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Power LED – efficiency and reliability

Power LED – efficiency and reliability

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Published by Ionela
Tools and information to simplify designing products based on power LEDs.

In the myriad of parameters and curves that characterise the performance of a LED, it is necessary to define the set points from which the other major features can be gleaned, to obtain the final result: the real efficiency and reliability of our application.
Tools and information to simplify designing products based on power LEDs.

In the myriad of parameters and curves that characterise the performance of a LED, it is necessary to define the set points from which the other major features can be gleaned, to obtain the final result: the real efficiency and reliability of our application.

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Published by: Ionela on May 01, 2008
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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06/04/2013

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Power LED efficiency and reliabilityhttp://dev.emcelettronica.com/print/517871 din 401.05.2008 15:53
Your Electronics Open Source
(http://dev.emcelettronica.com)
Home > Blog > Emanuele's blog > Content
Power LED – efficiency and reliability
By EmanueleCreated 23/04/2008 - 10:12
BLOG Diodes
by Mauro Ceresa 
, [Assipe
[1]
] , Future ElectronicsTools and information to simplify designing products based on power LEDs.In the myriad of parameters and curves that characterise the performance of a LED, it isnecessary to define the set points from which the other major features can be gleaned, toobtain the final result: the real efficiency and reliability of our application.
The technology
First of all, the type of LED technology adopted in the application needs to be defined. It mayseem banal but, really, this is the foremost cause of misinterpretation and error. Obviously, ifwe take different builders into account, it is to be expected that the parameters of optics,electrics, heat and reliability will differ, but there are also marked differences regardingproducts by the same builder.When speaking of power LED technology, it refers to the three possible variations oftechnological process that lead to the production of different families of colour. The mostdated, that has not undergone major technological improvements, is that which is used torealise the colours super red (625nm), red orange (617nm) and amber yellow (590nm),identified by the chemical formula AlInGaP. The InGaN family, which is used in the realisationof the colours green (530nm), cyan (505nm), blue (470nm) and royal blue (455nm), has beenmore recently introduced. The white tone is obtained by using a blue tone chip, that is thencovered by one or more layers of phosphorus, which allows light-conversion and theproduction of white lights. Therefore, the family of white LED follows the general behaviour ofthe InGaN products, with some variations, due to the presence of the phosphorus.
 
Power LED efficiency and reliabilityhttp://dev.emcelettronica.com/print/517872 din 401.05.2008 15:53
The other fundamental points are the drive current and the junction temperatures. The latter,in particular, is difficult to measure, but an estimate can be obtained through the followingformula:
Tg = Tpcb + Rth • Pled • (1 –
η
)
Where:Tg is the junction temperature,Tpcb is the temperature of the printed circuits measured as closely as possible to the LEDRth is the heat resistance,Pled is the power absorbed by the LED, and
Η
represents the quantum efficiency of the LED.With quantum efficiency, the quantity of electrical energy provided by the LED, which istransformed into light that therefore doesn’t produce heat, is taken into account. Thisparameter, until a short time ago, was overlooked from the point that its value wasapproximately 10%. With the latest generation of LED, with increased optics efficiency, thisparameter can reach values of 20% - 30% and can, therefore, be decisive in this evaluation.Determining the value of the quantum efficiency can be particularly complex and laboriousbut Future Lighting Solutions features a calculation tool - the Usable Light Tool - on itswebsite www.futurelightingsolutions.com
[2]
, under the “development tools” link, that facilitatesthe task. This tool allows for the verification of the true efficiency of an LED installed in anapplication, taking all of the parameters and the interaction between them into consideration,as shown in figure 1.
Efficiency
It is one of the most interesting parameters for the lighting market and, in terms of high powerLEDs, can be wrongly judged. This comes from the fact that these LEDs, driven at 350mA,are, for simplicity, considered from 1W, but it is not so. The real power is equal to 350mAmultiplied by the direct tension of the LED. The latter changes significantly between familiesof LED of the same or different builders and can pass from 3.15V to 3.6V with a difference of15% parity of flow emitted; certainly differences not to be ignored. The Usable Light Toolconsiders all of these aspects, providing an accurate estimate of the work parameters of the
 
Power LED efficiency and reliabilityhttp://dev.emcelettronica.com/print/517873 din 401.05.2008 15:53
LED in the specified conditions. The same considerations are valid for the 3 and 5 Watt LED.
Reliability
Another fundamental aspect, that render the LED solutions particularly interesting, is theheightened reliability that is translated into a duration (life) superior to any other light source,with consequent minor maintenance costs. The parameters that influence the life of thepower LED are, yet again, the technology, the current and the junction temperature. PhilipsLumileds Lighting Company feature very accurate and complete documentation on theirwebsite www.lumileds.com
[3]
regarding the reliability and the maintenance of the luminousflux. The LED has very low likelihood of breakage and, therefore, the life-span is defined bythe decay of the luminous flux over time.The curves reported in the graph in figure 2, refer to different drive currents and to theupkeep of the luminous flux of 70% (L70) with reference to Luxeon® Rebel in InGaNtechnology. The junction temperatures and operating hours are reported on the two axes andthe curves show the decay of the luminous flux in the capacities of current and junctiontemperature. From this type of graph, it is possible to estimate the life-span of our application,according to the operating parameters, or size them in the capacity of decay time wanted inour application.We’ll take two extreme examples: table lamp and street light.In the first case, we can estimate an average use of two hours a day, which will amount toabout 11,000 hours in 15 years. With these parameters, that drive the Luxeon® Rebel with acurrent equal to or less than 1A, and maintaining a junction temperature below 150°C, 70% ofthe luminous flux will be maintained in the 15 years of life of our product.In the second instance, we can assume a use of about 4,000 hours per year and we willagain have 70% maintenance of the luminous flux in 15 years (60,000 hours), if the drivecurrent does not exceed 1A and the junction temperature is maintained below 132°C.The B50 wording, which is found next to L70, means that this graph refers to the averagebehaviour of the production of power LEDs of Philips Lumileds Lighting Company. As in allproductive processes, there are statistical laws that reflect the progress of the production; inthis case the law that interests us is a Gaussian. The average behaviour is certainly aninteresting indication but it is necessary to have at least one other reference to evaluate thedistribution, and therefore the superiority, of the process. In this case, graphs relative to theparameter B10 are provided in the documentation above, that represent the worst 10% of the

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