LED Lighting China Market Gesturing Cost and Standard Confusion

Release time: 2018-08-21 17:37:00.000

At the recent International Lighting Exhibition held in Guangzhou, Philips, Riya Chemical, Osram and Xuming Optoelectronics, these LED giants got together. At the forum with the theme of "discussing industrial constraints and business strategies together", an audience asked the senior executives from the above four major companies:

"If I want to invest 10 billion RMB into the LED industry now, do you think I am crazy or have a vision?"

He was then poured a basin of cold water. Because executives say, "If you really have so much money, there are actually many better options, why go into this mess?"

In fact, affected by the European debt crisis and the US economic downturn, the export orders of LED companies have dropped sharply since the second half of last year. In September last year, the executive vice president of Shenzhen LED Industry Federation and the boss of Junduoli Industrial Co., Ltd. once caused an uproar in the industry. And nearly a year in the past, the shuffle continues.

But on the other side of the coin, driven by emerging markets such as China, the large-scale growth of the LED industry is still expected.

"At present, 1/8 of the global lighting market is the LED market, and we expect the LED market share to be 45% by 2015." "In Asia, the LED lighting market is expected to grow by 70%-80%, and China will play a leading role," said Marc de Jong, CEO of Philips Lighting Professional Lighting Solutions."

At the beginning of May, people from city street lamp management offices across the country gathered in Hefei to attend the Philips seminar on "City, Residents and Lighting". In the small discussion on LED road lighting, Xie Junyan, senior engineer of Shanghai Street Lamp Management Center, said, "Just like digital cameras replacing film cameras, LED will soon replace traditional sodium lamps." Wei Qianzhe, vice president and general manager of Philips Professional Lighting Solutions, believes that China's urbanization process is accelerating. In the process of urban expansion and development, how to adopt reasonable urban planning and high-efficiency infrastructure construction, such as advanced LED lighting solutions. Create a unique city and achieve sustainable long-term development of the city. These are the long-term concerns of Philips "city, residents and lights" activities.

Although it is also admitted that the Chinese market is very large, in the view of Lin Yinggu, deputy general manager of corporate development of Xuming Optronic Co., Ltd., "It is difficult to reasonably price LED products in China, and China's standardization needs to pay attention to the comparability of products."

      Street lamp administrative management system or resistance

      "The electricity savings are taken away by the government, there is no reasonable distribution mechanism."

On May 7 this year, the Ministry of Science and Technology issued the "Twelfth Five-Year" Special Plan for the Development of Semiconductor Lighting Technology (draft for comments): By 2015, LED lighting products will account for 30% of general lighting, and 50 "Ten Cities" will be built. Pilot demonstration cities. Subsequently, on May 16, the executive meeting of the State Council discussed and adopted the 12th five-year Plan of the National basic Public Service system, studied and determined policies and measures to promote the consumption of energy-saving household appliances such as LED lighting lamps, and proposed to arrange 2.2 billion yuan to support the promotion of energy-saving lamps and LED lighting lamps.

But Xie Junyan still believes that the resistance in the promotion of LED road lighting is not small.

In fact, because China's street lamp management system in the administrative jurisdiction of local power companies, the industry's natural monopoly characteristics make it in the treatment of new things, often inert or even exclusive.

"The main reason is that the price of LED lights is too high." Xie Junyan explained, "A 100W LED lamp is estimated to sell for about 3000-4000 yuan."

It is understood that roads in China do not necessarily need to install street lights, but the Ministry of Construction requires urban roads to install street lights. In the construction of street lights, it is usually in the way of "who proposes, who pays the bill. Considering the high initial investment cost of LED lamps, professional road design is required during installation. At the same time, unlike sodium lamps, which only need to be installed at a fixed spacing and have to be put into maintenance costs in the later period, some construction units are not willing to use LED lamps.

In addition, because the predecessor of the street lamp management office is the electric light company, it has a small weight in the early electricity consumption, and because it belongs to the power grid company, the street lamps are usually not equipped with electricity meters, which also makes it difficult to actually count the electricity saved by LED and so on in actual application.

"We invested a lot in the early stage, and the maintenance cost in the later stage was high, but the electricity saved was taken away by the government, and there was no corresponding reasonable distribution mechanism based on the benefits of energy saving." A person surnamed He from Anhui Ma 'anshan Street Lamp Management Office said at Philips "City, Residents, Lighting" event.

      Can chip technology updates keep costs down?

      Most people still believe that the future development direction of LED chips is based on silicon.

