Market researchers forecast a threefold increase up to almost 13 billion Euros by 2012 for light emitting diodes (LEDs) and organic LEDs (OLEDs). These technologies offer a particularly small size, a long lifetime and top levels of energy-efficiency, thus opening up new applications and new markets.
As OSRAM CEO Martin Goetzeler proclaimed: "We are shaping the lighting market of the future and are a leading manufacturer in all stages of the LED value chain. We already achieve 15 percent of our sales with these new technologies. In connection with classic technologies our LED portfolio of products, systems and solutions will raise energy savings for lighting up to the 60 percent. This represents a major contribution to climate protection." Solutions such as the "Star of the South", which has been lighting up the sky on the outskirts of Munich since the first Sunday in Advent, show the design opportunities these new technologies have to offer.
LEDs are already well established in some market segments, such as backlighting for cell phones and television sets or in the automotive sector. In other areas, such as outdoor lighting (tunnels/streets) and the private domain, LEDs are on the verge of a breakthrough. OSRAM expects that LED retrofits as replacements for incandescent lamps will take hold on the market and trigger rising demand. Growth will be driven by falling prices, further technical developments, and global political efforts to ban inefficient bulbs.
New and established technologies such as halogen and energy-saving light bulbs will continue to exist side-by-side on the market for many years to come. Martin Goetzeler went on to explain: "The combination of technical know-how and market access will be decisive for manufacturers if they are to secure long-term success. We are already investing around 50 percent of our research and development expenditure in new technologies". He added that OSRAM is consolidating its prominent position in all stages of the LED value chain and that the company is at the same time extending its lead in classic lighting business, especially with respect to energy-saving products.
OSRAM sees the next development step in the lighting market in the field of organic LEDs. "In November we launched "Orbeos", thus becoming the first company to offer an OLED for installation in designer luminaires. This has given us a head start in this young and promising market," commented Dr. Rüdiger.
Müller, head of Osram's LED operations. He added: "We expect the greatest impact in those areas where OLED technology's unique selling points really come into their own, namely as extremely slim, efficient and transparent surface-emitting panels with a very good light quality." OLEDs are therefore not only a light source but also provide modern design opportunities even when they are switched off. At the same time, these new technologies are also extremely energy-efficient.
A recent study conducted by OSRAM confirms that light-emitting diodes today are just as environmentally-friendly as energysaving lamps, and streets ahead of conventional bulbs in terms of their ecological impact. The latest generation of OSRAM LED lamps achieves a lifetime of 25,000 hours with a power input of 8 watts. 25 conventional 40-watt light bulbs would be needed to achieve the same burning life, each with an average lifetime of 1,000 hours. Over 66 percent of OSRAM sales come from energy-efficient products, this will increase up to 80 percent within the next years. Details on the study are available at: http://www.osram-os.com/life-cycle-assessment