Thursday, December 16, 2010

LED = Leveen Enlightened Democrats

Lots of news out of Asia that LEDs are gaining market share in the lighting world. I had tried but in vain to enlighten my Congresswoman who is a dyed in the Woolsey democrat. I tried to tell her that the energy policy of Chu Chu Train was headed toward a siding that joins the bridge to nowhere. I wrote her an email this past month saying that had she listened to the Green Machine she may have left a legacy of energy policy that was blazoned in bright white light but alas her legacy is now that of a black hole where no light escapes. Had she listened to the Green Machine she would have been a LED or a Leveen Enlightened Democrat.

LEDs the real ones not the Leveen Enlightened Democrats are amazing devices that emit light with much less energy. Here are two article from a Taiwanese Microelectronics Trade Magazine called Digitimes. Note a lm is a lumen and a 60 watt incandescent bulb emits about 890 lumens. Therefore at $1 per 500 lumens a LED with the same lighting intensity of a 60 watt incandescent bulb will cost $1.80 to produce. A high first cost but the LED will not burn out within 100,000 hours.

Lighting-grade LED chip costs to fall to US$1/500lm in 2-3 years, says Epistar executive

Siu Han, Taipei; Willie Teng, DIGITIMES [Thursday 16 December 2010]

Production cost of lighting-grade LED chips will fall to US$1/500lm in the next 2-3 years, and if that is the case, LED lighting's market penetration will reach 20-30% in 2012 according MJ Jou, president of Taiwan-based LED chip maker Epistar.

At the recent Beijing-Taiwan Science and Technology Forum held in Taichung, Taiwan, Jou said that 40W LED light bulbs are currently US$20-30 and 60W light bulbs are US$40. Judging by market conditions, there is a good chance that the LED sector could beat the target of US$1/500lm in 2015 set by the US' Department of Energy, Jou noted.

At the moment, lighting-grade LED chip costs have reached US$1/200lm at the lowest, and could become the average in 2011.

In the past, manufacturers added red phosphor powder to warm white LEDs, which reduced luminance by 30-40%, Jou said. Epistar's red LED chip has improved from 165lm/W to a laboratory-achieved 180lm/W in December.

According to Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI) data, Taiwan's LED lighting production totaled NT$93.6 billion (US$3.1 billion) in 2009 and will rise to NT$16.77 billion in 2010. LED chips and modules will account for 64%, backlight applications 31% and lighting applications 5%. Taiwan has about 50 LED chip makers, 60 chip packagers and 100 end-use application companies, ITRI noted

TSMC aims to become top-5 LED player worldwide
Siu Han, Taipei; Yvonne Yu, DIGITIMES [Wednesday 15 December 2010]

With its LED lighting R&D center to be finished soon, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) hopes to become a top-five LED player worldwide in the future.

TSMC noted that with the LED lighting market taking off, the lineup of current global top-five LED players is expected to change. In addition to players from Japan and Korea, there will be one more player from Asia in the new top-five.

Current top-five LED players are Royal Philips Electronics, Osram, Cree, Nichia and Toyoda Gosei.

TSMC's LED R&D center will be completed at the end of 2010 and start mass production in the first half of 2011. Unlike other LED players using sapphire substrate for production, TSMC will use silicon and will focus on the cost advantages of mass production scales, producing own-brand LED light sources and light engine products and produce LED lighting products through a vertical integrated system.

TSMC noted that although most players expect demand for LCD TV backlighting to increase significantly in 2011, LED-backlit TV market share is expected to be lower than in 2010 due to high prices. Unless LED-backlit TV prices drop significantly, LED-backlit TV market share will not be able to reach 40% as expected.

Demand for LCD TV backlighting brings new hope for the LED industry and is causing players to actively expand their MOCVD sets, overall MOCVD sets in China are expected to reach 300, and 100 sets in Taiwan. However, players did not expect the usage of LEDs in TV backlighting to be reduced through design, resulting in reductions in LED chips while LED-backlit TV shipments continue to increase. Korea-based TV vendors' strategy for LED-backlit TVs is expected to affect the schedule for LED lighting to take off. Once LED capacity exceeds demand, players will become more active to generate growth in the LED lighting market.



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