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Internet-controlled smart bulbs inevitable as prices go down

Editorial
article image The lower LED prices are encouraging many manufacturers to enter the smart lighting market.

COMPETITION is heating up for LED lighting, as LED bulb prices saw a slight drop, and manufacturers continue to enter into the smart lighting market.

According to Trendforce’s LEDinside division, the prices for 40W equivalent LED bulbs dropped by 1.3 percent in March to US$14.9. While this price decrease occurred globally, it was most evident in China due to the effects of the exchange rates.

The analysts say the lower LED prices are encouraging many manufacturers to enter the smart lighting market. Philips and Samsung already have their Hue and Smart Bulbs, for example, but Osram has also joined the fray with its LIGHTIFY smart control systems.

The Osram system is similar to the others in that it is controlled via Internet-connected handheld devices like smart phones or tablets. The light bulbs connect to the Internet via a Gateway and Zigbee wireless transmission.

LG is another potential player in the smart LED light space, having recently partnered with Daintree to develop wireless LED lights with Zigbee built in.

Cree has also developed their own wireless control platform, called SmartCast.

Based on these moves, Trendforce says it’s only a matter of time before integration of smart control systems and lighting becomes a mainstream feature of modern lives.

The lowered prices of 40W equivalent LED bulbs had an impact on the prices of existing products, with bulbs from Foshan Lighting and Haide seeing price cuts.

In the US, 40W equiv LED bulb prices also decreased in March, sliding 7.6 percent. But this had less impact on the prices of existing products.

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