The market of light emitting diodes (LEDs) using ultraviolet (UV) rays has been growing rapidly as their applications expand. LG Innotek also set its sight on the UV LED business as a new growth engine and started to expand its ecosystem.
On March 1, market research agency LED Inside predicted that the worldwide UV LED market, which was US$288 million last year, will rise to US$526 million by 2020. In particular, the market of UV LEDs for disinfection and sterilization is expected to quadruple from US$86 million to US$231 million over the same period. Among various areas where UV LEDs are applied, the disinfection and sterilization UV LED market was the largest.
A UV LED is an optical semiconductor source that emits short ultraviolet rays with wavelengths of 200 to 400 nanometers. Since existing UV lamps contain mercury which can have a deleterious impact on the human body, are bulky and brittle, UV LED lamps are rapidly replacing UV lamps. The effectuation of the Minamata Convention, which inhibits production and the import and export of products with high mercury content from 2020, is fueling the rapid growth of the UV LED market.
UV LED lamps are capable of producing higher power than UV lamps with UV LEDs as large as nails of adult males. In Korea, LG Innotek has actively tapped into this market. In recent years, the company garnered much attention by introducing a new UV LED which was ahead of those of Japan, an LED powerhouse, by about two years. LG Innoteck is also focusing on expanding Korean and overseas UV LED ecosystems by planning the UV LED Forum on its own. The company started to expand UV LED applications by suggesting ways to apply UV LEDs to sewage treatment equipment, automobiles and building air conditioning systems.