The lighting revolution is disrupting incumbents, such as Philips, Siemens-owned Osram and General Electric, which previously had an effective oligopoly in traditional lamps and lighting components, with a combined market share of more than 60 per cent.
The long lifespan of LEDs – up to 50 times more than an incandescent bulb – is a threat to the replacement market, which is a big source of the incumbents’ revenues.
To differing extents, they are therefore investing in new technologies, moving downstream into lighting systems (luminaires) and cutting manufacturing capacity in inefficient lighting.
In the short term, this is eroding profits and triggering job cuts as manufacturing LEDs requires different skills and is less labour intensive than making traditional lamps.
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