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UV LED Technology & Application Trends Report

This publication has been discontinued on June 21, 2014.



From $45M in 2012 to $270M in 2017, the UV LED market is booming - but we're just scratching the surface of the technology's true potential.


Thanks to its compactness, low cost of ownership and environmentally-friendly composition, UV LED continues to replace incumbent technologies like mercury. Hence, the UV LED business is expected to grow from $45M in 2012 to nearly $270M by 2017, at a CAGR of 43% - whereas the traditional UV lamps market will grow at a CAGR of 10% during the same time period.

In 2012, UVA/UVB applications represented 89% of the overall UV LED market. Amongst these applications, UV curing is the most dynamic and most important market, due to significant advantages offered over traditional technologies (lower cost of ownership, system miniaturization, etc.). This trend is reinforced by the whole supply chain, which is pushing for the technology's adoption: from UV LED module and system manufacturers to ink formulators and (of course) the associations created to promote the technology. And with Heraeus Noblelight's recent acquisition of Fusion UV (Jan. 2013), all major UV curing system manufacturers are now involved in the UV LED technology transition.

Concerning UVC applications, they are still in their infancy and their sales are mainly for R&D purposes and analytic instruments like spectrophotometers. But given some newly published results (increase of EQE over 10%, etc.) and the recent commercialization of the world's first UVC LED-based disinfection system (2012), the market should kick into gear within the next two years.

In addition to traditional applications (UV lamps replacement), and due to their unique properties (compactness, higher lifetime, robustness, etc.), UV LEDs are also creating new applications that aren't accessible to traditional UV lamps, i.e. apps that are miniaturized and portable. In 2012, several new UV LED-based products were launched, including cell phone disinfection systems, nail gel curing systems and miniaturized counterfeit money detectors - and this is likely to continue! We estimate that if new UV LED applications continue emerging, the associated business could represent nearly $30M by 2017, which would increase the overall UV LED market size to nearly $300M.


This market & technology analysis is a comprehensive review of every UV application (including a deep analysis of UV curing and UV disinfection purification), highlighting: UV working principle, market structure, UV LED market drivers and the challenges/characteristics associated, time-to-market, penetration rate & Total Accessible Market (TAM) for UV LEDs, and much more. Additionally, this report details the market metrics for traditional UV lamps and UV LEDs over the period 2012 - 2017, with splits by application for each technology (volume & market size, etc.).

The report also presents an analysis of emerging UV LED applications, detailing: short-term applications that have already begun emerging, UV LED Concept Knowledge theory, and more.


The booming UVA/UVB market (mostly UV curing) has attracted several new players from different backgrounds over the past few years: traditional UV lamp suppliers, traditional UV system suppliers, pure UV LED system suppliers, and others. Each player employs a different strategy for capturing the maximum value created by this disruptive technology: horizontal integration (from UV lamp to UV LED), vertical integration (from UV LED device to UV LED system and vice-versa) or both (from UV lamp to UV LED system). We should point out that traditional UV lamp manufacturers are under the most pressure since they have to compensate for the waning lamp replacement market by diversifying their activities in higher supply chain levels.

In the end, every UV LED device/system manufacturer faces the same technical issues when it comes to integrating UV LEDs into a system (thermal management, optics, etc.), but experience is gained with each passing year. Once UVC LEDs achieve sufficient performance, there's no way a manufacturer will allow the opportunity to pass them by. When that moment comes, the whole supply chain will become a mess due to an increasingly competitive environment, and consolidation will be necessary.

Yole Développement covers the UV LED industry, detailing: main players & associated strategies/ business models, 2012 industrial value & supply chains, key players' revenue and market share, and much more.


AlN on Sapphire templates are definitely the substrate of choice for UVA applications, as they provide the right mix between cost and performance. However, for UVC applications (and some UVB applications) the competition with bulk AlN substrate is strong, since such material could allow for improvement at the device level in terms of lifetime, efficiency (IQE and EQE) and power output.


Right now, the debate is still on! And even if bulk AlN's superior performance has been demonstrated by companies such as Crystal-IS and HexaTech, the associated cost (2.5x to 4x more compared to AlN on Sapphire template) still remains an obstacle to developing UVC LEDs at a reasonable price.

Indeed, such a situation has already occurred with GaN substrate for visible LEDs. Bulk GaN was the ideal technical candidate, but cost was too high and sapphire was widely adopted instead. Will UV LEDs meet the same fate?

In addition to substrate issues for UVC LED development, epitaxy represents another challenge for increasing device performance. Such barriers will have to be surpassed before we see commercialized UV LED-based disinfection/purification systems.

Yole Développement presents a UV LED roadmap, detailing: performance and price, main specifications for enabling UVC applications, etc. Also, the substrate industry is analyzed: competition between AlN template and bulk AlN, key companies and more.


