The global UV LED market size was valued at USD 738 million in 2021, projected to grow at a CAGR of 39.25% and reach USD 10,434 million during the forecast period. UV Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs) are solid-state devices that emit light when an electrical current is permitted to flow from the positive side of the circuit to the opposing side. UV LED refers to the utilization of ultraviolet radiation with a wavelength ranging from 240 to 400 nm to facilitate high levels of productivity, increased safety levels, and decreased operational costs in various applications. Traditional arc lamps work by creating an electric arc inside of a mercury gas to excite atoms, which then decay and emit photons as a byproduct of the process. UV LEDs emit a limited bandwidth of light at the intersection where positive holes in doped semiconductors combine with negative electrons when a voltage is applied.
Various technologies, including UV-A, UV-B, and UV-C, are used to manufacture UV LED products. In the past, the use of UV LED was restricted to specific services such as curing, counterfeiting, and forensics. However, technological developments and advancements are now widely used in many applications like disinfection, purification, indoor gardening, sterilization, and medical phototherapy. The increasing popularity of smart home appliances in several developing nations has created opportunities for UV LED market participants. UV technology is increasingly integrated into various smart home technology products, including smart water cleaners, refrigerators, air conditioners, and advanced kitchen appliances, thereby driving UV LED market share expansion. Compared to UV lamps and bulbs, UV LED offers several advanced characteristics, including compact size, high output efficiency, low power consumption, and cost-effectiveness. Companies manufacturing electronic devices incorporate UV LED components to produce innovative and effective products.
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Eco-Friendliness Composition and the Growing Adoption of UV Curing Market
In recent years, the advancement of radiation curing coatings has been primarily motivated by growing environmental concerns and ongoing legislative efforts to reduce volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions. Consequently, UV LEDs are favored. Furthermore, there is enhanced safety for the operator, as there is no UV-C radiation emission. The UV LED does not comprise any hazardous metals that would be challenging to dispose of. UV LEDs produce significantly less heat than conventional light sources. UV LED lamps reach a maximum temperature of 40°C, while mercury lamps can reach temperatures of over 60°C.
The UV LED technology uses less ink and generates less waste also contributes to its eco-friendliness. Inks formulated for UV-LED devices are more sensitive. If the printing presses are equipped with digital front-end software optimized for LED, they can apply a thinner layer of ink while achieving the same results as conventional curing. UV LEDs are effective at producing deep-ultraviolet light that is used to kill a wide variety of harmful microorganisms. Most deep-ultraviolet light sources are mercury vapor lamps, which contain a highly toxic substance; therefore, UV LED is a suitable environmentally friendly alternative for deep-ultraviolet light sources. UV LEDs are being rapidly adopted and are becoming viable alternatives due to their lower power consumption than mercury-based light bulbs.
The ink market is expanding at a faster rate than the graphics and packaging market as a whole. Consumers are reaping the benefits of instant drying to improve production efficiencies and exploit the decorative and functional properties of inks and coatings. Radiation curing helps save time through instantaneous drying and enables several efficiencies throughout the production process. Radiation curing, including ultraviolet (UV) curing technology, is increasingly used in various industries, as clean and eco-friendly technology increases productivity compared to conventional curing methods. UV LED curing is utilized most frequently for graphic applications, specifically digital inkjet printing, screen printing, sheetfed offset printing, and flexo printing. These areas are expanding rapidly, with sheetfed offset printing experiencing the most rapid expansion, thus driving the UV LED market expansion.
The Growing Manufacturing of UV LED Chips
Traditional surface mount chips, which have grown in popularity in recent years, are being replaced by UV LED chips. The adoption of Chip-on-board technology has been restricted to a small number of industries due to its infancy. Chip-on-board UV LED technology has allowed manufacturers to pack more LEDs onto a minimal surface area. Chip-on-board technology enables manufacturers to fit 342 LEDs on the same surface area as 40 UV LEDs mounted on a surface. This onboard chip technology for UV LEDs has been most beneficial to the horticulture industry. The emergence of Chip-on-board technology had the most significant impact on the UV-C bandwidth application.
The superior thermal performance of Chip-on-board technology over surface-mount UV LED technology is yet another advantage of this technology. The external quantum efficiency of the UV-C LEDs is low (EQE). In the past year, companies such as Samsung, Osram, and Black Dog LED have made significant progress. Everlight launched UVA LED modules for industrial curing and printing applications and UVC LED modules for disinfection applications. The increasing production of UV LED chips is anticipated to restrain the UV LED market's expansion over the forecast period.
The Growing Use of UV-C Technology
UV LEDs are anticipated to experience significant growth over the forecast period owing to their relatively low cost and effectiveness in the LED-powered curing spreads across the disinfectant sector for COVID, adhesive, coating, and ink industries, as well as the replacement of existing technologies, such as mercury lamps. The UV LED market share is anticipated to have a promising future in the industrial and life science sectors. LEDs in the UV-C band are expected to change the sterilization and disinfection processes fundamentally. This is anticipated to gain a larger market share soon due to the recent pandemic outbreak.
It is known that the future of the UV-C LED market will be determined by the intersection of multiple factors, such as the increase in efficiency of commercial UV LED devices, the decrease in cost as supply increases, and the improvement of larger UV-C LED systems. Japanese and Korean manufacturers are market leaders, followed by a growing Western interest in building high-power, UV-C LEDs to meet the needs of the water treatment industry. During the forecast period, the UV-C LED market is anticipated to split into a standard consumer market and an advanced commercial/industrial market.
The global UV LED market is classified based on technology, application, and region.
Based on technology, the segments are UV – A, UV – B, and UV – C.
