Light-Emitting Diodes (LEDs): Alternative to Traditional Lighting?

PALO ALTO, Calif. – Light-emitting diodes (LEDs), with their improved color range, lumen output, color stability and lifespan, offer enhanced performance over traditional lighting sources that don’t provide flexibility in selection, design and installation of lighting fixtures. The LED fixture is an array of hundreds of dies in a panel or strip, which allows them to take the desired size or shape according to different applications. The flexibility offered by LEDs, enable them to dominate several niche lighting markets ranging from indicator lights and traffic signals to exit signs and decorative/architectural lighting.

“With government regulations likely to restrict the use of less efficient lighting, LED development will continue to thrive due to compliance with ecological regulations that ban mercury and lead from the waste disposal stream,” notes Frost & Sullivan Research Analyst Kasthuri Jagadeesan. “One of the major drivers for solid-state lighting research and development are the immense investments by government and corporate worlds such as the U.S.’s Next-Generation Lighting Initiative (NGLI), Europe’s Organic LEDs for ICT and Lighting Applications (OLLA), Japan’s ‘Light for the 21st Century’ project, and so on.”

New analysis from Frost & Sullivan (, Advancements in Solid State Lighting, finds that for LEDs to become the mainstream option for street lighting and general illumination purposes, more development in performance enhancement is needed. Such advancements include warm white light generation, packaging improvements for improved heat and light extraction, along with the availability of more efficient green solid-state sources. These are in turn dependent on quantum leaps in internal and external quantum efficiencies, especially for warm light and better color rendering.

Technology competition among LED manufacturers fuels the growth of high-brightness LEDs segment, particularly white LED technologies for a range of applications – from backlighting for liquid-crystal display (LCD) panels in personal computers (PCs) to headlights in automobiles, as well as lighting products for outdoors, offices and homes. Cross-licensing agreements between the major LED manufacturers of Japan, United States and Europe focus toward the creation of brighter white and colored LEDs with higher efficacy. This shift is not just to avoid patent-related disputes, but to further the cause of the technology.

To enhance this technology, manufacturers should increase the efficiency of white light generation, and achieve cost breakthroughs and extended lifetimes for high brightness LEDs. In addition, manufacturers should deliver proper thermal management in solid-state lighting devices.

Since the solid-state lighting industry is application-driven, product development exhibits variability with current volumes not significant enough to decrease costs. Costs are likely to reduce as rapid innovations in organic LED (OLED) and LED technology shift focus toward factors such as new materials and production techniques.

“The trend among lighting fixture manufacturers is to study applications for which LEDs might be suitable and then work backwards to develop fixtures that can be effectively and economically maintained,” cites Jagadeesan. “However, manufacturers will first have to improve the lumen output for LED-based white lighting to successfully introduce LEDs into the general illumination market.”

In the future, LEDs would offer innovative solutions for interior and exterior lighting design. Outdoor lighting may be the first general illumination application to gain a foothold due to user concerns involving energy savings, re-lamping and other maintenance expenses.

Extensive research on phosphor forms the backbone of inorganic white light sources and is vital for the future growth and protection of intellectual property; therefore, its development will be in tandem with solid-state white lighting in the general lighting market.

Advancements in Solid State Lighting, a part of the Technical Insights Growth Partnership Services program, provides a technology overview and outlook for the market dynamics in the solid-state lighting industry between 2007 and 2015. The study covers LEDs and OLEDs. This research service includes detailed technology analysis and industry trends evaluated following extensive interviews with market participants. Interviews with the press are available.

If you are interested in an analysis, which provides manufacturers, end users, and other industry participants with an overview, summary, challenges and latest coverage of Advancements in Solid State Lighting, send an e-mail to Johanna Haynes, Corporate Communications, at with the following information: your full name, company name, title, telephone number, e-mail address, city, state, and country. We will send you the information via e-mail upon receipt of the above information.

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