to secure a reputation for reliable, long-lasting lights.

  • Commercial LED Lighting Adoption Continues as Paybacks Shorten: With pricing from components to fixtures continuing to trend down to levels that have cut average payback firmly <1 year, LED lighting adoption continues to broaden. Despite the attention on the residential A-19, we continue to expect commercial/industrial to dominate LED spending.
  • Quality Defined Less by Nominal Specs than Intangible Factors: While it’s tough to find an LED manufacturer that doesn’t tout itself as a quality leader, the focus on nominal specs—luminous flux, lm/W, CRI, color temperature, etc. —has little bearing on how they perform in the field. Intangible factors, most notably degradation—as well as heat dissipation and the direction/quality of light—lead to wide variance in quality among both upstream chips and mid-stream packaged LEDs that are sold to fixture manufacturers, in turn a major factor driving share of various product lines.
  • Minimizing Degradation at Higher Temperature Key to Performance: While the nominal specs suggest most LEDs offer comparable quality, they are often based on ideal operating conditions at “typical” conditions of 25°C that do not reflect LEDs’ foremost limitation: output degradation at higher (and lower) operating temperatures. Most Chinese LEDs, including Everlight’s, are rendered useless at 100°C, while the highest quality LEDs from Cree and Nichia can hold 93-94% of nominal lumen output >100°C.
  • CREE and Nichia Dominate the Highest Brightness Applications: Owing in large part to not only leading luminous efficacy (lm/W) but also minimal degradation at high heat, LED packages from Cree and Nichia are considered by some to be the only viable solution for outdoor lighting applications such as streetlights and floodlights in the 200-W to 400-W-equivalent halogen range—or ~16k lumen—which generate much more heat. Nichia’s 757A series is a core option for many high brightness fixtures, while we expect CREE’s new 5-W XP-G2 and 3-W XPE-2 packages—which boost lm/W by 20%—to command share in 2H12-2013.
  • Philips and Bridgelux Also Strong in Outdoor and Epistar Indoor: Also of good quality—albeit with higher degradation—Bridgelux’s high lumen arrays have seized solid share of the high bay and floodlights used in commercial indoor. While Philips’ LUXEON are also high performance, we believe its share of the packaged LED market is subdued with most used in its branded fixture production. Though long a force in backlighting, Epistar is becoming a growing contender in the indoor market—with its low cost packaged LEDs popular in T-8 linear replacements, for instance—though its quality is not yet ready for primetime in outdoor area lighting.
  • OSRAM Focuses on Lower Lumen Packages, while Chinese Yet to Make a Mark: Though also one of the LED majors, we believe Siemens’ OSRAM’s share of the packaged LED market lies mostly in lower 30-50 lm lights and that it outsources higher brightness LEDs for its branded Sylvania fixtures. On the very low end, the leading Chinese LED makers like Sanan and Everlight have entered general lighting but with degradation often >70% at 100°C they have yet to release a compelling product.
Figure 1: While Datasheets Are Often Based on 25°C, Operating Conditions Are Closer to 60°-85°

Source: LEDRise and Cree


    Figure 2: Variance in Quality Stems Largely from Degradation at Higher Operating Temperatures

Source: LEDRise, Cree, Nichia, Philips, Osram, Epistar, and Everlight




    Figure 3: ASPs for 100 lm Cool While LED Packages Currently Range from ~$1.25 to ~$2.50

Source: Mouser, Digikey, and Luxeonstar

      Figure 4: ASPs for 30-40 lm While LED Packages Currently Range from ~$0.30 to ~$1.00

Source: Mouser, Digikey, and Luxeonstar

Figure 5: Cree’s Par-38 Lighting Fixture Is Priced at almost 2x but Offers Almost 2x the Performance

Source: EarthLED




We would like to like to acknowledge the input, help, and expertise of everyone that contributed to this publication, most notably:

Mr. Victor Floroiu from LEDRise and Mr. Sam Manafi from LED Trail


This is an excerpt from an article written by Mr. Aaron Chew, Senior Cleantech / Alternative Energy Analyst at Maxim Group LLC, A New York Based Global Investment Firm

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