The UV-C segment is anticipated to hold the largest market share during the forecast period and grow at a CAGR of 46.5%. Compared to the other two types of ultraviolet (UV) rays, ultraviolet C (UVC) rays have the shortest wavelengths and highest energy levels. UV-industrial C's applications, like disinfection and sterilization, have enormous future potential due to their wide range of applications. The sun's UV-C is filtered out by the Earth's atmosphere. UV-C lighting is a safe and highly effective method of disinfection when it is appropriately designed, installed correctly, and followed safety instructions. UV-C–emitting LEDs comprised of aluminum nitride alloys are significantly more recent. They have several potential advantages over mercury lamps, including no toxic mercury, more excellent durability, faster start-up, and emission at various wavelengths, which may aid their germicidal function. Air, surfaces, and personal protective equipment such as N95 masks are now sterilized using germicidal UV technology. Comparing UV-C LEDs to germicidal lamps, the former can be turned on and off thousands of times without or with minimal observations.
The UV-A segment will hold the second-largest share. UV-A LED devices are more likely to improve a plant's nutritional value. This technology increases the thickness of the leaf, consequently increasing the plant's tolerance to various fungal infections. The majority of greenhouses, however, lack UV protection because the materials used, like polycarbonate or glass, block UV rays. Corn production was the highest among all grain products produced on the planet, as reported by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). Participants in the UV-A market can focus on nations with a high production of corn through greenhouses, which would not only help gain a larger market share and presence but also increase the level of awareness, thereby driving the growth of the UV-LED market over the forecast period.
Based on application, the segments are Optical Sensors and Instrumentation, Counterfeit Detection, Sterilization, UV Curing, Medical Light Therapy, and Other Applications.
Sterilization Segment Continue To Dominate Due To Increased Concern for Water Purity in Advanced and Developing Nations
The sterilization segment is envisioned to grow at a CAGR of 46.55% and hold the largest market share during the forecast period. Customers have two options for choosing the optimum UV light technology for disinfection and sterilization: LEDs and lamps. Historically, the only technology available was mercury lamps. In recent years, however, the field of UV LEDs has advanced, allowing the implementation of small, battery-powered disinfection and sterilization systems. The increased concern for water purity in advanced and developing nations poses a substantial growth opportunity for the residential and commercial adoption of ultraviolet LEDs. Population growth and the scarcity of pure water have attracted numerous UV LED manufacturers to the untapped market for water purification applications. In addition, the UV sterilization segment represents an enormous opportunity for industry players, who are investing heavily and entering the market. Few studies suggest that UV-based water disinfection is more effective than the chlorine method, as the former uses 120 mW of irradiation power and a wavelength of 270 nm to reduce waste by 90-99.9% in approximately two minutes.
The medical light therapy segment will hold the second-largest share. UV LED technology is increasingly used in medical applications due to increased investment in UV LED research and development. In response to the rise in healthcare-associated infections and consequences, companies are investing more in research & development and innovative ideas to mitigate their adverse effects. The CDC Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that one-fourth of all hospital patients in the United States will acquire a hospital-acquired infection (HAI) during their stay. Consequently, the medical industry must adopt effective disinfection procedures. In recent years, hospitals and other healthcare institutes have utilized UV lamps containing mercury vapor to disinfect various areas and equipment within the facility. However, these UV mercury lamps do not meet the growing demand for compact, lightweight, and portable disinfection equipment. Consequently, the medical sector's need for UV LED sterilization devices is increasing rapidly.
The region-wise segmentation of the global UV LED market includes North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Latin America, and Middle East & Africa.
Which region expenditures the most on UV LED?
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The Asia Pacific will command the market with the largest market share and grow at a CAGR of 46.21% during the forecast period. The escalating use of UV LED technology in the UV curing process is influencing the regional market's growth. UV curing is favored over traditional drying because the results are superior, rejection rates are low, and the process improves the product's solubility and scratch resistance. UV LED helps cure purposes in the coating industries since it is more energy-efficient, loses very little heat, includes no mercury, and can be manufactured with a significantly smaller footprint and superior optical design than conventional UV lamps.
As a result of their advantages over conventional adhesive systems, the use of UV-curable adhesives in the packaging industry in the region's countries is growing at a phenomenal rate. The automotive and transportation industries are also considering the implementation of UV LED curing applications. Automotive coatings technology is constantly developing new, efficient, cost-effective auto body and paint repair methods. The range of LED solutions for UV curing is applicable for curing UV-cured primers and UV-cured body fillers and is designed to accommodate any small or large-scale paint repair job. In Asia-Pacific, the UV LED these factors boost the market.
Europe will hold a share of USD 2,924 million and grow at a CAGR of 39.1%. The UV LED market in the region's countries, such as Germany, has undergone a multidirectional expansion. The aggressive mergers, acquisitions, and partnerships the region's businesses are undergoing are good indicators of this. The system has witnessed strategic developments for UVA, UVB, and UVC due to partnerships between other market participants and European-based businesses. UV inks cure rapidly when exposed to UV light, allowing printers to stack containers and ship immediately, which is one factor that is expected to boost the UV LED market in the European region over the forecast period.
In 2013, most European nations adopted energy-saving policies and ratified the Minamata Convention on mercury. It is anticipated that this will reduce the use of LP UV lamps and open up opportunities for the UV LED market demand, driving demand in all European countries. In the region, printing, healthcare, horticulture, and consumer products are the industries with the most significant influence on the market for UV LEDs. Water disinfection and purification products account for the majority of consumer demand. A new application has emerged in healthcare with the advancement in presenting UV light of the desired frequency.
List of key UV LED market manufacturers profiled