The LED industry may well have its share of mad scientists. But most people working on solid-state lighting solutions have a simple aim: to produce better LEDs. And the last few years have seen LED scientists make one breakthrough after another.
Amber LEDs are a good example. In 2009, scientists realised amber LEDs were good but didn't produce enough light. The amber colour could also fade after long use.
These realisations were important because of amber LEDs' popularity. They appeared in warning beacons, vehicle turning signals, traffic lights and architectural lighting.
So the LED scientists set targets. They wanted new amber LEDs to have at least twice as much light output than before, and to have a stable amber colour. They also needed them to be:
- Cheaper to make
- Longer lasting
These were ambitious goals. Nonetheless, the LED boffins set to work.
At this point, matters became complex. The scientists brought a lot of technology to bear on the amber LEDs project. This included phosphor conversion, computer simulation of colour structures, and electrical performance tests.
Finished LED product
Nonetheless, the scientists prevailed. The new amber LEDs met the targets. The next step was to ensure compliance with government and industry regulations.
LEDs must meet the Restriction of Hazardous Substances (RoHS) Directive. This limits the use of six hazardous materials during the manufacturing process of electrical and electronic equipment. This meant the amber LEDs had to have lead-free reflow solder.
The amber LEDs also had to be moisture resistant. This resistance is in accordance with Joint Electron Device Engineering Council (JEDEC) standards. Finally, the amber LEDs had to be good enough for Underwriters Laboratories (UL) safety certification.
The amber LEDs complied with every regulation. They are now in use throughout a number of industries, and provide long-lasting, consistent, cheap-to-run light.