UK Photonics SWOT –lighting

We are preparing SWOT analysis on 7 key UK photonics sectors.   The last draft of the SWOT for solid state lighting areas is below.  Comments for improvement are welcome. SWOTS for the other areas are found in parallel postings


Aspects unique to UK –Substantial investment in GaN on Silicon volume LED production


  • Proximity to designers
  • Strength of OLED and flexible electronic research including development of manufacturing processes
  • Whole system understanding providing a total lighting solution rather than collection of component
  • Micro-electronics and software design skills
  • Substantial investment in GaN on silicon LED production capability
  • Volume semiconductor Epi-wafer production


  • No established indigenous high power LED chip manufacturer (Plessy intend to start volume HB LED production shortly)
  • General lighting market requires large scale production
  • OLED vulnerability to environmental conditions
  • Shortage of quality marks/standards to differentiate reliable high quality product from low cost low quality imports
  • Complexity and diversity of interdependent IP covering LED devices


  • Strong environmental awareness
  • Strength of creative industries especially interior design & architecture
  • Substantial internal market
  • Smart / adaptive lighting
  • Human centric lighting ie biodynamic (as it’s a system)
  • Internet of things – connected systems add value beyond cost
  • Break from traditional / replacement lighting solutions by increased use of size/thermal /colour potential of solid state lighting.
  • Use of low voltage DC electrical networks for solid state lighting


  • Regulation / subsidies for adoption
  • National nature of building regulations
  • Diversity of requirements between industrial / civil applications and domestic/ designer application


  • Conservative approach of public procurement
  • Disconnect in biodynamic lighting where benefits are with user and procurement is by building owner
  • Developers motivated to reduce upfront costs at expense of lifecycle costs.
  • New build adoption dependent on construction industry cycles / housing market
  • Negative users perception created from low quality, low cost LED products
  • Lack of understanding by users/ developers of potential of solid state lighting to enable greater design freedom
  • Lack of separate treatment between solid state lighting and conventional lighting in building regulations.


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