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Brighter days ahead for LEDs in signage

Photonics Spectra
Sep 2009
Caren B. Les,

Valued at $1.17 billion in 2008, the global consumption of packaged LED chips (component-level LED bulbs) used in commercial/professional signage applications is projected to rise to $1.49 billion in 2013, according to studies conducted by ElectroniCast Consultants, a market analysis company based in Upper Lake, Calif.

The studies encompass the current worldwide consumption of standard packaged LED chips and high-brightness single- and multiple-chip packaged (single-bulb and multiple-chip/bulb single-chip/bulb or device package) LEDs, which are used in digital LED display panels/signage, channel letter signage and retail display light boxes.

The Fremont Street Experience in Las Vegas uses LED displays for the Viva Vision “A Tribute to Queen.

In 2008, the Americas region, consisting of North, Central and South America, represented a 43 percent share of the worldwide consumption of LEDS used in signage and professional displays. The company projects that, in 2013, the Americas’ share will have increased to 46 percent, with a value of $686.85 million. In 2008, Europe, consisting of Western and Eastern Europe, and the Middle Eastern countries, represented a 24 percent share of the market. The company projects that the Asia-Pacific region share will increase in value from $384.27 million in 2008 to $487.91 million in 2013.

The company recently published two reports: LEDS Used in Signage & Professional Displays Global Market Forecast (2008-2013) and LEDS Used in Solid-State Lighting/Illumination Global Market Forecast – the latter of which includes data on LEDs used in channel lettering signs and in retail display light boxes.

As a result of the economic downturn, slower sales in consumer and commercial markets across multiple industries worldwide are expected, including some segments of the LED industry, through most of 2009, according to Stephen Montgomery, president of the Asia-Pacific region at ElectroniCast Consultants.

Display panels: standard vs. high-brightness LEDs

The global consumption value of LEDs used in commercial/professional digital LED display panels in 2008 was $1.141 billion and is forecast to rise to $1.278 billion in 2013, Montgomery said. In 2008, high-brightness LEDs represented a 55 percent share of this global consumption value. By 2013, this share is expected to rise to 60 percent and to increase in value to $767.11 million versus $625.15 million in 2008. The global consumption value of standard or conventional LEDs used in commercial/professional digital LED display panels is forecasted to decrease in value from $515.46 million (45 percent of the market share) in 2008 to $511.12 million (40 percent of the market share) in 2013, he said.

LED-based electronic billboards enable multiple advertising messages to share the same sign space, and they allow the delivery of messages in real time, which is important for public emergency announcements and other information.

The company says that, based on its observations at technical conferences over the years, much basic research is still being pursued in this industry, mainly in university, government and other noncommercial laboratories. This is viewed as an indicator that there are many more years of vigorous growth ahead for LED advancement.

The company focuses on the consumption of signage and professional LED display panels, such as surface-mount device types, and conventional types, which use discrete LEDs. Most outdoor screens, as well as some indoor ones, are built around discrete LEDs, also known as individually mounted LEDs.

High-brightness visible LED lamps are typically used in outdoor applications such as traffic signals, changeable message signs, large-area visible displays and automotive exterior lighting, while conventional low-power visible LEDs are commonly used as solid-state indicator lights in cameras, appliances, dashboards, instrument panels, telephone dials and computer terminals, and as light sources for numeric and alphanumeric displays.

Display cases and channel letters

The global value of LEDs used in channel letter signage and retail light box applications is expected to rise from $30.43 million in 2008 to $208.92 million in 2013, according to the company.

“The standard light box technology used to display merchandise in the retail industry soon could become yesterday’s news,” Montgomery said. New developments in the technology and the demand for more sophisticated and energy-efficient display box lighting are bringing about change in this market, he said.

For the retail industry, LED/solid-state lighting has the potential to bring about significant reductions in energy consumption and maintenance costs, thinner light boxes that save space, brighter and more even illumination, and greater compliance with consumer and regulatory demands for environmentally friendly retailing.

billboardsBusinessCaren B. Leschannel lightingConsumerdisplay casesDisplaysElectroniCast ConsultantsFremont Street Experienceglobalhigh-brightness LEDsLas VegasLED bulbsLED chipsLESlight boxeslight sourceslight speedmarket forecastneon lightingretailsignagesignssolid-state lightingStephen MontgomeryViva VisionLEDs

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