  • Detail traditional UV lamp business (applications and associated characteristics, main market metrics, positioning & strategy of main players, etc.) and its ongoing transition to UV LED technology (added value, associated strategy & business model, supply chain, etc.).
  • Analyze UV lamp applications (with a specific focus on UVA curing and UVC disinfection/purification) and requirements for UV LEDs to access them.
  • Review the UV LED industry from substrate to system, and understand the impact on the traditional UV system's value and supply chain.
  • Analyze the UV LED performance roadmap and substrate, and the industry's progress.
  • Identify emerging UV LED applications and associated characteristics, timeline, etc.


  • Analysis of new UV LED applications (beyond UV lamp replacement)
  • Update of all market metrics (UV lamps, UV systems, UV LEDs, etc.)
  • Update of all roadmaps (performance, price, etc.)
  • Highlight of 2012 UV LED trends (new technologies, etc.)
  • New players analysis across the supply chain


Acerde, AIST, Agilent, Air Oasis, Airwise, Alpha One, Alpha Cure, Alencorp, Aller Air, Allux Medical, American Air & Water, AMS Systems, Aurora UV, Asahi Kasei, Atlantic UV, Avantes, Baldwin, Baxter, Bellcon, Bioteck, Bivar, Bright LED Optoelectronic, Carrier, Calutech, Comtech Research, Clearstone, CoolLED, CREE, Crystal IS, CrystAl-N, Culligan, Daikin, Dot Metrics, Dowa, Eco RX, Electrolite, Elumix, Emperor Aquatic, Espring, Epistar, Epitex, Eurika Forbes, Fairfield Crystal Technology, Fox Group, Fujitsu, Furukawa, Fusion, GE Lighting, Giesecke & Devrient, Goodrich, Hamamatsu, Hangzhou Bright Group, Hanhua Optoelectronics, Helio Optoelectronics, Heraeus Noblelight, HexaTech, High Power Lighting, Hoenle, Horiba Jobin Yvon, Huga Optotech, Hydrophoton, International Waterguard, Inx, IST Metz, Jimco, JK Group, Kingbright, Kyma Technologies, LED Engin, LG Group, Light Source, Luminus, Lumen Dynamics, Lumex, Marubeni, Meridian Design, Mitsubishi Chemical, Molecular Devices, MTI Corporation, Nanobreeze, National Biological, N-Crystals, Newport, New Energy Wave, NGK Insulator, Nikkiso, Nichia, Nitek, Nitride Semiconductors, Nitride Solutions, Nordson, NTT, Ocean Optics, Omron, Opthera, Optocap, OSIM, Osram, PAM Xiamen, Panasonic, Para Light Electronics, Perkin Elmer, Philips Lighting, Phoseon, PhotonStar LED, Powerlux Technology, Pura UV, Purecomes Technology, QingDao Jason Electric, Safescan, Sanyo and more...

Table of Contents

Objective of the report


What we saw & what we missed

Definitions, limitations and methodology

Executive summary

Noteworthy news

Traditional UV lamp business

  • UV wavelengths - Classification
  • UV lamp applications - Split by wavelength
  • Traditional UV lamps: 2012 market segmentation and size / performance
  • UV lamp power - Some definitions
  • Traditional UV lamps - Technical positioning
  • Comparison of UV power requirement by application and UV LED best results
  • Target price for UV lamps and current UV LED system ASP
  • UV LED and UV lamp performance - Comparison table
  • UV lamp applications - Characteristics, market price and accessibility for UV LED
  • 2012 UV lamp market volume and size - Split by application
  • UV lamp market volume - Evolution from 2008 to 2012
  • UV lamp market size - Evolution from 2008 to 2012
  • Market analysis
    • 2012 positioning of UV lamp manufacturers
    • Traditional low power mercury lamp manufacturers
    • Traditional high power mercury lamp manufacturers
    • Traditional UV systems and UV lamps business relationship
  • Conclusion

UV Lamp vs. UV LED

  • From UV lamp to UV LED - Different design approach
  • UV Lamp vs. UV LED
    • Traditional UV system pricing
    • Different strategies and business models
    • The different typologies of players
    • Different strategies to catch value of UV LEDs

UVA / UVB Applications

  • Main applications and niche markets
  • Lamp specifications and market highlights
  • As a function of the optical power output and wavelength
  • UV curing
    • Optical power output and wavelength characteristics
    • Introduction
    • Market highlights
    • Applications
    • Most promising applications
    • Large surface curing vs. spot curing
    • Geographical sales breakdown
    • Geographical trends
    • Traditional UV curing systems - Main manufacturers
    • Details on UV light source / UV lamp business
    • UV LED market
    • Many new UV LED curing systems launched since 2010
    • UV LED systems
    • Role of ink formulators for UV LED technology
    • UV LED technology adoption
    • UV LED players positioning in the applications matrix
    • UV LEDs - Supply chain
    • UV LEDs drivers and barriers
    • Ways to lever barriers for UV LEDs
    • UV LED characteristics, trends and market metrics
  • Counterfeit detection
  • Photocatalytic purification
  • Tanning
  • Medical phototherapy
  • Detailed in these 4 last parts:
    • Optical power output and wavelength characteristics
    • Market / industry highlights
    • Characteristics, trends and market metrics

