The LED Industry is Booming for Startups
Posted by: Alen Malkoc on Sat, Jan 03, 2015
With the advent of new technologies, now would seem to be an ideal time for startup companies to get involved in the LED lighting industry. The amount of growth on a global scale has never been more intense and never has there been a better time to be a startup in the LED industry.
While the competition can be fierce and companies such as Samsung have made the decision to scale back their own LED lighting operations in the face of that competition, other companies find that the outlook is extremely bright citing that the 21st Century will be lit by LED lighting and the industry will only get stronger and more widespread as more and more consumers adopt the technology.
One recent example of startup gold for LED companies is Absen. The company reported better than expected financial returns in August of this year. Company officials say that within the first six months of 2014, the company’s revenue reached $470 million, with a net profit up 60 percent. This was mainly attributed to high demand for LED displays in both Europe and U.S. Absen’s Chairman, Ding Yanghui says that there is still lots of room for growth within the market internationally because many markets have yet to be explore; including Brazil, Russia among others.
The 2014 Nobel Prize in Physics went to Shuji Nakamura, Isamu Akasaki and Hiroshi Amano for their development of blue LED light and their use of cost effective, high quality materials to make them. Recently, Nakamura announced that he will be founding an LED lighting startup company in California called Soraa. The company’s UV LEDs are capable of emitting higher qualities and different frequencies of light that are ideal for killing most bacteria in sterilization procedures. To date, just a handful of manufacturers have entered the UV LED industry, making Soraa well-placed to take advantage of the market for their new type of technology.
LED’s are affecting other industries as well. In Sweden, The Upper House restaurant located in the Gothia Towers building in Gothenburg, Sweden is using an intelligent horticultural LED lighting system to assist in growing some of the herbs and vegetables that are used in the restaurant. While the needs of the restaurant are nowhere near completely met at this time by the new LED technology, it is a promising start to utilizing advances in LED technology.
NliteN is a startup company that is creating radically different LED light bulbs than what you might already be aware of. Their thin 2-D lite is a dimmable “light disk” that emits 800 lumens. The company announced that the light disk will be available in 4000K “cool” and 3000K “warm” versions by spring of 2015.
German startup, iCradle is developing products that will make it easier for bicyclists to navigate on their bike ride without the on-board clutter of multiple electronic devices. Their goal is to have the conveniences available to cyclists, no matter if they are traveling through the streets of major cities or through wilderness areas of forest or mountain terrain. The iCradle product allows for the integration of either Apple’s iOS or Android smartphones. The system includes navigation functionality integrated with a lighting system for the bicycle. The LED’s used in the iCradle system has a brightness of 25 lux at a distance of 10 meters under full beam, and 10 lux when the beam is dimmed.
Also catering to the needs of cyclists is British startup company, Lumo, which is launching a complete line of cycling clothing with built-in LEDs. Lumo’s goal is to increase safety for cyclists by increasing their visibility with LED strips that are positioned on the front and back of jackets, backpacks and other cycling accessories. The Harrington jacket, for example makes use of fourteen 4 Lumen LEDs that makes it visible from a distance of over 400 meters. The LEDs are powered by a rechargeable power pack that fits inside the pocket and is recharged by fitting into any standard USB port.
Los Angeles startup company, Sunn is developing LED lighting to bring the light of the sun indoors. Their smart light actually mimics the natural outdoor sunlight. The light in two different sizes makes use of Bluetooth connectivity which allows the lights to be controlled by a smartphone App. Users of this type of LED lighting have noticed great improvement when dealing with SAD or Seasonal Affective Disorder.
The most fascinating trend within the LED sphere is the use of crowdfunding in order to raise both awareness and the necessary funds for product development, production, and bringing that product to market. Sunn managed to raise monies well past their initial stated goal of $50,000. This type of funding isn’t just open to investors but just ordinary people who are enthusiastic about embracing the new technologies that are constantly being put forward by small time operators and innovators. Like Sunn, Lumo used Kickstarter for a crowdfunding campaign to help them realize their own funding goals.
Pump manufacturer, Nikkiso has teamed with startup UV Craftary to produce a line of UV LED lighting. This technology will be used as indicator lights in dialysis to detect the processing progress of body fluid waste. It is able to do this by a process of measuring changes in light absorption in bodily fluids. This technology is used within the medical field for skin treatments utilizing a series of UV LEDs with a wavelength of 308 nm.
In a recent report featured on NPR, startup company Cellscope (https://www.cellscope.com) is making use of both the LED and smartphone technology industries in order to address the growing need for integrative care within an ever-changing healthcare marketplace for patients of all ages The App allows doctors and patients to interact and to diagnose illnesses such as ear infections easily and saving both time and expense of going to the doctor’s office or emergency room.
FlexUP Technologies Corp. Business utilizes flexible substrate material that is aimed at the increased global demand for flexible displays be used in smart handheld devices, wrist worn devices and flexible medical sensors. So impressed with this new LED technology innovation that they Wall Street Journal awarded them the Technology Innovation Award and the company was also the recipient of the R&D 100 Award.
LED technology has been inserted into almost every kind of device to almost every age and interest group. Recently, start up Axentwear launched a line of headphones stylized to look like Anime cat ears.
As you can see there are many varied industries and applications. that have managed in a few short years to take advantage of the increased use of LED technology and what it can mean in terms of making lives better for everyone. With the ever-growing focus on this important growth industry, there has never been a better time to be a startup company in the LED industry.