As society strives for greater energy efficiency, innovation continues to push new and more effective technologies to market. Unsurprisingly, one product cannot hold the top spot for very long. While compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) have displaced incandescents on store shelves, they will not be alone. LEDs are quickly gobbling up market share.


Research from Strategies Unlimited, Mountain View, Calif., confirms this trend. The firm recently gave a sneak peek of the results from its March report, “The Worldwide Market for LEDs: Market Analysis and Forecast 2014.”


The report captures an LED industry that is expanding. Revenue grew last year by about 7 percent to $14.4 billion. That figure is expected to grow at an even faster pace, reaching $25.9 billion by 2018.


The report looks at the various markets for LED applications. Not all of them are experiencing the same growth. For example, revenue from LED backlighting in TVs, computer displays and LEDs in mobile devices is projected to decrease. Revenue from LEDs in automotive headlamps and cabins will grow steadily, as will revenue from LEDs in signs.


Lighting comprises the biggest LED segment by far, and it will drive most of the growth over the next five years. According to the report, this segment now accounts for 30 percent of the LED market. That figure is projected to nearly double, reaching 57 percent by 2018, as revenues from LED lighting grow from $4 billion to almost $15 billion in the same time frame.


Strategies Unlimited forecasts similar growth trends in 
other LED sectors. A January study projects revenue from LEDs in lighting applications to experience an annual growth rate of 30 percent, reaching $13 billion by 2017. Another study also released in January projects the global outdoor LED 
market to grow by 400 percent, reaching $1.9 billion in revenue also by 2017 (see Susan Bloom’s “Glowing Outside”).