UVC applications

  • Main applications and niche markets
  • Main applications comparison
  • As a function of the optical power output and wavelength
  • UV LEDs - Market drivers
  • UV LEDs - Market barriers
  • UV disinfection / purification
  • Optical power output and wavelength characteristics
  • Introduction
  • Market segmentation
  • UVC purification systems - 2012 World market size
  • Applications accessible to UV LEDs
  • UV dose requirements by applications
  • 2012 lamp market accessible to UV LEDs (excluding HP applications)
  • What is the best wavelength for UV LEDs?
  • Water disinfection / purification
    • UV disinfection / purification segment and dose requirement
    • Players positioning
    • Traditional system price
    • Player mapping
    • Main systems and lamp manufacturers
    • Market opportunities
    • Municipal
    • Maritime ballast
    • Price & power of traditional lamp - Segments position
    • Segments accessible to LED
    • Portable water purifiers
    • Point of use purifiers (commercial and residential)
    • Other low power applications
    • Point of entry purifiers (residential & light commercial)
  • Air & surface disinfection / purification
    • Market segments
    • Players positioning
    • Professional applications
    • Food industry
    • Consumer residential
  • Conclusion on disinfection / purification applications
    • 2012 UVC lamp market in power output (MW) - Split by applicative market
    • UVC LEDs for disinfection / purification - Challenges to reach disinfection / purification applications
  • Analytical instruments
    • Optical power output and wavelength characteristics
    • Market / Industry highlights
    • Characteristics, trends and market metrics

UV LED market

  • UV LED applications roadmap - Timeline / Time to market
  • UV LED market size (M$) - Split by application
  • Relative market shares of UV LED applications
  • UV light source business comparison - An increase presence of UV LEDs
  • UV LEDs market share - Comparison 2012 and 2017
  • Conclusion

UV LED industry

  • UV LED chip and package manufacturers: Players from the visible LED industry / Pure UV LED players
  • UV LED chip and package manufacturers - Mapping
  • Positioning of UVA LED chip manufacturers
  • Positioning UVB / UVC LED chip manufacturers
  • UVA LED industrial supply
  • UVB / UVC LED industrial supply chain
  • UV LED industrial supply chain - Highlights
  • Business model of players in production
  • Visible LED players start to invest in UV LEDs - Focus on top 10 visible LED manufacturers
  • UV LED sales : 2012 revenues and market shares / Evolution of revenues of main players since 2009
  • UV industry: Some known M&A and business agreements / Pure UV LED spin-offs from universities
  • Known M&A, investments and fund raising in UV LED
  • Conclusion

UV LED Performance Roadmap

  • UV LED power - Some definitions
  • Main specifications of UVA, UVB and UVC LEDs
  • Power output achievements from main players
  • External Quantum Efficiency (EQE) - Evolution with wavelength and chip size (2010 - 2012)
  • Optical power - Evolution with wavelength and chip size (2010 - 2012)
  • Analysis of UV LED improvements (2010 - 2012)
  • UV LED technical roadmap
  • UVC LED manufacturing outlook
  • Price and lifetime - Evolution with wavelength (2010 - 2012)
  • UVC LED optical power and price outlook
  • Conclusion

UV LED substrates

  • Bulk AlN vs. AlN on sapphire template
  • Wavelength as a function of Al content in the active layer
  • Growth of bulk AlN
  • Substrate manufacturer locations - Industrial production or R&D
  • Bulk AlN: Main companies / Main R&D laboratories
  • AlN on sapphire template: Main companies / Main R&D laboratories
  • Current offers (As of 2012)
  • Bulk AlN roadmap - Mass production availability
  • Conclusion

New Applications of UV LEDs

  • Introduction
  • Short term applications
    • General lighting
    • Nail gel curing
    • Biomedical devices
    • Vitamin D synthesis (Medical phototherapy)
    • Plant growth
    • Cell phone disinfection system
    • Timeline / Time to market
  • Middle / Long term applications
  • Conclusion

General Conclusion

UV Industry - Company Profiles of Major Players

  • UV LED manufacturers
  • Substrate manufacturers


  • Bulk AlN substrates manufacturing by PVT
  • HT-CVD
  • Average UV dose required
  • Doping of AlN material at NTT (JP)
  • WideBaSe program for UVA technologies
  • DARPA program for UVC technologies
  • Introduction on CK theory
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