We love sharing information about LED lighting. By understanding what LED lighting is about and the process for how an LED is made, helps us demonstrate why it is such a special light!
What is an LED Light?
LED lighting refers to light emitting diodes. The first LED light was discovered and created in 1961. Scientist discovered that by using certain materials they could get electrons to move and emit photons. Pretty simple really…until you have to find the right material and get as many photons to emit light vs just emitting heat. Heat dissipation has been a major challenge to LED advancement. We hope the information we have provided on this page helps you choose LED lighting as your go to lighting source.
The Design of the LED.
Around 2010, designers started narrowing down what works best. Sapphire, made from aluminum proved to be a great substrate and is still the dominant material used in LED chips. LED chips are semiconductors very similar to what is used in other electronics. The designers also found that a mineral known as Gallium was very suitable to supporting optoelectronic activity…the moving of electrons. Making LED chips is actually a process of growing the chip, referred to as expatial growth. AND…the growth happens in a reactor…a very expensive reactor requiring a huge investment by manufactures. Moving forward from 2010 to around 2014 designers tried many different size chips. Chips are referred to by size in mm. For example in 2013 the 3014 (30mmx14mm) chip was dominate. But this chip still could only handle so much power due to heat. And then the wisest of the wise developed the 2835 chip set in a special package that really got the heat out. Since mid-2014 the 2835 chip has dominated mid-level LED chips. Lumens specs this chip exclusively in all our SMD (surfaced mounted device) chips. Lumens was one of the first US installers of LED lights using the 2835 chip. We went hand in hand with our suppliers testing this chip.
There are SMD chips that we use and there are also COB chips that we use. COB means chip-on-board and is an array of SMD chips that are close together and are all covered by one coat of phosphorus. Oh BTW….phosphorus is the yellow coating that you see on all LED chips. The role of the phosphorous is to convert the blue light made by the photons into some shade of white light. These different shades are known as the temperature of the light and vary from cool (more white and blue) to warm (more yellow). Temperature of a light is referred to CCT (color correlated temperature).
When we discuss LED lighting upgrades we talk about CCT and CRI (color rendering index) and foot candles. These three variables are the most important thing in LED application lighting design.