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New lighting standards expected to help local LED industry

2012/08/14 15:50:33

Taipei, Aug. 14 (CNA) Taiwan's lighting industry announced five new smart lighting standards Tuesday that it hopes will spur the creation of a highly integrated supply chain and help it improve its competitiveness in the fast-growing light-emitting diode (LED) sector.

The five intelligent lighting system standards have been approved by Taiwan's six major lighting associations and two state-funded institutes, the Institute for Information Industry (III) and the Industrial Technology Research Institute.

They cover the areas of system functions, wide area networks, field area networks, design guides for field area networks, and lighting device specifications, and will promote badly needed integration in the country's lighting supply chain, according to the III.

"To maintain our technological edge and overall value, Taiwanese companies need to develop higher-value smart lighting systems and improve product compatibility based on these new standards," said Gary Tsai, a research director at the institute.

Even though they have yet to be approved at the national level, the standards can be used by the government when procuring lighting equipment. LED companies are also expected to design and produce new products in compliance with the new norms.

The next step for Taiwan's LED industry, Tsai said, is to apply to the government to have the standards accepted as national norms, which could help Taiwan expand its role in negotiations on setting international lighting standards.

Before then, by bringing about greater industry integration, the new norms could help address the lack of balance between the domestic LED industry's output value and volume, Tsai said.

"Our volume is higher than that of Japan and South Korea, but our output value has lagged behind them."

Taiwan's output value of LED components is forecast to reach US$4.59 billion this year, down 1.7 percent from the US$4.67 billion recorded in 2011, said the Photonics Industry and Technology Development Association (PIDA).

According to the PIDA, Japan will surpass Taiwan to become the top LED component manufacturing country this year, with output value estimated to rise 12 percent to US$4.86 billion in 2012 from US$4.33 billion in 2011.

South Korea is another aggressive player in the global LED industry, as the country's output value of LED components is expected to total US$3.48 billion in 2012, up 4.6 percent from US$3.32 billion in 2011, the association said.

(By Jeffrey Wu)