Home > Trends and perspectives > Guess who is the leading global LED exporter

Guess who is the leading global LED exporter

Solar-LED Lamp

Today I went to a mall to buy some very last minute Christmas gifts. After a while noticed a nice lamp (the one in the picture).

Good quality and design and also the price was very affordable (about 15 €). The nice thing is that on the base it has a solar-fotovoltaic panel charging a battery and on top there is a small higly lighting LED (light-emitting diode).

I was amused to see combined together two technologies (solar-fotovoltaic panels) and LED, that are often advocated as the future of green technologies. According to McKinsey & Company and Conference Board (2007) LED is one of the most promising technologies in terms of greenhouse gas emissions. Also, the market of LED is growing rapidly spuring the whole supply chain (yes, LED are small but rather complex products – see Gereffi and Lowe, 2008)

So, I was even more surprised when I noticed that the lamp was manufactured in P.R.C. (People Republic of China) and, once home, I went to the UN Comtrade website to see who are the leading global exporters of LED.

I summarized  the results in the following pie chart…pretty surprising, isn’t it?

So, China controls the 35% of the global exports of LED. I guess that if we would consider the totality of LED manufactured in the world the picture wouldn’t change much.



McKinsey & Company and Conference Board. (2007). Reducing US Greenhouse Gas Emissions: How Much at What Cost? available at: http://www.mckinsey.com/Client_Service/Sustainability/Latest_thinking/Reducing_US_greenhouse_gas_emissions

Gereffi, G. & Lowe, M. (2009), Manufacturing Climate Solutions – LED Lighting, available at: http://www.cggc.duke.edu/environment/climatesolutions/

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