Five Noteworthy Trends from the 2013 Taiwan International Lighting Show

The Taiwan International Lighting Show (TILS) opened on March 26, 2013, and as expected attracted hordes of casual visitors, LED professionals, and international buyers. While a myriad of different lighting items—from the basic component drivers to the colorful, flashy display boards–had been featured, a good portion of the exhibition appeared to be dominated by products utilizing LED technology. Anyone hoping to get a sense of where Taiwan's LED market is currently headed, along with those who simply want to understand more about LED components, designs and applications, should find TILS 2013 to be a particularly worthwhile experience. 

While walking through many areas of the lighting exhibition, we had spotted a number of trends that reflect existing as well as developing movements within the LED industry. Below are five particularly noteworthy ones that stood out at TILS 2013:

1. LED manufacturers taking notable steps to ensure greater efficiency, product lifespan. For those unfamiliar with the LED industry and its various ad campaigns, a major benefit of LED lighting that is often preached about is energy efficiency. Throughout TILS 2013, this advantage had been emphasized by both component and LED product manufacturers, among them Delta SSL, whose 320 degree omni LED bulb boasts an impressive efficiency of 133 lm/W (meeting Energy Star’s requirements), and Top Energy Saving System Corp. (TESS), which showcased a detachable “power engine” capable of dissipating heat and extending the amount of time LED bulbs can be used. The lifespan of typical LED bulb and tube products, as revealed at the lighting exhibition, is generally around 25-30 thousand hours. A select few, for instance LVD International Light & Energy Corp.'s peculiar donut-shaped induction lamp, are capable of lasting up to as long as 100 thousand hours.

2. Environmental factor still heavily stressed in LEDs. As was the case in the previous years, exhibitors from TILS 2013 had been quick to announce environment-friendly LED products that are easily disposable, good for the eyes, and contain little--if any--toxic substances. A few noteworthy items that fit this “eco-friendly” category include TESS’s 12W recyclable LED bulb, LVD’s special induction lamps, Nan Ya Photonics’ various LED luminaries products, and Joint Security Supplies’ JSL-A6D W1T and JSL-A6W W1T light bulbs. Like energy efficiency, LED’s environmentally friendly nature is a factor perceived by many to be critical in terms of furthering the technology’s future adoption and application.

3. Convenience and utility taken to greater heights. Not only are LED products and components meant to be energy-smart and environmentally sound, they are also designed to be easy to use and suitable for different settings. This year, Lextar introduced a sturdy tube socket (GX16) that can withstand seismic shocks and make an LED tube highly resistant to earthquakes. Luces, a Taiwan-based company specializing in high power LEDs, announced a wide array of elegant lighting equipments applicable to art galleries, restaurants, jewel cabinets and meeting rooms. Jan Cheng Lighting, Delta SSL, and Shiner each showcased convenient LED bulbs that come in a variety of different viewing angles for consumers to choose from. Those that feature “high-degree” wide-angles—for example, 300 degrees or more—are considered practical for open-ended areas; an LED bulb with a narrow-viewing angle, on the other hand, is said to be sufficient for environments that either do not demand great lighting or are already reasonably lit.

The sheer number of lighting choices available, in many ways, is testament to the flexibilities and creativity permitted by LED design. By perusing every corner of TILS 2013, one was almost certain to discover memorable LED items that come in various different shapes, sizes, thicknesses, and colors.

4. Taiwanese LED Industry still dominated by LED components. Aside from LED applications and end-products, a good majority of TILS's exhibited items belonged to component parts such as LED drivers, dimmers, chips, and power supplies. The various Taiwanese manufacturers who appear to be excelling in this field include Mean Well (which showcased a wide variety of LED drivers for different wattage levels and circuits), Linkcom (a provider of constant current and constant voltage power supplies), and Kaoyi (a company specializing in eco-friendly driver components). Others major players who showed up include, but are not limited to: Anchor, Golden Way, Future Electronics, and Edison. Judging by the sheer volume of drivers and power supplies exhibited throughout TILS 2013, an argument could be made that the majority of the focus in Taiwan’s LED industry is still placed on the manufacturing LED component parts.

5. Innovation still abounds in the LED Industry. TILS 2013 arguably did not disappoint in the innovation department: For very typical LED driver or bulb featured, there were novelties like UKIN Tech's Blocky lights and Seed Design's avant-garde desk lamps. The LED lighting Innovative Application Pavilion, which showcased various creative LED applications and products made by university students, was also a notable section of TILS 2013 worth checking out. One particularly creative exhibit that gathered a lot of buzz was the lighting paper lanterns. Another was a peculiar-looking display that can be interacted with through a user's hand gestures.

Final Thoughts

Taken as a whole, TILS 2013 can be said to be filled with both positive and concerning signs. On the one hand, Taiwan clearly appears to be making notable strides in the LED product application/design area, as evidenced by the innovative LED lamps and equipments shown throughout the exhibition. However, the numbers of firms specializing in component products also appeared to be borderline excessive, which implies Taiwan’s LED business may still be slightly behind when it comes to actually designing and producing finished LED products.

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