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Osram Pushes White LEDS to World-Record Brightness, Super Efficiency

Illustration for article titled Osram Pushes White LEDS to World-Record Brightness, Super Efficiency

It's an interesting week in the world of LEDs: on the weekend we heard about ultra-cheap ones, and today Osram (yes, the lightbulb people) has news that they've pushed white LEDs to world-record brightness. By optimizing the diode, light converter and the package, their lab test squeezed 500 lumens out of a single LED at 1.4A. That's bright enough for projector tech, and certainly makes the single unit good for car lighting and even interior lights. At a lower, more optimal, current the 1mm-square white LED had an efficiency of 136 lumens/W which makes it about twice as efficient as standard fluorescent lamps and 10 times a normal bulb. Press release below.


OSRAM Achieves Quantum Leap in Brightness and Efficiency of White LEDs

SANTA CLARA, Calif. —(Business Wire)— Jul. 21, 2008 By improving all the technologies involved in the manufacture of LEDs, OSRAM development engineers have achieved new records for the brightness and efficiency of white LEDs in the laboratory. Under standard conditions with an operating current of 350 mA, brightness peaked at a value of 155 lm, and efficiency at 136 lm/W. In generating these results, researchers used white prototype LEDs with 1 mm-square chips. The light produced had a color temperature of 5000K, with color coordinates at 0.349/0.393 (cx/cy).

The key to OSRAM's success was the efficient interplay among all the advances made in materials and technologies. A perfectly matched system of optimized chip technology, a highly advanced and extremely efficient light converter, and a special high-performance package all combined to produce the world record performance results.

Potential applications for this high-performance LED technology include general illumination, the automotive sector, and any application that calls for large, high-power LEDs. These semiconductor light sources are also suitable for high operating currents. At 1.4 A, they can produce up to 500 lm of white light. This means that in the future the LEDs can also be used for projection applications as blue and green chip versions.

Dr. Rudiger Muller, CEO at OSRAM Opto Semiconductors, commented: "It was the successful convergence of OSRAM know-how in different fields that led to these new records in efficiency and brightness. Starting with the light converter, we will be gradually moving these new developments into production." OSRAM has already applied for patents for the technologies that lie behind these world record performance levels


Since Osram says plans are now to move this tech from the lab into production, we can certainly expect to see LEDs in even more places in the future. [Osram]

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@MasterShazbot: Actually it all depends. I think the "green" cones in your eye might have the highest sensitivity but there are a number of factors involved. Rods have a hard time seeing red at all. This is the reason that most low light situations use red lights. This lets your eyes adjust to the darkness and bring out your "night time vision" (the rods) while still allowing you to see a "little bit" with the red illumination.

Red also happens to be the color that is the "tightest" meaning that people associate only a very small portion of the spectrum with red. Most people have a very narrow range of color that they will actually call "red." If you move away from their "red" most people will start to call it something else very quickly (purple, maroon, pink, orange, umber, etc.)

Blue is the "loosest" color. Whereas people may have only a couple shades that they will actually call "red" they may have dozens of shades that they will still call "blue" before starting to call it something other than blue.

Most "sensitivity" numbers talk about peaks and lighting conditions and angle of entrance into the eye so it all gets pretty complicated. Green is usually considered to have the highest "sensitivity" but others put it closer to yellow. One major factor for explaining the sensitivity to yellow is that huge flaming yellow ball that streaks across the sky every day. If you are subjected to that for millions of years your eyes may become attuned to it just a bit. I think it also may be linked somehow to the fact that yellow is a mix of red and green? Our night time blind color and day time peak color? Can't remember if that's right but I'll try to look it up?

Oooo, this is a fun conversation.