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Proceedings Paper

Characterizing LEDs for general illumination applications: mixed-color and phosphor-based white sources
Author(s): Nadarajah Narendran; Nishantha Maliyagoda; Lei Deng; Richard M. Pysar
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Paper Abstract

The rapid development of high-brightness light emitting diodes (LEDs) has made this technology a potential candidate for architectural lighting applications. There are two distinct approaches for creating white light. The first is combining blue LEDs with a phosphor and the second is mixing monochromatic LEDs in appropriate proportions. This manuscript presents some of the critical issues involved in creating a good quality, stable white light source using the color mixture approach for LEDs. Some sample calculations for mixing different colored LEDs to obtain specific color appearance (CCT) and color rendering properties (CRI) are shown in this paper. Calculations show that the CRI values of mixed-color white LEDs can be changed significantly by shifting the wavelengths of the LEDs by a small amount. It is also shown that small amplitude and wavelength shifts can cause perceivable color differences in the mixed-color white LEDs. Therefore, circuits must be properly designed to power these types of white light sources so that they are acceptable for architectural lighting applications. Because the light output variation as a function of time at different drive currents was not readily available, an experiment was conducted to quantify the light output change as a function of time for red, green, blue and white 5-mm LEDs, at fiber different constant current values (20,30,40,50 and 50 mA). The light output of the different colored LEDs depreciated at different rates. The depreciation rates increased in the following order: red, green, blue, and white. Furthermore, the light output depreciation increased with increasing drive current. The red LEDs has the least amount of light output depreciation rate variation as function of drive current, green and blue LEDs ranked after that, and white LEDs had the most variation for the same drive current variation. A group of twelve new high-powered phosphor-based white LEDs were tested at their rated current, (which is much higher than 20 mA), and their light output depreciation rate was very much less compared to the 5-mm phosphor-based white LEDs operating at 20 mA. It appears that manufacturers have solved the excessive lumen depreciation issues faced by traditional white LEDs by packaging them differently and properly extracting the heat, and by using materials that do not degrade over time. This progress makes the LED technology a more promising candidate for architectural lighting applications.

Paper Details

Date Published: 5 December 2001
PDF: 11 pages
Proc. SPIE 4445, Solid State Lighting and Displays, (5 December 2001); doi: 10.1117/12.450037
Show Author Affiliations
Nadarajah Narendran, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (United States)
Nishantha Maliyagoda, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (United States)
Lei Deng, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (United States)
Richard M. Pysar, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 4445:
Solid State Lighting and Displays
Ian T. Ferguson; Yoon-Soo Park; Nadarajah Narendran; Steven P. DenBaars, Editor(s)

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