100,000 Hours Bollocks

As someone who’s used LEDs both professionally and for my hobby since, oh, the 80s, I’ve always had my suspicions about WHITE LEDs.

As you may know, WHITE LEDs differ from the rest in that there is no such thing as white – it’s a combination of wavelengths, unlike blue or green or red… so in order to make white LEDs you can either:

1. Put a phosphor on a blue/UV led

or

2. Make a die with red, green and blue close together on the same chip and run them together with the right proportions

Mostly we chose (1) and for some time now manufacturers have been belting out WHITE LEDs en-masse without regard to lifespan – merely quoting the ideal-case figure of 100,000 hours in most cases.

But a trip to MAPLIN or any lighting store (B&Q) where demo white LED spotlights are running will reveal – duff or dim LEDS.. why is that?

Well, it seems that coloured LEDs, as long as they don’t overheat really CAN manage obscene lifetimes – but the whites? That’s nowhere near as clear.  My gut feelings tell me they don’t last anywhere NEAR as long – but that’s all it’s it – or was – take a look at this link and read for yourself – this kind fellow has taken the time to do a little research of his own.

http://www.nickhill.co.uk/white_LED_life_expectancy.html

What’s the answer? Well my answer – I plan to use the new RGB LED strip (WAY more expensive than the one-colour-per-LED stuff) with 3 colours in one chip – as much as possible.. and the added advantage…   you can chose what white temperature you want – think there’s only one WHITE? Think again.  Warm white, Cool white, Cold white – it’s all down to the mix of colours and with modern LED strip you can have any mix you like – without using phosphors!!

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s