Another day, another giant industrial company throws in the towel on some aspect of modern lighting: News is breaking that South Korean conglomerate Samsung is exiting the LED luminaire business.
A report on the LEDinside website attributes the information to Korean news agency Yonhap, although Yonhap is not currently posting the story on its English language site.
Lux has not yet received a comment from Samsung.
‘Samsung Electronics intends to close down its LED lighting business, according to a report by Korean media Yonhap Infomax,’ LEDinside writes. ‘The LED business founded in 2009 will decide next week whether to ax the LED luminaire business, said Jack Kuo, assistant research manager of LEDinside.’
If true, other vendors might breathe a sigh of relief. Samsung has a reputation for aggressively building a strong presence in established industries that it enters, such as LED chips on which lamps and other lighting products are built.
It has so far made only tentative moves into LED luminiares. Competitors have been nervously waiting to see if it fully plunges in.
If it now pulls out its toe, it would echo last week’s move by lighting industry leader Philips to seek ‘alternative ownership’ for its €7 billion lighting business. It would come a little over a year after German industrial giant spun off its Osram lighting group.
The news breaks a few weeks after rumours swirled that GE was planning to sell of its $3 billion GE Lighting, a move that GE’s chief marketing officer, head of innovation and new lighting boss Beth Comstock told Lux is not true. After the rumours broke, GE regrouped to stir up lighting innovation.
Many traditional lighting companies are finding it difficult to compete in the new era of digital, LED (light emitting diode) technology as LED-only newcomers arrive on the scene unencumbered by legacy costs and operations such as an incandescent bulb business.
Lux will update this story as we obtain more details.
Photo is from Doug Kline via Wikimedia