As more people come to Bitcoin the more the transactions fees will increase in price, I believe that soon we could see Bitcoin on-chain fees hit all time high, and when price on exchanges rally the more users utilize the ledger, but higher fees are a problem for Bitcoin.
And so, we have Lightning Network which is trying to reduce fees and increase the number of Bitcoin transactions without increasing the fees too much. But I think that is not so true and let me make it a statement today, Bitcoin fees on-chain will increase and when on-chain transactions fees increase so will Lightning Network fees as well.
If opening and closing channels fees increases so will Bitcoin LN fees as well, because node operators will have to cover those fees by increasing the fees for routing, if your channel has low liquidity the more you will have to increase your fees for routing just to get back what you wasted on opening the channel in the first place, so for a node to route payments you will need to have large liquidity channels so that the cost of opening a channel a minimum does this mean centralization because hubs will have large channels while small channels will have to be private or not route at all.
If your channel is only 0.003 Bitcoin, but Bitcoin on-chain fees are 0.0003 that will mean you will have to charge or tried to get those 30k satoshis out of fees from LN, not route payments at all, or route at a lost.
If a channel is open for 0.30 btc and the fees are 0.0003 this node operator has the chance to route payments cheaper and he will force our previous node to close shop, centralizing the network to hubs with large capacity nodes.
Transactions will still be less expensive than on-chain at the cost of centralization.
Today you can't see it because the on-chain transactions are still cheap less than $1 but this will change once transactions hit at least $10.
It is only logical for both networks to increase the fees just because once the fees go up on-chain, in other words on-chain fees will make on LN fees go up as well this is because the opening and closing of channels. Plain and simple.
So my outlook for Lightning Network is that fees will be much higher than today, and that is fees on-chain get to at least $10 than LN fees could be at least $0.10 for amounts from 0.0001 and up, but amount that are between 1 satoshi and 1000 could still be cheap because after all LN was created for small payments, but the reason for less than 1k Satoshi to still be cheap it is because they don't take too much liquidity out of routing nodes. Besides if you're going to send 0.1 you better just do it on-chain, but in the case of large transactions I think that in the future it will be seen as follow:
LN was created to get off chain small transactions, because small transactions take less liquidity than lightning network is cheap for such transactions, small transactions could be considered between 0.001 and 1 satoshi.
For large transactions you better off just sending on-chain but if you wanna send on Lightning than large transactions could be considered a premium transaction so it does requires to pay a premium fee for sending.
Also what will defined a large tx is also the fees on-chain, let's say the on-chain fee is $100 that means that any transactions below $100 will be considered a micro transaction, and a transaction that is $1000 will be considered a small transaction, after $1000 to $10000 medium, large after $100k.
Maybe I am talking my ass out here but I don't think that LN tx will be 1 satoshi forever, I think that at some point tx fees will go up, it is only logical. But if tx go up on LN to high than the most logical question comes to mind, what was the proposal for Lightning Network if fees are high anyway?
This question made seem like I am questioning the existence of Lightning Network in the first place but I am not. Fees may go higher on LN from todays prospective, but if people are willing to paid $100 for on-chain tx that will mean price is much higher and that people even with such prices are still using Bitcoin, does making LN tx a bargain, or everything could blow up on our faces and these fees could end up killing Bitcoin in the end.
We don't know for sure, but what we do know is that today people are not much happy paying high fees, I am not happy and I don't think that I will be in the future either, and I don't think people in the future will be thrilled to paid high fees, we will see.