According to relevant survey data, the proportion of global LED market revenue and overall UV lamp market revenue in 2008 was only 8%. Ten years later, that is, in 2018 today, the proportion is expected to reach 2%, or even three times more than ten years ago.
In 2008, the UV LED was considered as an emerging technology and it was infiltrating into applications such as counterfeit product detection and UV curing. At that time, the LED industry was mainly focused on visible light LEDs for display applications, and the rise of general lighting was expected. During this period, the number of UV LED manufacturers also increased from 10 in 2008 to 65 in 2018.
Pierrick Boulay, technical and market analyst for Yole Development, a French market research and strategy consultancy, said: “In a decade, the number of UV LED companies has grown from 10 to 65. Since 2010, several visible LED companies have turned to UV LEDs. New growth drivers and higher profits."
Due to the expansion of the company's production and the entry of more companies, the UV spectrum of the UV spectrum is the first market segment where prices are significantly reduced. The drastic reduction in the price of UVA LEDs has further accelerated the adoption of this technology. However, Yole pointed out that after achieving double-digit growth in the UV curing market (80% of the UV LED market) revenue for several years, overall market revenues began to decline because competitors in the fiercely competitive market have significantly reduced prices. It is expected that only companies that can innovate in UVA LED and UV curing can continue to make profits.
The UVB and UVC portions of the UV spectrum are more difficult to develop in terms of performance. Therefore, UVB and UVC LEDs require more expensive and time-consuming development, leading to much higher thresholds for new UVB and UVC LED manufacturers. For this reason, the development of the UVB/UVC market is much slower.
As the UV curing market begins to stabilize, Yole predicts that the UV LED industry will also be in a slowing phase. In addition, it is expected that there will also be an expected delay in the UV sterilizer market. Pars Mukish, Yole’s business unit manager, said: “We expect the UV LED market to grow from US$160 million in 2017 to US$320 million by 2020. Then, the market will be driven by UVC applications and will grow to 1 billion by 2023. US dollars."
Yole pointed out that a large part of the visible LED industry has turned to UV LED. UV LED manufacturers have different strategies depending on the wavelength of their target product. While manufacturers continue to focus on device manufacturing, other manufacturers are beginning to integrate modules and system production vertically.
In addition to UV LED manufacturers, some new entrants (mainly module and system level) are also trying to enter the industry. Yole pointed out that in the pursuit of the UV lighting market, the only ones indifferent to those traditional UVC system suppliers, they take a "wait and see" attitude.