LED Lighting Knowledge

Mid Power LED Performance compared: performance Nichia 757G is the leader

Mid Power LED review

Middle Power LEDs are those that usually use less than 0.3 Watt of energy, are fairly small and require minimal or no cooling. Small as they are, they play a key role in the ever larger penetration of LED into the lighting market. This comes from the possibility to build arrays of middle power LEDs that deliver the required light output for a given form factor.

Thus, many of the popular applications of LED technology use modules with middle power LEDs. Among them: fluorescent LED replacements, LED lamps, LED linear modules for cove lighting, linear luminaries, LED panels, back-light modules for illuminated ceilings or signs.

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Chip Scale Packaged (Flip Chip) LEDs, a new LED technology

Usually, a light emitting diode (LED) has two key components, the LED chip that emits the light and the LED package which focuses it, enables assembly into lighting products and transfers the heat away to the heat sink.

Large LED manufactures design and build both LED chips and packaged LEDs. Small manufactures usually purchase LED chips and assemble them into packaged LEDs. This explains the enormous, sometimes confusing, variation in packed LEDs specification, performance and quality. Packaged LED attributes are defined by both chip and package design and production.

This picture has now got even more complicated with the increasing market penetration of Chip Scale Packaged LEDs, known as CSP or flip-chip LEDs.

If we consider a packaged LED to be the automobile with the LED chip its engine then a CSP LED is an engine on wheels, with minimum body work or other components.

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How to buy lighting? The optimum way...

Most of the products and services we use or consume have a unit of measurement. The kilograms of a bag of apples, litters of a bottle of water, meters of a roll of cable, hours of work are some common examples. Modern technology has introduced us to new units: gigahertz of processing power, kilowatts of energy consumption, gigabytes of storage or memory. All have one important thing in common: interested people have easy access to devices of measurement, crucial for quality control or fairness of a transaction.

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Human Centric Lighting, a return to daylight basics

Human Centric Lighting

For most of history, humans lived, worked and slept under the governance of natural light. The flickering light of candles was a poor substitute and did little to change the rhythm of life for all but the wealthy few.

Life went on under a dynamic light ,with changing tone and brightness, as a day went by and seasons changed. Then, one day, electric light was invented and everything changed. From that point forward a "golden hour" or "afternoon" could be at any time of day, on any point on the planet or beyond, outside or inside, from our living room to a windowless office or deep underground.

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Cove lighting with LED strips: design basics needed to achive optimum results.

The beneficial trend to design lighting with focus on human nature and how natural light behaves has lead to the wide adoption of lines of light as a principal way to illuminate interiors. A line of light can be obtained via a light source hidden from view inside a cove in the wall or ceiling that illuminates an adjacent surface. Light is reflected from this surface into the space that has to be illuminated. That is why lines of light are commonly known as cove or indirect lighting. The allure is the similarity with natural light. With the proper light source used we could imagine that the cove is actually a hidden window to the outside from where sunlight flows in. This particular way to illuminate raises a particular set of challenges for the light fixtures used.

Cove Lighting with LED strips

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LED Linear T8 Lamp Design Basics for high performance

This guide is both useful for producing LED linear lamps and for end-users. It explains the factors to be considered and how pricing and technical elements can change the answer to the question "Is installing LED tubes a good decision?" Introduction Linear lamps are the most used light source in our office and commercial buildings. Due to their form and function, their interiors have a high requirement of artificial lighting, as it is where most of us work or spend time away from home.

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Nichia LEDs Light Color guide

White light has different shades  and while there is no general consensus, warm white light for LEDs has a value of 2500K-4000K on the color temperature scale, pure white 4000K-5000K and cold white 5000K-10.000K.

Warm white LEDs, as with all manufactured products, have material and process variations that yield products with corresponding variation in the shade of white light emitted.  For example Nichia warm white LEDs just out of the production line can have a color temperature between 2580K and 4260K.  If they would be directly integrated into strips or luminaries they will yield color inconsistent products that are generally unusable. 

