The COVID-19 pandemic has had a substantial impact on the LED industry in 2020, resulting in a considerable drop in market demand and a projected yearly revenue of merely US$15.127 billion, a 10% decrease YoY, according to TrendForce’s latest investigations. Although the YoY decline in 2020 represents a magnitude of historic proportions, as COVID vaccines become more widely available in 2021, long-term pent-up market demand will likely rebound from rock-bottom levels, resulting in a forecasted yearly revenue of $15.7 billion for the global LED industry next year, a 3.8% increase YoY.
Owing to the gradual legalization of marijuana cultivation and the pandemic-induced surge of recreational and medical marijuana markets in North America, horticultural LED has become one of the fastest-growing lighting markets in 2020, according to TrendForce’s latest investigations. Moreover, as the COVID-19 pandemic’s impact on the food supply chain starts to surface, capital expenditure (CAPEX) for indoor agricultural infrastructure has once again shown an upward momentum due to the rising demand for equipment replacement and procurement, resulting in a rapid growth in enterprise orders for horticultural LED. Global yearly horticultural LED revenue is expected to reach US $158 million in 2020, a 39.7% increase YoY.
Since the introduction of Sony’s large-sized modular Micro LED display in 2017, other companies, including Samsung and LG, have successively made advances in Micro LED development, in turn generating much buzz for the technology’s potential in the large-sized display market, according to TrendForce's latest investigations. Emissive Micro LED TVs are expected to arrive on the market between 2021 and 2022. Even so, many technological and cost-related challenges are yet to be solved, meaning Micro LED TVs will remain ultra-high-end luxury products at least during the technology’s initial stage of commercialization.
After global LED giant Cree divested its lighting business in 2019, the companies today (Oct. 20) announced its plan to sell its LED business to SMART Global Holdings (SGH) for US$300 million. TrendForce indicates that Chinese manufacturers have quickly risen in the LED industry in recent years, benefiting from superior production capacities and cost optimization measures. These manufacturers are continuing to capture the existing market shares of major overseas LED companies, such as Nichia, OSRAM OS, Lumileds, and Cree. Furthermore, given the poor state of the global economy in the past two years, companies that were previously dominant in the LED industry must now deal with the difficult reality of having their business operations or stocks sold off to other companies.
In this release, TrendForce provides its forecast of 10 key trends in the tech industry for 2021.