A Bright Outlook for Brightness Enhancement Light Management Films: Prism Film (BEF), Reverse Prism Film, Polarization Recycling Film (DBEF) and Brightness Enhancement Diffusers


Upside for Brightness Enhancement Film Sales is $3.3B in 2011

Total sales for brightness enhancement light management films could register 11% annual growth to $3.3B in 2011 despite tough competition and lower prices for prism film (BEF) in the upside forecast scenario. Even in the expected scenario, sales rise over 6% a year to reach nearly $2.9B in 2011.

The forecast now includes the newly emerging brightness enhancement diffusers, which took nearly 10% area share of total use of brightness enhancement light management films in 2007. This new category of products offers a somewhat lower performance but also lower cost alternative to prism film (BEF) in monitors and TVs.

Film sales will be propelled higher by nearly 20% annual growth in LCD panel area, increasing penetration of LED backlights, and slower price reductions in CCFL lamps. Dollar sales will grow despite forecast price declines for all film types, and tough competition in prism film.

Sales of larger LCD TVs is fueling growth in demand for polarization recycling film (DBEF), which is needed both for its superior viewing angle properties and to control heat build-up in the backlight. Although makers are designing out DBEF for cost reasons wherever possible, increasing consumer demand for larger TVs which need DBEF is fueling sales growth. Competition for 3M in polarization recycling film is expected in 2009.
3M is forecast to lose significant share in prism film by 2011, and 3M’s market share has already fallen below 50% in prism film for monitors in 2007. Sales by 3M competitors in prism film will rise rapidly, at over 40% a year in area terms and over 30% a year in dollar terms. Strong competition for 3M has emerged with the JV of SKC and Rohm and Haas and the JV of Coretronics and Reflexite.

While use of reverse prism film will continue to grow, enthusiasm for this approach has been tempered somewhat by the difficulties of making the prism light guides required to deliver the overall level of performance required.

The study is based on an industry survey of brands, panel, and backlight makers and industry experts from Japan, Korea, Taiwan and the USA.

What's new this year:

  • Brightness enhancement diffusers are included in forecasts and product configurations
  • Two scenarios for forecast sales - Expected (baseline) and Upside
  • Upside scenario captures potential for:
    • faster penetration of LED backlights
    • faster growth for large LCD TVs
    • slower decline in CCFL prices
    • higher proportion of notebooks sold vs. monitors
  • Company profiles on each company selling light management films
  • Company profiles include click-through links to company information
  • Estimated current sales of light management films for each company


The report is a comprehensive tool for marketing and supply chain professionals to understand the timing and scope of emerging opportunities and develop their company’s response to those opportunities:

  • LCD Panel and Backlight Makers – Understand price and performance trends through 2011 for light management films, competitive positioning of suppliers
  • Illumination source makers – Understand the interaction between illumination sources and brightness enhancement light management films as they both change and improve, leverage the forecast from the industry about emerging demand for new illumination sources.
  • Optical Film Makers – Anticipate the emerging demand trends and position for success in light management films with an understanding of key technology, performance and cost trends


The study covers all sales of prism film (BEF), BEF equivalents such as reverse prism film, brightness enhancement diffusers and DBEF sales globally through 2011. The report also provides forecast market penetration for LEDs. The study addresses questions such as:

  • How will prices trend over time on BEF, BEF equivalents, brightness enhancement diffusers and DBEF?
  • What is the price trend for CCFL?
  • What share will LED backlights take, and how will this affect demand for brightness enhancement films?
  • How fast will market share shift to new competitors and technologies and why?
  • How will competition enter by market segment – handhelds, notebooks, monitors and TVs?
  • What optical film configurations and combinations are being used in each market segment?
  • How will optical film configurations shift over time by market segment?
  • What key factors will affect the success of new competitive entrants?
  • What will 3M’s pricing and sales mix be?

Product Scope. The following optical films and brightness enhancement equivalents are included:

  • Prism Film (Brightness Enhancement Film), 3M vs. competitors
  • Reverse prism film and equivalents
  • Polarization Recycling Film (DBEF)
  • Brightness enhancement diffusers

Market Scope. For all products, demand by application:

  • Handhelds
  • Notebooks
  • Monitors
  • TVs

Company Scope: Company profiles and all available product specifications for all suppliers in the market, including: 3M, Arisawa Mfg. Co. Ltd., BrightView Technologies Inc., CoreFlex (Reflexite Corporation and Coretronic Corp.), Dai Nippon Printing Co. Ltd. (DNP), E-Fun Technology Co. Ltd., Fusion Optix Inc., Gamma Optical Co. Ltd., Goyo Paper Working Co. Ltd., Kolon Industries Inc., Kuraray Co. Ltd., LG Chem Ltd., LGS Co. Ltd., Mirae Nano Tech Inc., Mitsubishi Rayon Co. Ltd., Prodisc Technology Inc., Rohm and Haas/SKC, Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (SABIC), Shinwha Corporation, UBright Optronics Corporation, Wah Hong Industrial Corp., WaveFront Technology Inc.


The 271-page study consists of 221 pages of analysis including text, 145 color graphs and 133 tables, plus 50 pages of product specifications, and includes:

  • Two forecast scenarios, an upside and an expected case.
    • The upside scenario has higher LCD panel growth, faster penetration of LED backlights, smaller price declines in CCFL, and higher share of notebooks as compared to monitors
  • Forecast through 2011 for LCD panel sales by handhelds, notebooks, monitors and TVs
  • Forecast of film use configurations by market segment (handhelds, etc.)
  • Forecast through 2011 for BEF, reverse prism film, brightness enhancement diffusers and DBEF
  • Forecast pricing and market shares for 3M and 3M competitors over time
  • Company profiles for all companies in the market
  • Estimated sales of light management films for all companies
  • Relevant patents
  • Product specifications

Sample Data from the Report

To view the report table of contents: click here


The MCG study is based on a combination of sources. Information was gathered via an in-depth survey of LCD panel and backlight makers as well as LCD branders. Information from other industry sources was also incorporated. Recent industry, market and technology trends were also incorporated in the forecasts.


Free phone consultation available from the study’s principal researcher for 30 days after report purchase. Purchasers of the study will receive free phone consultation about the report contents upon request. Addenda to the study for topics of interest to individual clients can also be discussed.


The report been developed with extensive technical and analytical support. Steve Marsland was the principal researcher and analyst. Carl Cobb was a supporting author and analyst in the study. Carl Cobb was the final editor.

For more information contact: Carl Cobb 650 366 5999.

Purchase Information

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