 To overcome this problem, LEDs must be color sorted by the manufacturer with additional further sorting down the supply chain, if necessary. 

Color sorted LEDs are grouped in batches known as "Chromaticity Bins". Nichia, as a LED manufacturer, groups white LEDs in many Bins, thus allowing very good control of the white light color of your project.

The Nichia Bins for new generation LEDs start with the letters "sm" follower by a series of numbers, where the frist two describe the color temperature (65 as in 6500K) while the last two narrow down the selection interval.

Nichia also offers color sorting in 3step, 5step and 7step MacAdam ellipses. While a detailed explanation of LED color sorting can be found here, we recommend that you choose the color sorting based on your project:

  • General Lighting: 3step
  • Ambient Lighting: 3step or 5step, where 5step could be more affordable
  • Street and Christmas lighting: 7step
  • Flashlights:  5step or 7step

Chromaticity Diagram of Nichia LEDs for

General Lighting - MacAdam

whiteWHITE
  sm653 sm655 sm657 sm573 sm575 sm577 sm503 sm505 sm507
x 0.3123 0.3123 0.3123 0.3287 0.3287 0.3287 0.3447 0.3447 0.3447
y 0.3282 0.3282 0.3282 0.3417 0.3417 0.3417 0.3553 0.3553 0.3553
a 0.002709 0.004515 0.006321 0.003087 0.005145 0.007203 0.003555 0.005925 0.008295
b 0.006561 0.010935 0.015309 0.007809 0.013015 0.018221 0.008418 0.014030 0.019642
Ø -32.35 -32.35 -32.35 -31.56 -31.56 -31.56 -31.78 -31.78 -31.78
warm whiteWARM WHITE
  sm453 sm455 sm457 sm403 sm405 sm407 sm353 sm355 sm357
x 0.3611 0.3611 0.3611 0.3818 0.3818 0.3818 0.4073 0.4073 0.4073
y 0.3658 0.3658 0.3658 0.3797 0.3797 0.3797 0.3917 0.3917 0.3917
a 0.003852 0.006420 0.008988 0.004071 0.006785 0.009499 0.004098 0.006830 0.009562
b 0.009009 0.015015 0.021021 0.009282 0.015470 0.021658 0.008796 0.014660 0.020524
Ø -34.33 -34.33 -34.33 -35.95 -35.95 -35.95 -35.47 -35.47 -35.47
  sm303 sm305 sm307 sm273 sm275 sm277
x 0.4338 0.4338 0.4338 0.4578 0.4578 0.4578
y 0.4030 0.4030 0.4030 0.4101 0.4101 0.4101
a 0.004107 0.006845 0.009583 0.004056 0.006760 0.009464
b 0.008391 0.013985 0.019579 0.007872 0.013120 0.018368
Ø -36.05 -36.05 -36.05 -36.05 -36.05 -36.05

Older generation Nichia LEDs use a different sorting method. Here MacAdam is not possible and color sorting is not as good. Example: 5mm and 3mm Nichia LEDs.

General Lighting - ANSI Bin

whiteWHITE
  Rank sw65
x 0.3070 0.3040 0.3207 0.3221
y 0.3113 0.3300 0.3462 0.3261
  Rank sw57
x 0.3221 0.3207 0.3376 0.3366
y 0.3261 0.3462 0.3616 0.3369
  Rank sw50
x 0.3366 0.3376 0.3548 0.3515
y 0.3369 0.3616 0.3736 0.3487
warm whiteWARM WHITE
  Rank sw45
x 0.3515 0.3548 0.3736 0.3670
y 0.3487 0.3736 0.3874 0.3578
  Rank sw40
x 0.3670 0.3736 0.3996 0.3898
y 0.3578 0.3874 0.4015 0.3716
  Rank sw35
x 0.3898 0.3996 0.4299 0.4147
y 0.3716 0.4015 0.4165 0.3814
  Rank sw30
x 0.4147 0.4299 0.4562 0.4373
y 0.3814 0.4165 0.4260 0.3893
  Rank sw27
x 0.4373 0.4562 0.4813 0.4593
y 0.3893 0.4260 0.4319 0.3944

