Chip on board (COB) is a technology of LED packaging wherein the uncoated semiconductor elements are directly mounted on a substrate or PCB with the help of a conductive or non-conductive adhesive and then wire bonded for electrical connectivity. This form of packaging design offers greater flexibility and provides better light distribution capacity. COB LEDs save considerable amount of energy, have a long life span, greater reliability, better thermal management, high quality and most importantly, they require less space. COB LEDs produce better color mixing and lighting effect and thus enhance consumer experience. They are also suitable for high power applications as they offer high intensity and homogenous luminosity. Shift from traditional lighting to solid state lighting technology has led to a wider adoption of COB LED. The global market for COB LED is expected to grow at a fast pace over the forecast period. Technological improvements and cost reductions will boost the market’s growth. Urbanization, government initiatives and increasing investments in infrastructure activities are some of the key drivers for the market’s growth. Governments of various regions are adopting this technology due to greater benefits over competing technologies such as incandescent and CFL lighting. The decrease in average selling price of LEDs has surged the demand for COB LEDs due to their increased adoption for various lighting application segments. COB LEDs require a complex manufacturing process and are more expensive as compared to other competing technologies. In addition, the fluctuations in global economic conditions could prove to be a restraint for market’s growth. However, given the nascent stage of the market, cost saving through economies of scale and advancement in design could provide a significant growth opportunity for the global market.
COB LED can be used for general illumination in residential, industrial, architectural, hospitality, commercial and other outdoor and indoor applications. In automotives, COB LEDs can be used for exterior (rear lamps, head lamps, side lamps, daytime running lights) as well as interior lighting applications. Use of COB LED for backlighting applications can be seen in LED televisions, monitors and handheld devices. Other prominent applications are in medical equipments and projectors. Due to the wide area light emitting property of COB LEDs, they are used for highway and street lighting purposes. COB LEDs have high power density, require small board space, consume less power and have efficient heat dissipation properties, thus they are widely used for a variety of general lighting purposes.
Asia Pacific holds the largest share in the global COB LED market, both in terms of manufacturing and usage. Japan, Taiwan and China are the major contributors for the market’s growth due to initiatives taken by government in favor of adopting COB LED and presence of a large number of market participants. Debt crisis in Europe had adversely impacted the demand for COB LED as their production requires huge capital investments. In recent times, North American and European markets have witnessed a boom due to government support and increasing usage of ultra modern lighting in various industries. Dubai is also a large contributor for the global market owing to huge investments in infrastructure activities.
Key players in the global COB LED market are Cree Inc., Philips LumiLEDs Lighting Company, Osram Opto Semiconductors GmbH, Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd., LG Innotek Co. Ltd., Citizen Electronics Co. Ltd., Nichia Corporation, Seoul Semiconductor Co. Ltd., Everlight Electronics Co. Ltd. and Lumens Co. Ltd among others. Development of cost effective and efficient products is a key growth strategy for the market participants. Recently, Samsung has announced its new COB LED packages and claims that they have the highest light efficacy in the industry. Thus, innovation and product differentiation could provide an edge for the market participants in the competitive environment.