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Increased Demand for Disease Prevention Products Causes Overall Shortage Across Entire UV-C LED Supply Chain, Says TrendForce

28 April 2020 LED Joanne Wu

According to the latest report by the LEDinside research division of TrendForce2020 Deep UV LED Application Market and Branding Strategies, the rapid acceleration of COVID-19 has generated a corresponding boom in the disease-prevention business. Case in point, the demand for UV-C LED (wavelength≦280 nm), a type of LED with disinfection/sterilization properties, has skyrocketed since the Lunar New Year, in turn causing massive shortages across the entire supply chain. Given the extreme shortage of UV-C LED chips, LED package suppliers looking to place orders for these chips need to exercise caution when setting chip specifications; these suppliers may also need to bear the risk of possible chip shortages. The current shortage in the UV-C LED market has led to an adjustment to UV-C LED chip quotes, in turn resulting in purchasers being unable to procure chips even with at high bid prices.

TrendForce Research Manager Joanne Wu indicates that some UV-C LED suppliers are already seeing order fulfillment schedules that will last till August 2020. In addition, owing to increased orders for UV-C LED, several suppliers are expected to see double-digit YoY growths in their UV-C LED revenues this year, in particular those that have maintained UV-C LED chip and package operations for many years, including Seoul Viosys, Asahi Kasei (Crystal IS), Stanley, Bioraytron (a joint venture by Epileds and HPLighting) and San’an Optoelectronics. UV-C LED chip suppliers primarily include San’an Optoelectronics, Photon Wave, Opto Tech, and Epileds.

Whereas UV-C LED suppliers have historically relied on increased efficiency and competitive prices to receive branding contracts, the coronavirus pandemic in 2020 has compelled brands and consumers alike to place a high priority on disinfection. The demand for UV-C LED has extended from China to the U.S., Europe, and Japan, culminating in peak market demand. TrendForce thus projects the UV-C LED packaging market revenue to reach 60% CAGR during 2019-2024.

In response to the increased demand for disease prevention measures, brand vendors have released a host of UV-C LED products, including disinfection bags, disinfection boxes, maternity products, UV torchlights, and portable disinfection/sterilization products. UV-C LED manufacturers have been committed to develop the field of home appliance brands for many years. As UV-C LED technology gets more mature and is more acceptable by big brands, UV-C LED will eventually enter the growth booming period in 2020. Major UV-C LED suppliers for the home appliance market include Seoul Viosys, Bioraytron, Lite-on and San’an Optoelectronics. TrendForce also expects UV-C LED to see widespread use in commercial applications such as air conditioning, surface sterilization, and water sterilization. UV-C LED suppliers for these applications include Seoul Viosys, Asahi Kasei (Crystal IS), Stanley, Violumas, San’an Optoelectronics and Nichia. In addition, the passenger car market is planning to adopt UV-C LED products as well in the form of devices for external use and disinfection modules integrated into air conditioners. All of the aforementioned applications are expected to galvanize a steady demand in the UV-C LED market.

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