The value of the global market for UV-C LEDs used in sterilization and purification equipment will grow at a CAGR of 56% from US$28 million in 2016 to US$257 million in 2021, according to the 2016~2021 UV LED and IR LED Application Market Report by LEDinside, a division of TrendForce. The UV-C LED technology is expected to advance rapidly as an increasing number of major LED suppliers are scheduled to launch related products towards the end of 2016.
“Currently, main UV-C LED suppliers are located in the U.S., Japan and South Korea,” said Joanne Wu, assistant research manager of LEDinside. “The market can expect new UV-C LED products from Japan’s Nichia in the fourth quarter. Taiwan-based suppliers such as Epileds and High Power Lighting will also launch UV-C LEDs with wavelengths ranging from 265nm to 275nm. These short-wavelength UV-C products are primarily for sterilization and purification applications.”
Wu pointed out that UV-C light can be used in the preservation of fresh food and the purification of air and water. “However, there are high technological barriers when it comes to the manufacturing of UV-C LED products,” said Wu. “Difficult challenges exist in epi-wafer production, chip making and packaging. The market acceptance of UV-C LEDs is also an issue. Though mainstream UV-C LEDs are generally quartz packages, products based on low-cost silicone packages are also arriving on the market. Promoted by suppliers, these silicone packages are mainly used for inexpensive consumer products because they have low current and short life time.”
In general, the UV LED technology has rapidly expanded into various application this year, with major markets being curing, sterilization and purification products. According to Wu, the total market value of the entire UV LED market worldwide is estimated to increase from US$166 million in 2016 to US$555 million in 2021, with the CAGR during the forecast period reaching a high of 27%.