Sharp to enter lighting gear market with LEDs
TOKYO Aug 4 (Reuters) - Sharp Corp (6753.T) said on Monday it would enter the lighting gear market with energy-saving equipment based on light-emitting diode technology in a bid to establish a new earnings pillar on top of flat panel and solar cell businesses.
Light-emitting diode (LED) fixtures, which consume less energy and last longer than incandescent and fluorescent lights, are seen as promising next-generation lights as costs for power generation and concerns about greenhouse gas emissions rise.
However, they are much more expensive than conventional lighting at the moment, and Sharp is set to face stiff competition with established rivals such as Philips Electronics (PHG.AS) and Toshiba Corp (6502.T).
Prices for Sharp's new LED lighting, which will go on sale on Sept. 1 in Japan, will range from 44,100 to 199,500 yen ($410-1,856).
Details for overseas launches have yet to be decided, and Sharp declined to comment on sales or market share targets.
But Sharp Executive Officer Kazutaka Ihori said the domestic lighting market is expected to reach 1 trillion yen by 2012, with LEDs accounting for 30 percent of total sales.
Shares in Sharp were down 1.9 percent at 1,403 yen while Toshiba slid 2.5 percent to 667 yen. The Tokyo stock market's electrical machinery index .IELEC.T lost 2.1 percent. (Reporting by Kiyoshi Takenaka; Editing by Michael Watson)
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