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Covid-19: a game-changer for the uv led business – Over more than 10 years of development, UV LED landscape has strongly evolved


1. Business Unit Manager, Solid-State Lighting & Display at Yole Développement (Yole)
2. Innovation Leader and Electronics & Software Architect at PISEO


From being worth around $20M in 2008, UV LEDs reached a first milestone in 2015 by attaining the $100M market level. This growth was mostly driven by UVA LEDs that were increasingly used in UV curing applications. But further growth in this market was then restricted by the industry’s overcapacity and strong price pressure. In this context, the attention of the industry was then focused on UVC LED that could act as a game-changer for disinfection/purification applications. Initially slow-moving because of a lack of strong use-cases, the COVID-19 pandemic has created momentum for the UVC LED business.

Yole Développement and its partner Piséo have now been following the UV LED industry for more than 10 years. In this decade the technology, market and industry have all evolved, totally changing the UV LED landscape.


In 2008, UV LED was still considered an emerging technology and industry was trying to make its way into promising applications such as UV curing and counterfeit detection. At that time, the LED industry only had eyes for the booming display applications, and was preparing for the rise of general lighting, considered to be the killer application for visible LEDs. But the reality was quite different! Asian players have entered and created overcapacity and strong price pressure, which has transformed what could have been a ‘blue ocean’ market into a bloodbath. That had a direct impact on the UV LED industry! Since 2010, several visible LED players have turned to UV LEDs, seeking new growth drivers and higher profit margins. From around 10 players in 2008, there are now more than 95 players involved in UV LED device manufacturing.

Driven by UV curing applications, the UVA LED market was the first to witness this industrial evolution ...

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