The LED Success Story
In the three decades following their invention in 1962, light-emitting diodes were only a niche market. Emitting only colored light (primarily red, yellow and green), LEDs were used in applications such as automobile dashboard displays or standby indicators in electronic equipment. The infrared version was used in IR transmitters for remote controls.
It was not until blue and white models came onto the market in the 1990s that applications for LEDs began to expand steadily. According to the market research agency DisplaySearch, every fourth LCD television sold throughout the world in 2010 was made with LED backlighting, and LED running lights have made the transition from the luxury class to mid-sized and compact cars.
The market for general lighting (street, storefront and ambient lighting), long neglected by LED manufacturers, has been experiencing rapid growth for roughly two years now. OSRAM, one of the world’s leading lighting manufacturers, expects the market volume for LEDs to nearly triple by 2012. Growth in the general lighting market can also be attributed to bans on classic incandescent bulbs, which, due to their poor energy efficiency, are being phased out in most industrialized nations.