Plant lighting has become one of the most popular lighting segments in recent years, and many lighting industry chain companies have entered the market. However, after experiencing the rapid growth of the plant lighting market driven by cannabis cultivation in North America in 2020, from the second half of 2021, due to factors such as shipping and illegal cannabis cultivation, the demand for plant lighting continues to decline.
So, how has the market performed over the past year? After experiencing large market fluctuations, how do industrial chain companies upgrade their own plant lighting business, gain a firm foothold in the growing competition in the plant lighting market, and meet the arrival of greater business opportunities in the future?
The demand for plant lighting is gradually picking up, and North America and Europe are still the main source of orders
After experiencing the sluggish demand in the second half of 2021, the horticultural lighting market is gradually picking up. Although the market demand is not as hot as the same period last year, in the first half of this year, industry chain companies still achieved a relatively stable recovery growth in the horticultural lighting business.
LED chip company Huacan Optoelectronics said that after the demand in the plant lighting market slowed down in the second half of last year, the demand in the first half of this year has gradually recovered from the bottom. Downstream customers are optimistic that the demand for plant lighting in the second half of the year will continue to pick up. The feedback from the lighting business also verifies the fact that market demand is gradually picking up.
In terms of packaging companies, Luminus, Tiandian Optoelectronics, Littel, and Jinko Electronics all stated that the company’s plant lighting business is gradually growing, and the demand mainly comes from the cannabis cultivation market in North America and Europe, and orders from the cannabis cultivation market in Thailand have also begun to gradually increase. Jinko Electronics said that the demand for plant lighting applications has the same periodicity every year. Among them, the first and fourth quarters are low seasons for demand, and the second and third quarters are peak seasons. Therefore, the downstream demand in the second quarter is strong. Orders for horticultural lighting products began to increase.
Power supply company Maoshuo Power said that the company’s business orders for plant lighting continued to grow, and the demand came from the company’s main customers.
The lighting company Signify also pointed out in its first quarter earnings report that the horticultural lighting business in the United States performed strongly, driving the sales of its digital solutions business to increase by nearly 24% in nominal terms
It is worth noting that Signify completed the acquisition of Fluence, a plant lighting manufacturer, in May. This transaction has begun to have a positive impact on Signify’s performance growth. In the second half of the year, as the demand for medical cannabis in North America continued to grow, Fluence Revenue is expected to increase.
Judging from the market situation in the first half of the year, in the short term, the main demand for LED plant lighting still comes from cannabis cultivation in North America and the greenhouse market in Europe. In addition, after the legalization of cannabis cultivation was announced in June, the demand for plant lighting from Thailand has gradually increased.
In the long run, due to the shortage of food supply and the shortage of land resources in the context of global population growth, as well as the continuous optimization of plant lighting technology and costs, the demand for plant lighting in plant factories and greenhouse agriculture will continue to increase.
TrendForce’s “2022 Global LED Lighting Market Analysis Report – 2H22” pointed out that despite the slowdown in the legalization of marijuana in North America and the substantial decline in the Chinese market, the growth rate of the plant lighting market has slowed down, but due to the increasing demand for LED equipment in greenhouses in Europe The demand for replacement is increasing, and under the stable price of lighting products, the estimated market size is 1.79 billion US dollars, with an annual growth of 6.6%. , it is estimated that the LED plant lighting market size in 2022 will be 1.79 billion US dollars, with an annual growth of 6.6%.
Looking into the future, in the context of food safety and global climate change, smart agriculture is increasingly on the agenda of various governments, and the legalization of cannabis continues to advance, and the market demand for LED plant lighting will maintain a steady growth trend in the future, TrendForce estimates In 2026, the market size will reach 2.89 billion US dollars, and the compound growth rate from 2021 to 2026 will be 11.5%.
Although the short-term and long-term demand sources for plant lighting are relatively clear, the key factor for industrial chain enterprises to achieve sustainable development in the field of plant lighting is whether their plant lighting products can meet the needs of terminal planting and increase the input production of enterprises and end users. Especially after the high demand period, there are still more and more players in the field of horticultural lighting, and companies need high-quality products to win a place in the increasingly competitive horticultural lighting market.
Packaging companies continue to improve light efficiency, reliability, and cost-effectiveness to meet planting needs in various scenarios
Whether it is hemp cultivation, plant factory or greenhouse cultivation, its core demand can be summarized as fast harvest of high-quality crops at the lowest cost. Therefore, the core requirements of plant lighting products for downstream industries or end customers are usually inseparable from high light High efficiency, high cost performance and high reliability in order to maximize the input-output ratio.
At present, in response to the application needs of downstream customers and terminals, LED packaging companies have launched a rich product portfolio and continued to improve product performance. National Star Optoelectronics, Ruifeng Optoelectronics, Tiandian Optoelectronics, Hongli Zhihui, Smeder, Zhongshun Semiconductor, Lida, Jinko Electronics, Luminus, Ams Osram, Cree and many other domestic and foreign LED packaging manufacturers are Launched a variety of series products.
In addition, according to different application requirements, manufacturers use different materials for packaging brackets and substrates, including PCT materials with high temperature resistance, high reflectivity and low moisture absorption, and EMC materials with high air tightness, high temperature aging resistance, and high UV attenuation resistance. And ceramic substrates with good thermal conductivity and corrosion resistance to cope with the complex environment of plant cultivation.
