Automotive Headlights to Be Lit Up by LED Lighting

LONDON -- Traditional halogen front headlight bulbs will continue to dominate OE fitment globally, according to the latest data published by just-auto's QUBE automotive analysts. With a fitment rate of over 80% in 2015, accounting for some 73 million front headlight sets, the analysts assert that halogen is still the leading automotive front light technology solution for the global industry.

However, just-auto's analysts believe that, although fitment will decline to about 75% by 2030, volume will increase by nearly 35% to some 99 million headlight sets due to continued total industry volume (TIV) growth.

This performance of halogen, while losing market share, will translate to a CAGR for the 2015-2030 period of a narrow 2%, slightly below the TIV CAGR of 2.6% for the same period.

According to just-auto's research, the growth star for headlamp technology will be LED. The sector will grow at a CAGR of 16.2%, leading the technology to pass BiXenon in the market by 2025.

The key drivers that just-auto's analysts cite for the increasing use of LEDs in front lighting, largely at the expense of Xenon, is their falling cost relative to Xenon and improving performance and reliability. Globally, it is anticipated that LED penetration will increase from some 2.5% in 2015 to nearly 17% in 2030.

Regionally, as has been the case with Xenon, Europe and Japan are expected to lead the way in increasing the take-up of LEDs in front lighting applications. For 2015, just-auto estimate that LED penetration in Europe stood at some 6% and will increase to a one third share by 2030, while in Japan the penetration rate will be 7 and 40% respectively.

Furthermore, just-auto's analysts believe that laser lighting is set to become the next major technological leap for lighting, given that the technology provides 5x the illumination of LEDs according to BMW and power consumption is said to be half that of LEDs. Currently, only BMW, with their i8 and the new 7 Series, offer laser as a main headlight technology in series production, while Audi offers the technology, provided by Osram, in their limited edition R8 LMX. The market watchers believe that a limiting factor in the adoption of laser lighting is the delay in the technology being approved by the US regulatory authorities. Until that approval is forthcoming, it is expected that front lighting will be dominated by halogen albeit with LED as the fastest growing technology.

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