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Halogen bulb suppliers in China are improving on the line's inherent advantages over incandescent, LED-based and other light sources to boost sales. Many are targeting specific requirements in outdoor, stage, automotive and industrial illumination.
The products' wide beam spread is one of the factors companies are capitalizing on. Through the use of reflectors, models can cover up to 300-degree angles, while the output of most LED types reaches only 120 degrees.
As such, the former has the edge in illuminating large areas. It can also be configured to provide narrow beams for accent or task lighting.
Wuxi Changsheng Special Ligthing Electrical Apparatus Fty has released a series with the filament designed to spread light evenly and form fewer shadows. The company offers PAR lamps for photography studios. Units have a color temperature of 3,200K.
At some enterprises, the focus is on enhancing luminous efficacy and extending service life by changing the composition of the inert gases. Halogen bulbs are generally 30 to 40 percent more efficient than conventional incandescent lamps, and the target is to boost the former's energy-saving capability by 10 to 30 percent. As regards life span, several upscale models can already exceed 6,000 hours.
Jiaxing Bingsheng Lighting Applicance Co. Ltd and Shenzhen Autic Industrial Co. Ltd are among the suppliers that have taken such initiatives.
Besides boosting product performance, many enterprises intend to keep prices at current levels or limit increases to 5 percent in the months ahead. In doing so, they hope to gain an added advantage since halogen bulbs are priced considerably lower than diode-fitted models. For instance, a 12V 35 to 100W halogen unit can go for $1 or less, while a 1W LED bulb is available for about $2.50.
Cost management is essential to this strategy as spending for raw materials has risen in the past few months. Rates for high-temperature glass, in particular, went up 10 to 15 percent YoY in November 2010.
Makers are also keeping an eye on labor costs because the industry relies heavily on manual work. Wages and related expenses in key production centers surged 15 to 25 percent in the past year due to a labor shortage. Companies offered better compensation packages to ensure they had enough workers to meet production and delivery requirements.
The exchange rate is another factor receiving attention. The yuan has appreciated more than 3 percent against the US dollar since it was de-pegged from the latter in June 2010.
Products & prices
China supplies halogen bulbs in various configurations, usually with a G4, G9, GU10, JC, JDR, MR16 or MR11 base. Designs generally range from 5 to 100W, although there are some enterprises that have released units rated 500W or higher. Wuxi Changsheng and Shanghai Wellmax Lighting Industry Co. Ltd, for example, have turned out 1,000 and 2,000W versions, respectively.
A luminous efficacy of 17 to 44 lm/W is common, while flux reaches 49,000 lumens. Most models can operate for a total of 300 to 3,000 hours, and a few function for 6,000 hours.
Halogen bulbs below $0.20 are entry-level types with power ratings that do not exceed 50W. These products generate less than 10 lm/W and last 2,000 hours at most.
Midlevel variants operate for 2,000 to 5,000 hours. Priced between $0.20 and $0.50, they are capable of emitting up to 20 lm/W. The rated power is from 50 to 100W.
More expensive bulbs have specifications as high as 2,000W. The luminous efficacy in this range is over 20 lm/W, while service life exceeds 6,000 hours.
More than 90 percent of China's halogen bulb industry consists of privately owned companies, while the rest are SOEs or foreign-invested.
Midsize companies or those with 100 to 300 full-time employees constitute 70 percent of the supplier base. Among these, about half produce the line together with other energy-saving lamps.
Larger enterprises carry out most processes in-house, including the making of the globes or tubes, and most have separate lines for automotive models. This group accounts for 10 percent of the country's halogen bulbs industry.
Small factories have fewer than 100 workers. At these plants, operations typically revolve around final product assembly.
Zhejiang and Guangdong provinces are the major manufacturing centers, accounting for 50 and 30 percent of national output, respectively. Together, these two areas have more than 2,000 suppliers.
Models from the former are generally less expensive than those from Guangdong, partly because of Zhejiang's lower labor costs. Halogen bulbs adopting the new inert gases and energy-saving technologies, however, are mostly from Guangdong.
Foshan Nanhai Wei Jia Lighting Co. Ltd
Foshan Nanhai Wei Jia Lighting Co. Ltd
Wuxi Changsheng Special Lighting Electrical Apparatus Fty
Model: FKK CP 73 230V 2000W G38
Note:This article was originally published by Global Sources, a leading business-to-business media company and a primary facilitator of trade with China manufacturers and India suppliers, providing essential sourcing information to volume buyers through our e-magazines, trade shows and industry research.
All price quotes in this report are in US dollars unless otherwise specified. FOB prices were provided by the companies interviewed only as reference prices at the time of interview and may have changed.
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