Lighting

Disinfection driving UV lighting market

29th November 2021
Beatrice O'Flaherty

The UV lighting market will double or treble in size in the next five years, driven by disinfection and new functionalities.

“There is good in everything bad”asserted Pars Mukish, Business Unit Manager, Solid-State Lighting & Display at Yole Développement (Yole). “For example, The COVID-19 pandemic has created some perfect use-cases for UV lighting technologies to spread throughout a rapidly changing disinfection market.”

Indeed, SARS-COV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, has one of the highest reproduction/transmissibility rates among all viruses that have emerged in our modern society. To reduce the spread of the disease, light in the UVC wavelength band, which can deactivate bacteria and viruses through physical methods, has gained unprecedented attention. Overall, there will be a “before” and an “after” the COVID-19 pandemic for the UV lighting industry.

According to Joël Thomé, CEO of PISEO“Indeed, the health crisis due to the SARS-CoV-2 virus has generated unprecedented demand for the design and manufacture of disinfection systems using optical UV rays. LED manufacturers have seized this opportunity, and we are currently seeing an explosion in UV-C LED products.”

In this context, the two companies Yole and PISEO combined their expertise to investigate the disruptive LED technologies and related markets in depth. The partners highlight the latest innovations and underline the business opportunities. They analyze the latest technology and market trends in the specific context of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has strongly impacted the UV industry in general.

The 'UV LEDs and UV Lamps – Market and Technology Trends 2021' report from Yole is a comprehensive survey of UV light sources, providing a deep understanding of the UV lamp and UV LED businesses. It also reviews and details the traditional UV lamp market, its main applications and associated characteristics, the market metrics, leading players’ positioning and strategies.

Considering the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on all aspects, Yole’s report reviews the overall UV LED industry and provides insights into changes in the value/supply chain after the penetration of this disruptive technology.

In parallel, the UV-C LEDs in the 'Time of COVID-19 - Update November 2021' from PISEO discusses the technical state-of-the-art of UV-C LEDs and possibilities for further development of performance and price. This technical analysis offers a comparative overview of the products of the 27 leading UV-C LED manufacturers.

What is the status of the UV LED industry? What are the economic and technological challenges? What are the key drivers? Who are the suppliers to watch, and what innovative technologies are they working on? How does the COVID-19 outbreak impact each UV LED market segment? PISEO and Yole deliver today a detailed and comprehensive overview of this industry.

As analysed in the new 'UV LEDs and UV Lamps – Market and Technology Trends 2021' report, on the one hand, UV lamps are historic, establi The UV lighting market will double or treble in size in the next five years, driven by disinfection and new functionalities. shed, and mature technologies in the UV lighting market. Business before the COVID-19 pandemic was driven mostly by polymer curing with UVA wavelength light and water disinfection with UVC light. On the other hand, UV LED technologies are still emerging. Until recently, business was mostly driven by UVA LEDs. It was only a few years ago that UVC LEDs reached the performance and cost specifications of early adopters and started generating revenue.

According to Pierrick Boulay, Senior Technology & Market Analyst, Solid-state Lighting at Yole: “Both technologies will benefit, but on different timelines. In the very short term, UV lamps might dominate end-systems because they are already established and easy to integrate. However, this proliferation of applications is a catalyst for the UV LED industry that will further push the technology and its performance forward. In the middle-to-long term, several end-systems might further adopt UV LED technology”.

The UV lighting market overall was worth around $400m in 2008. By 2015 UV LEDs alone were worth $100m. In 2019, the total market reached $1bn as UV LEDs spread into UV curing and disinfection. The COVID-19 pandemic has then driven demand, increasing total revenues by 30% in just one year. In this context, Yole’s analysts expect the UV lighting market to be worth $1.5bn in 2021 and $3.5bn in 2026, with a CAGR2021-2026 for this period of 17.8%.

Numerous industries and players supply UV lamps and UV LEDs. Signify, Light Sources, Heraeus, and Xylem/Wedeco are the top four UVC lamp players, while Seoul Viosys and NKFG are currently leading the UVC LED industry. There are few overlaps between the two industries. Yole’s analysts expect this to remain the case even though some UVC lamp players, such as Stanley and Osram, are diversifying their activities into the UVC LED field.

Overall, the UVC LED industry is likely to be the most transformed by recent trends. The industry has waited for more than 10 years for this moment to happen. All the players are now ready to grab a piece of this booming market

Another factor can also be further analysed to get a better understanding of the UV LED industry.

The number of UV-C LED-related patents filed in the last two years has exploded, thereby illustrating the dynamism of research in this area, states PISEO. In its new UV-C LED report, PISEO offers a particular focus on key patents of 4 LED manufacturers. This selection is relevant as it highlights the main challenges of the rollout of this technology: intrinsic efficacy and cost. Yole also offers a complementary analysis of the patent landscape. The need for disinfection and the opportunity to use small light sources enabled the creation of increasingly compact systems. This evolution, including new form factors, has clearly generated renewed interest on the part of LED manufacturers. Wavelength is also a key parameter for germicidal efficiency and optical risk assessment.

The need for disinfection and the opportunity to use small light sources enabled the creation of increasingly compact systems. This evolution, including new form factors, has clearly generated renewed interest on the part of LED manufacturers. Wavelength is also a key parameter for germicidal efficiency and optical risk assessment.

In the 'UV-C LEDs in the Time of COVID-19 - analysis' report, Matthieu Verstraete, Innovation Leader and Electronics & Software Architect at PISEO, explaine: “Although currently relatively scarce and expensive, several system manufacturers, such as Signify and Acuity Brands, are taking a close interest in sources emitting a 222 nm wavelength due to the harmlessness of this optical radiation on the human body. Several products have already been placed on the market, and there are more to come which integrate excimer sources made by the company Ushio."

PISEO’s specialists are therefore reviewing the state of medical research, the technology of sources emitting at 222 nm, the germicidal effect of this wavelength, the regulatory environment, and the roadmaps produced.

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