General Lighting - Nichia Color LED sorting

blueBLUE
  Rank W (464~475nm)
x 0.137 0.124 0.110 0.132 0.142 0.151
y 0.037 0.058 0.087 0.112 0.081 0.058
bluish greenBLUISH GREEN
  Rank C (495~500nm)
x 0.04 0.04 0.12 0.12
y 0.39 0.49 0.49 0.39
  Rank D (500~505nm)
x 0.05 0.05 0.13 0.13
y 0.48 0.58 0.58 0.48
  Rank E (505~510nm)
x 0.06 0.06 0.14 0.14
y 0.55 0.65 0.65 0.55
  Rank F (510~520nm)
x 0.09 0.09 0.17 0.17
y 0.60 0.70 0.70 0.60
greenGREEN
  Rank G (520-535m)
x 0.183 0.131 0.163 0.206 0.237 0.207
y 0.625 0.725 0.740 0.740 0.640 0.635
YELLOW
  Rank K2 (577~583nm)
x 0.484 0.492 0.532 0.522
y 0.498 0.507 0.467 0.460
RED
  Rank Rmp1 (618~628nm)
x 0.6874 0.6705 0.6873 0.7049
y 0.2966 0.3135 0.3126 0.2948

Specialty Lighting - Nichia white or color LED sorting

whiteWHITE
  Rank a0
x 0.280 0.264 0.283 0.296
y 0.248 0.267 0.305 0.276
  Rank b1
x 0.287 0.283 0.330 0.330
y 0.295 0.305 0.360 0.339
  Rank b2
x 0.296 0.287 0.330 0.330
y 0.276 0.295 0.339 0.318
  Rank c0
x 0.330 0.330 0.361 0.356
y 0.318 0.360 0.385 0.351
blueBLUE
  Rank W (464-475nm)
x 0.11 0.11 0.15 0.15
y 0.04 0.10 0.10 0.04
bluish greenBLUISH GREEN
  Rank C (495-500nm)
x 0.04 0.04 0.12 0.12
y 0.39 0.49 0.49 0.39
  Rank D (500-505nm)
x 0.05 0.05 0.13 0.13
y 0.48 0.58 0.58 0.48
  Rank E (505-510nm)
x 0.06 0.06 0.14 0.14
y 0.55 0.65 0.65 0.55
greenGREEN
  Rank G (520-535m)
x 0.14 0.14 0.22 0.22
y 0.64 0.74 0.74 0.64
  Rank H (535-545m)
x 0.21 0.21 0.28 0.28
y 0.65 0.73 0.73 0.65
AMBER
  Rank L (583-595nm)
x 0.603 0.532 0.522 0.589
y 0.397 0.467 0.460 0.393
RED
  Rank R (615-635nm)
x 0.67 0.67 0.73 0.73
y 0.27 0.33 0.33 0.27

White LED color temperature difference, an easy guide on how to manage it

With LED technology gaining a gradually bigger slice of the lighting market the need arises for LED lighting specialists and producers to explain relative complicated technical terms to the general public. While doing so, there should be a focus on the easy and fast.

LED color consistency explained

LED color consistency is one of the important terms that requires an easy explanation.  Everyone can notice when there is a lack of color consistency, especially in the case of white light.  The image below shows this clearly, the white LED light has different shades.

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High Temperature and LED performance & quality: what you need to know

To the surprise of many, in the case of LED technology heat is the greatest enemy. From the LED chip to related products such as LED lamps, modules and fixtures, all  have a major issue with high temperature. It brings imminent mechanical failure or significant drop of performance. How the LED behaves when subjected to higher operating temperatures is directly related to the LED quality. High quality LED (such as Nichia or Cree) will function within parameters and high temperatures, while low quality LEDs will break down, change their color, loose brightness or a combination.

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