The science of LED’s
Singapore, 9th March 2011
Specifying LED’s is a whole different ball game than the conventional incandescent, fluorescent or gas discharge lighting systems. It seems more and more that we need other dimensions of specifying to really get it right. I met with one of the LED lighting suppliers today and had a fairly in-depth discussion about the science of LED’s and all the variables that can determine the performance of the lighting installation.
Just talking about color for instance. We are used to specify two basic parameters, being colour temperature and colour rendering. But with LED’s it seems that we should be specifying the binning as well as batches from different bins produce slightly different colours. This is specifically relevant when it comes to future lamp replacement. While LED’s have a long life we still need to assume that lamp replacement may occur at one time in future. To make sure that we get the same “white” specifying the binning details of the LED lights is necessary.
If large quantities of LED’s are involved (in linear cove lighting for instance) we have to make sure all LED’s come from the same binning to avoid colour differences. It is likely that when we accept alternatives from different brands the colour may be slightly different. Hence logging in the exact binning type may help us define the color more precisely for now and in the future.
But the science of LED is more than just colour issues. What about lifespan. I blogged about the influence of ambient temperature on the performance. We now also know that with the increased performance of the LED’s comes the need to diffuse the heat through properly designed heat sinks. Bear in mind that LED’s are further specified by their amperage rather then by voltage. A higher amperage means a lower life span. LED has brought us a lot of joy in terms of new lighting design opportunities but with that also comes the need to understand ( and be responsible for) all the variables that determine the end result.
In Light Watch today some more LED innovations, this time water based … LED umbrella’s and LED lighting integrated in showers and water taps.
Light Watch 48: LED and water