Six-color mixing and warm-white/green/blue offer two new approaches to generating white LED light

Light-emitting diodes are so beguilingly simple that we sometimes overlook the obvious when designing solid-state lighting systems. Ian Ashdown and Ingo Speier of TIR Systems take another look (or two) at generating white light.

It has been said that LEDs are "just another light source" and in many senses this is true. Like the more traditional incandescent, fluorescent, and high-intensity discharge lamps, LEDs do no more than convert electrical power into visible light and heat.

This observation may be useful in demystifying LEDs for lighting designers and engineers who are learning about solid-state lighting. However, it comes with a hidden danger. If we repeat the phrase often enough, the idea permeates our thinking about solid-state lighting design. In turn, this may cause us to neglect the unique attributes of LEDs and so overlook the obvious in our problem solving.

Two examples serve to illustrate this point: a solution to the problem of color-binning of LEDs for LCD television backlighting, and an approach to generating white light with variable color temperature.

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