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Cheaper, Brighter, Cooler: The Need for Cost Reduction Past the Package

Cost is the name of the game with LEDs, but most of the time, the focus is entirely on the package. We evaluated the opportunity for cost reduction through materials and technology innovation in the balance of system, including thermal management, drivers, and optics. We find that today's technology solutions fall short of the dramatic cost reductions needed to mirror the LED package and alternate solutions are ineffective and uneconomical - presenting opportunities for technology innovation.

Table of Contents

  • Executive Summary
      • LED Package Costs Fall Fastest, Shifting the Value and Need for Cost Reduction to the Balance of System
  • Landscape
    • LEDs are Poised to Impact General Illumination, but Still Need to Improve to Compete
    • LED Package Influences Requirements for Thermal Management, Drivers, and Optics
      • There are Four Primary Types of LEDs
    • Beyond the Package, Thermal Management, Drivers, and Optics Take Center Stage
      • Effective Thermal Management is Essential to Improve Performance and Lower Costs
      • Drivers are the Heart of LED Circuitry
      • Secondary Optics Play a Dual Role, as They Need to be Both Functional and Aesthetic
    • The Industry has Focused on the Package, but Balance of Systems Innovations are Rising
    • Landscape Conclusions
  • Analysis
    • As Package Costs Fall due to Increases in Light Output, Thermal Management and Drivers Come to the Forefront of Cost Reduction Needs in LEDs
    • The Package Falls Drastically to 19% of Overall Costs by 2020, Shifting Percentage Value to the Balance of System
    • Thermal Management will Remain a Critical and Under- addressed Component of Costs
    • Cost Reduction Potential in Drivers Disappoints, Delivering a High Portion of Overall Costs
    • There is a Need for Innovation in Optics Technologies to Increase Performance and Drive Down Costs
    • Active Heat Sinks, Dimmable Drivers, and Reflectors Combine to Give 9% Savings in 2020
  • Outlook
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