Although LED prices are still too high, the rapid decline in costs has made people see new hope. Sufficient to prove that the use of LED in our country after the initial spotlight, to two or three years ago after the road lighting, finally successfully entered the indoor at the end of last year.

"Because last year's rare earth price increase led to the price increase of fluorescent powder, the cost of fluorescent lamps rose; In addition, the luminous efficiency of LED is increasing, but the cost is decreasing. Many areas that did not have good returns in the past are now OK." GE Lighting Asia Pacific LED products and first innovation center lighting business general manager Wang Jian said.

If you went to buy lighting products, an LED lamp with 130 lumens/watt that can be used for 40000 hours and costs $15, and a fluorescent lamp with 60 lumens/watt that can work for 3000 hours and costs $3, which one would you choose?

Li Yunli, technical director of New Century Optoelectronics Co., Ltd., chose the latter. Li believes that for consumers, the key to whether LED products can enter the store is price, not technology. "If the performance of the LED is reduced to 100 lumens/watt, the life is 15000 hours, but the price is also $3, it is very competitive."
In fact, even if the performance of the LED is not reduced, the cost reduction is not impossible. Only the core chip technology of LED, "it is very promising to increase the luminous efficiency of the chip by 10% every year and reduce the cost by 5% every three months." Philips Lumileds Lighting Company Asia Pacific Marketing Director Zhou Xuejun said.

However, Zhao Hanmin, chief technology officer of Jingneng Optoelectronics (Jiangxi) Co., Ltd., intends to challenge the sapphire substrate technology that has been developed for 20 years. "If silicon substrate technology is used, the technology patent network of large companies can be avoided, and the cost of LED chips is 5-10 times lower than that of sapphire substrates."

But Zhao also admitted that the technical difficulty of silicon substrates is higher than that of sapphire substrates, "mainly stress problems, which are prone to cracks."

However, most people still believe that the future development direction of LED chips is based on silicon.
"With the adjustment of rare earth prices in 3-5 years, the cost of silicon will drop, and we will make more attempts at that time," said Hei Hongshu, deputy center of the lighting LED development center of Japan Asia Chemical Industry Co., Ltd."

  The Patent Confusion Behind Standardization

As early as 2010, Philips, Osram, Panasonic, Toshiba and other international lighting giants have established Zhaga.

In addition to the cost, the problems raised by the staff of the street lamp management office around the LED also include the inconvenience of later maintenance.

In theory, the service life of high-pressure sodium lamps for road lighting is only about 5000 hours, while the life of high-power LEDs is generally 50000 to 70000 hours. However, in practical applications, problems will inevitably be encountered. "The maintenance of the light source part is less likely, but the driver may still need maintenance." Xie Junyan said.

This makes it difficult for many users. "At present, there are almost 560000 LED street lights in the country, and the products come from thousands of manufacturers, and each manufacturer has many different models. In the past, there were 10 varieties of sodium lamps, but there were too many LED products and there was no compatibility between them. How can we maintain them?" An industry insider said.

Because there is no relevant standard to specify the module of LED street lamp module, it often leads to no direction for manufacturers. "Many factories don't know what to do. They develop disorderly and waste a lot." Xie Junyan said.

In fact, for LED products, my country currently has 146 standards, and in response to the lack of standards in the market, Liu Shengping of the China Lighting Appliance Association explained that the formulation of standards requires a process that often lags behind the development of products, and LED technology itself is developing rapidly, and various standards cannot be used to limit the development of the industry.

In fact, big companies can't wait. As early as 2010, Philips, Osram, Panasonic, Toshiba and other international lighting giants have led the establishment of Zhaga.

According to reports, Zhaga is an international industry association, mainly for the LED light engine interface to develop standard specifications, to solve the current LED industry product interface is not compatible to achieve large-scale production problems. "Zhaga determines a stable design platform for lamp manufacturers through a unified interface, which can promote the scale of products and promote the popularization of LED lighting." Xie Yiqin, representative of Zhaga's standing member and marketing manager of Dekai Quality Certification (Shanghai) Co., Ltd. Guangzhou Branch, said.

However, many domestic enterprises are also worried that after joining the Zhaga alliance, it may be difficult to bypass the LED downstream application patent traps and barriers set by the standard-setting enterprises.

In response, Xie Yiqin responded that Zhaga interface standardization only involves the interface of the light engine, not its internal working mechanism. "According to the Zhaga standard, the light engine using LED as the light source is a module that can standardize the interface, and the technology used in the module will not be standardized, that is to say, even if the exterior of the light engine is standardized, its interior still has its own characteristics."



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