Thursday, March 12, 2009

When a 5% decline in the market looks great

You know the times are tough when a market is forecast to decline 5% and people are in a good mood. That's how it seemed at our SIL event this year. SIL is our Strategies in Light conference and expo for high-brightnesss LEDs. Even in the midst of the biggest recession in decades we broke our previous record and had over 2,000 total attendees.

My colleague Bob Steele forecast that the HB-LED market will drop 5% in 2009, mainly due to falling sales in end-use applications in mobile phones (a first for that business), automobiles, and LED video screen. Actually, it will drop more like 10% if you take out the emerging application of back lights for LCD TVs. That's a promising application, but restricted to some vertically-integrated players, so it's very hard to break into.

Of course, as with any forecast right now, this one is looking ahead based on what we know now. Actual results may vary. We'll keep you posted.

It's our 10th year doing SIL, and this year it had 6 workshops and 2 conference tracks: one on HB-LEDs and one on solid-state lighting. Another fellow analyst Vrinda Bhandarkar ran the new lighting track, bringing in the people who do lighting fixture designs, kind of taking things to a new level for our event.

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