TAIWAN: According to LEDinside’s “Gold Member Report,” in 1Q13 LED price for monitor backlight application fell by approximately 4-8 percent, whereas LED price for TV application dropped by 3-9 percent.
Affected by the price cut by Korean manufacturers, average price of high power LED for lighting applications fell by 6-9 percent this quarter. With the price drop continuing, the total number of LED backlights applied to middle and large sized panels is expected to peak. LED backlight application has grown from 2012’s 70 percent to 92 percent in monitors, and from 70 percent to 90 percent in TVs.
Manufacturers look to edge- and direct-type LED TVs
As the data from LEDinside’s “Gold Member Report” shows, in 1Q13 the cost of direct-type LED BLU dropped by approximately 3-5 percent, while the cost of edge-lit LED BLU decreased by 4-5 percent. LEDinside indicated that due to the enlarged light guide plate, the number of optical films must be increased in order to enhance module brightness in 46-inch or larger edge-type LED backlit TVs.
Such being the case, however, module cost will also increase. In 46-inch backlight modules, for example, there is a price difference of 1.5 times between edge-type BLU and direct-type BLU. This year, Korean TV brands Samsung and LG simultaneously introduced direct-type LED TVs of all sizes, accounting for over 70 percent.
Lacking brand advantage, Taiwan’s two major panel manufacturers AU Optronics Corp. and Innolux have conservatively chosen edge-type LED backlight as the panel light source. Among China’s six major TV brands, the proportion of edge-type and direct-type LED backlight is approximately 4:6.
Affected by the rapid increase in LED TVs and chubby LED TVs, TV brand manufacturers have continued to reduce CCFL TV price in order to clear inventory. Forecasted by LEDinside, CCFL backlight module cost will fall by less than 1.5 percent in 2Q and only 1 percent in 3Q.LED TV products are already fully developed, and LED package sizes are roughly defined. Mainstream LEDs include 7020/ 7030 for edge-type LED TVs and 3528/3030 with lens for direct-type LED TVs.
LED power has increased from 0.4W each to 1W-2W or more. Due to the increased brightness efficiency of LED, LED package materials shifted from PPA and PCT to the more heat-resistant EMC.
In terms of LED price for lighting application, medium power LED ASP fell by 7 percent in 4Q12 due to the price cuts by Korean manufacturers. With cost-effective medium power LED 5630 being increasingly applied in both bulbs and LED lamps, the 5630 price has continued to decline. The substantial price drop has enhanced the lighting demands in China, in turn leading to a shortage of various LED packages.
So far, high power LED ASP has fallen by 6-9 percent. LEDinside believes that the falling price is not only due to the medium power LED price cut, but also agent conversion and the manufacturers’ goal to reduce inventory before Chinese New Year Holiday.
Although the lighting market demand has been slowly increasing after Chinese New Year, due to the new medium power LED introduced by Korean manufacturers, there will still be intense price competition in the LED lighting market.