Top 2018 LED market trends likely to lead to new biz opportunities

- Oct 08, 2018-

A new report ‘2017-2021 LED Industry Demand and Supply Data Base- 3Q17’ by LEDinside, a division of the market research firm TrendForce, has projected the LED market value in 2017 to increase by more than 7.4 %YoY to US$ 17.16 billion. This is due to the fact that in 2017 the LED market price stayed stable, and the automotive and architectural lighting markets increased fast.

LEDinside projects that 2018 would witness 10 major LED demand and supply market trends.

Mini LED backlight

In 2018, mini LED backlight products may be introduced into mobile phone backlight application. Since the supply of AMOLED panel is facing crisis, Android manufacturers, except giants like Samsung and Apple, may struggle due to lack of OLED panel. As a result, these manufacturers may combine mini LED with flexible substrate to achieve high curved backlight. This may see related products of mini LED backlight applications enter the market in 2018.

Wide color gamut and quantum dot technology

TV manufacturers are likely to use wide color gamut (WCG) and quantum dot (QD) technology. This would increase demand for WCG and QD in 2018. For HDR, the basic demand is about NTSC 85%, and it may increase in future. This will cause NTSC 85% solution’s usage of B LED +R (KSF) G(Phosphor), B LED+R (Nitride) G (Phosphor) and BG LED +R(KSF) increase. Korean manufacturers have developed QD In Open Cell. Due to QD material, only blue light LED chip is required, so traditional phosphor powders are not required. Therefore, the phosphor usage volume will decrease as the QD in Open cell increases.

LED lighting installations

LED lighting installations around the world is expected to be 60-70 billion. About 11.872 billion LED lighting installations have already been made. It is expected that before 2020, there will be 6-7 billion LED lighting being used per year.

Architectural and landscape lighting

Demand for architectural and landscape lighting is increasing fast. Cities across the globe are making efforts to save energy and using LED lighting for architectural and landscape lighting applications. For example, in China every cities spend lots of money creating evening economy. Cities are also using dynamic image control technology with LED screens. There are 300 prefectural-level cities and 2,800 county-level cities in China. If only 5% of the cities promote lighting engineering per year, it can bring the demand of architectural and landscape lighting market worth billions of US dollars.

Automotive LED lighting

China represents the largest automotive market opportunities worldwide. It is currently the largest automobile market in the world, and the total passenger vehicle sales in the country in 2018 are projected to grow by 7.14% annually to reach 25.5 million cars. Various government policies that support the development of domestic vehicle brands is a major factor that drives the Chinese car market. With increase in number of cars worldwide, demand for LED automotive lighting is likely to increase manyfolds in 2018.

LED usage volume for automotive panels

With the usage of newer display technologies, automotive panels are being used in dashboards, CIDs and entertainment displays. Automotive panels on dashboards have transitioned from 3.5- to 10-inch panels (stitching type) to one integrated display sized 10.3 to 12.5 inches. Now, a CID can be a large panel sized 10.1 to 17 inches. Entertainment displays have also transitioned from 7- to 9-inch panels for embedded displays to larger panels sized 10.3 to 11.4 inches for non-embedded displays. Due to these new trends, the total global LED market value in automotive panels is projected to increase from US$ 67 million in 2016 to US$ 173 million in 2021, with the CAGR during this period at 21%.

Mini LED for digital display

Mini LED would likely be used more in digital display, which would challenge medium-density retina display technology. For digital display industry, high-density retina display technology is the threat to current market, however, it would bring in new opportunity with the market development through display technology. Mini LED, the technology between fine pitch LED and micro-LED, would likely be used more by digital display companies. With COB packaging, it is possible to make the pitch below P0.7 for digital display.

IR LED market value would likely to grow at CAGR of 15% in 2016-2021. This is due to the reason that Chinese manufacturers would enter the infrared LED chip market, leading to rapid decrease in infrared LED prices. With various new applications, like industrial surveillance security, virtual reality, and facial and iris recognition, infrared LED market value would likely to grow in 2018. LEDinside projects the infrared LED market to grow to about US$ 441 million in 2017, and by 2021, it is expected to increase at US$ 699 million.


Prices of UV-C LEDs can vary widely on account of wavelength specification, product quality, lifespan and order volume. The UV-C LED market is also influenced by introduction of new materials and more efficient chip manufacturing technologies. With the help of flip-chip and vertical-chip solutions, UV-C LEDs can work with high-power drivers to achieve greater levels of brightness. UV-C LEDs are targeting the market for consumer lighting products. UV-C LED suppliers like LG Innotek, Seoul Viosys and Bioraytron are making affordable products.

LED chip market

LED chip market in 2017 has increased because the current prices of LED chip are low, and the tier-one LED chip manufacturers in China have the advantages in cost. Under the condition of full capacity, the tier-one LED chip manufacturers in China start to reboot the expansion plan. LEDinside forecasts that the number of new equipment in 2017 will reach 401 sets.