LED and the Chinese…

Singapore, 19th June 2014

Back in Singapore for a day in the office, for my regular catch up with the team, settling general project, design and administrative issues, signing paperwork…I am off for a week’s leave tomorrow, so this will be my last blog this week, I will reappear 30th June… 🙂

Continuing where I left yesterday with the LEDs… In the same newspaper I also read an article on how China made LED’s were gradually conquering the world. It was an article that started on the front page of the South China Morning Post and continued on the inside pages, so quite a prominent story of the day. It basically confirmed what we all know already, China has become the number one producer of LED lighting in the world and giving the US and European manufacturers literally a run for their money. Considering the article was written in Hong Kong that has China’s Guangdong province, the heartbeat of the LED production, next doors, it was refreshingly candid about the issues faced by the Chinese LED manufacturing industry.

First of all it acknowledged the cut throat market competition where the thousands of Chinese manufacturers trying to make a living out of LED’s. They do that in most cases with government subsidy (very similar to the solar panel industry) which allows them to borrow money from the banks at very low interest if at all. But as they (have to) sell on price they end up being extremely pressed for profits and the article was clear that many operate with big losses in the hope for better days.

As a logical consequence of competing at low prices they (have to) cut corners, which is reflected in the poor quality of the LED’s which we all to well know. While improvements are being made in quality, the article was quite adamant that while the lower end of the market may be dominated by the Chinese today the high end market is still not and far from it, these still fully are in control by the US and European manufacturers. But the question is of course for how long. The Chinese manufacturers are learning along the way and if they can survive the longer run they may well come out strong in the future in the high end professional market as well…

Light watch 5-104: I leave you with one of the largest LED ceiling screens in the world located at The Place Mall in Beijing…it remains very impressive…IMG_3759c

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19. June 2014 by Martin Klaasen
Categories: city beautification, light watch, lighting applications, lighting of the future | Leave a comment

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