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How does a small company start competing in the LED streetlight market?

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Well-Known Member

The Phillips “Xitanium Xi FP 165W” LED driver and the Harvard Eng “CLH_150W” LED driver are both intended for the streetlighting market at 150W.
They are competiotor products. (datasheets below) .

Phillips is a Dutch company, and has a close association with NXP semiconductors, -as such Phillips can reap the benefits of massive component cost reduction

Harvard Technology is a British company. There are no British Semiconductor fabrication plants in existence. As such, Harvard Technology cannot reap the benefit of component cost reductions like Philips can.

Other non-UK companies who make streetlight drivers also have close associations with semiconductor fabrication plants…for example, Tridonic have a close association with Infineon. Samsung have a close association with their own semiconductor fabrication plant. So too do many others……

As such, why do Harvard compete in the 150W streetlight driver market? They surely will be out-priced at every level? They surely will have to pay more for their electronics components. They have no association with any semiconductor fabrication plant. How do they manage to compete and sell their products which are pretty much the same spec as their more fortunate competitors?….(or do they not manage to sell their “like for like” products?)

Do Harvard Technology get a UK government grant to produce LED streetlight drivers?

Are LED streetlight drivers generally so over-priced that any small company can jump in and start making decent sales and money?

Phillips “Xitanium Xi FP 165W” LED driver Datasheet

Harvard Eng “CLH_150W” LED driver Datasheet:


My company is constantly carrying out costings of Switch Mode LED driver designs for streetlighting. Every time, we simply cannot compete with the multinational corporations who can call in massive component cost reductions.

Not only that, but the huge multinational electronics corporations have huge financial backing which enables them to make their own custom Ferrite cores and formers. We simply cannot compete with this, since we cannot afford to do that. We have to use off-the-shelf cores and formers which are inevitably larger than the custom ones that the huge corporations get custom made. This makes our product not only more expensive, but also unfavourably larger in size.

The arena of lighting, in particular, has been absolutely saturated with products. When small companys try to get in, the huge corporations simply carry out tactical price-cutting until the smaller competitor goes out of business. When we place a tender for an order for led streetlight drivers, the large corporations simply tell all the buyers that they will charge 10 Euros less than what we charge.

Would you say that it is now impossible for a small company to enter the SMPS based LED streetlghting market?
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Active Member
It's hard to imagine how a small company can grow "organically" from a small base in any manufacturing sector today, aside possibly from very specialist or boutique products which are low volume and high margin. The economy of scale required to make something at a competitive price, especially when competing with products from low-wage economies, seems to present an almost insurmountable barrier to entry. As we all know, this is the price we pay for cheap consumer goods - but I feel that we loose out in terms of variety in our economy.
Nevertheless, it's always encouraging to see people having a go - after all, some of them must succeed.

Another matter where big brands have the edge is in trust. It's far easier to trust a known name like Phillips than a new start up, especially when you consider the viewpoint of a local authority considering buying streetlights. Not only are they going to want to know that they are good value and good quality, but they'll also want to be confident that the manufacturer will be able to meet bigger orders, and will be able to support the product for years to come.

I've seen you post a lot of interesting problems, but from reading these, I'd assumed that you where already in the streetlighting industry - are you saying that this is something you've looked at, but always decided that you couldn't build a product at a viable price?


Well-Known Member
are you saying that this is something you've looked at, but always decided that you couldn't build a product at a viable price?
We have a product, but its in an area where the big corporations are not interested. Our market is full of individual, small orders, where the big corporations are just not so interested. They in fact, dont even bother to compete with us in our particular tech arena.


Active Member
That seems to be the way to do it - find a niche and get into it quick. It seems that a small market can often spread the word around internally as well, so that you cab get good take up in that particular niche. I suppose you're saying that flexibility is where the small player can get an advantage.
Nice to see someone manufacturing in the UK anyway.


Well-Known Member
Nice to see someone manufacturing in the UK anyway.
Thankyou. By the way, please, please spread the word.....
Sorry, i wish the best to all others respective countries too....just that UK is in a downward spiral at a speed not seen in any other country in the world. We in UK are being sold down the river by many of our leaders.

<Mod note: Commercial link removed. Stop posting links to your website. That is blatant spam and will not be tolerated.>
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Super Moderator
We in UK are being sold down the river by many of our leaders.
Sounds to me like you're in the wrong market. Pretty sure I just said something like this in another thread....
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