In addition to providing products of different sizes and brackets of different materials, Smeder, a subsidiary of Hongli Zhihui, also adopts a special coating process to ensure the reliability of the products, and the anti-sulfurization performance is further improved.
Since different plants have different light requirements at different growth stages, the LED plant lighting products launched by manufacturers not only cover the 400-700nm range of photosynthetically active radiation, but also extend to the ultraviolet and infrared bands, covering the full spectrum.
Among them, Ruifeng Optoelectronics has launched a series of PC color conversion products with rich light colors, including green (Green), mint green (Mint), lime gray (Lime), amber yellow (Amber), red (Red), overall plant lighting products The light color covers the 400~760nm band.
Cree’s J-series 2835 color LED products also cover 14 light colors, including PC Mint, Photo Red, Far Red, PC Purple, and more
Luminus has a very comprehensive LED product line, covering mid-power series, high-power 3535 SMD series, COB series and multiple packaging platforms; horticultural lighting products cover the full spectrum from 280nm (UVB/UVC) to far-red light (730nm).
However, it is worth noting that the application matching solutions mainly promoted by enterprises are basically concentrated in high-power white light + red light. TrendForce research shows that this is because the red light plus white light solution is currently used in more and more greenhouse applications, so manufacturers are also Continue to introduce new products to meet demand.
Photosynthetic Photon Energy Efficiency (PPE):
Lighting manufacturer Zhongke Sanan said that the technology of plant lighting products is mainly reflected in the improvement of light efficiency. The photosynthetic photon energy efficiency (PPE) of the whole lamp applied in vertical farms will increase from 2.4 umol/J in 2021 to the current 2.7umol/J. It will rise to 3.0 umol/J by the end of the year.
With the continuous improvement of the performance requirements of lamps and lanterns in terminal application scenarios, packaging companies have also launched high-efficiency products to support plant lamps to achieve higher performance levels. Usually, the PPE value of horticultural lamp beads is concentrated in the range of 1~4 μmol/J, and packaging manufacturers have been constantly trying to break through this limit, especially in the popular white and red light products on the market.
Ams Osram’s high-power LED product series OSLON® Square, its Hyper Red lamp beads have a PPE of 4.16μmol/J and a photoelectric conversion efficiency (WPE) of up to 76% at a current of 700mA.
Cree’s new horticultural lighting product, Photophyll Select, increases the PPE of broad-spectrum lamps to 3.25μmol/J, which is 6% higher than the previous solution, and the lamp lumen and luminous efficiency (LPW) increase by 17%.
Domestic manufacturers are also actively catching up. Among them, Ruifeng Optoelectronics, Hongli Zhihui, and Lideda all increased the PPE of red light bead products to more than 4μmol/J under the condition of 700mA current; under the condition of 60 or 65mA current, Improve the PPE of white light products to more than 3 μmol/J.
Power supply and terminal enterprises show their magical powers to promote the development of plant lighting business
Power supply and terminal enterprises show their magical powers to promote the development of plant lighting business
For plant lighting applications in the first half of the year, Maoshuo Power has mass-produced 800W power supply series in isolated drive technology, using digital driver ICs with high efficiency, high reliability, and high heat resistance; mass production of 400W in non-isolated drive technology The power supply series adopts patented design and has the technical characteristics of high efficiency and no afterglow.
Inventel announced in June that it will raise 1 billion yuan for the acquisition of Osram’s digital system division and the construction of LED intelligent control drive power production projects. Among them, the power production and construction project produces driving power products suitable for various scenarios and powers such as plant lighting and smart lighting.
Songsheng reached a strategic cooperation with the Urban Agriculture Research Institute of the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences in May to jointly promote the application of LED drive power and related technologies in the future agricultural field through in-depth industry-university-research cooperation.
Plant lighting fixtures:
Fluence has reached cooperation with a number of enterprises in the first half of the year. In March, Fluence partnered with agricultural equipment manufacturer and distributor Hydrofarm to distribute its horticultural lighting products in the United States. In July, Fluence reached a cooperation with BioLumic, a plant growth technology company, to use ultraviolet light to improve plant yield and quality. In August, Fluence cooperated with Israeli lighting supplier REMY to develop the Israeli medical cannabis cultivation market.
Acuity Brands, a major American lighting manufacturer, announced its entry into the horticultural lighting market in July and launched Verjure™, a professional horticultural LED lighting product line, which is specially designed for growing vegetables, flowers and other plants, featuring high light efficiency, high reliability, and simple appearance.
Although the current market demand is not as strong as the same period in the past one or two years, the industry chain enterprises have not lost confidence in the plant lighting market because of this, they are still optimistic about the future development of the industry, and are looking for ways to develop future plant lighting in different ways. For example, packaging companies win sales with product quality by continuously enriching product portfolios and improving product performance. Drive power and terminal lighting companies speed up the industrial layout through product research and development, production capacity construction, application and promotion.
It can be seen that the temporary slowdown in market demand has given the plant lighting industry an opportunity to develop in a more mature direction. During the cooling-off period of the market, enterprises in the industrial chain will conduct more in-depth discussions and research on product optimization and effective application, in order to be fully prepared before greater demand comes, and promote plant lighting products to play a better role in the field of agricultural planting and breeding in the future. important role.