Shining A Light On The LED Opportunity
By Tom Pincince
Smart investors know that, often, the biggest growth opportunities are the ones you can’t invest in – yet. New technologies typically have the most potential for growth when they are still under development or in the early phases of market penetration. At that point, fledgling companies have infinite possibility and tremendous risk and need investors who are accustomed to this type of deal. If you have the ability and fortitude to invest in an emerging company at this critical stage, the rewards can be significant.
The creation of new markets is often dependent on component technologies opening up opportunities, rather than the development of entire supply chains of products. This creates interesting supply-demand curves, which has been happening in many areas of clean tech, including in the LED markets.
Established LED players – Cree, Rubicon and others – have successfully built powerhouse businesses around the LED chip itself, investing persistence and cash to bring LEDs to where they are today. Now, LEDs are ready for a broad range of applications and are able to successfully displace conventional lighting technology.
Many manufacturers are addressing this market with an evolutionary approach – incorporating LEDs into traditional lighting fixtures and replacement bulb form factors. Others are taking a more revolutionary approach and using the LED chip as an opportunity to rethink the lighting value proposition and leverage LEDs as highly controllable illumination sources that open up new types of applications
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