Moving head professional lighting and lighting consoles (MHPL/C) sales hit $1.7 billion globally in 2019, according to a new report from Futuresource Consulting. Although it serves a wide range of verticals, the MHPL/C sector has been in need of metrics and research for some time. Until now, there has been little data available on which to base future investment decisions and strategic direction.
Short-term Challenges, Long-term Opportunities
With key verticals that include theatrical, live staging, installed leisure, large corporates, convention centres, houses of worship, broadcast, amusement parks and the lighting of buildings and monuments, the MHPL/C sector is feeling significant impact from COVID-19 currently, especially from the rental channel, with many events, concerts, festivals and shows postponed, or cancelled. However, longer-term there are many innovations and new market opportunities that will help propel MHPL/C along a continuing growth curve.
“There’s little doubt that current events and ensuing global economic uncertainty are creating and will also lead to delayed spending commitments for professional lighting and consoles,” says Jeremy Wills, Senior Market Analyst at Futuresource Consulting. “Yet savvy businesses are planning for the future and looking to the long game. Alongside opportunities from higher power LED based fixtures, which have greater scope, efficiency and extended capabilities, we’re also seeing new sub-verticals opening up in the rental and fixed install channels. Esports is coming to the fore, sports stadia will explore the opportunity to combine moving head lighting with video replays during breaks, and untapped regions, such as the Middle East are also becoming prominent opportunities. Combine all this with a slew of legacy lamp-based fixtures which are nearing end of life, and the future is looking bright for the moving head lighting and console sectors.”
Market Expansion on the Horizon
Within the 2019 global MHPL/C market, lighting fixtures accounted for 79% of value, with lighting consoles (used to control moving and fixed head professional lighting fixtures, and media servers) the balance. From a sell-in value of $1.7 billion last year, the market is forecast to close on $1.9 billion in 2023, notwithstanding the eventual impact in 2020 and into 2021 from COVID-19.
Shipments of all categories of lamp-based units are falling, as these fixtures move over to LED light sources. As LED flux improves, this shift will continue and provide some additional fixture churn, as many older, lamp-based units are replaced.
Regional Differences Abound
“Europe and North America accounted for 67% of global MHPL sell-in value in 2019, but only 51% of shipments,” says Wills. “The top four global markets were the USA, China, Germany and the UK. Conversely, the APAC region had strong shipment demand, but only accounted for 25% of global value, due to a predominance of low-end fixtures and low ASPs in this region. The Rest of World region paints a dappled picture, with many price-sensitive markets and uncertain economies, though there are some beacons of growth shining through, particularly in the Middle East region.”
“For audiences, it’s becoming all about that wow factor, which can only be achieved by an orchestration of sound, lighting and visuals,” says Wills. “It’s that total immersive experience that will capture the public’s imagination and lift the market in the mid-to-long term. And because sound, lighting and visuals fit so well together, we’re seeing a rising opportunity for consolidation between these three sectors as the world moves forward beyond COVID-19. At the moment, no vendor offers a full hardware and software solution that embraces sound, lighting and visuals, which presents an open door for switched-on players to step through.”