Philips Lumileds promises freedom from binning for white LEDs

Feb. 23, 2011
Lumileds says that its new approach will mark the beginning of the end of color bin charts for white LEDs.
Philips Lumileds has unveiled its Freedom From Binning program, which is intended to relieve concerns over white-light consistency and uniformity, and to simplify the design process for LED solutions.
Lumileds CEO Mike Holt at SIL Lumileds intends to offer white Luxeon emitters for which there are no color bin selections, because the LEDs are sufficiently uniform and consistent. This also involves hot testing and binning at 85ºC.

The program has been launched at Strategies in Light with 2700K and 3000K white LEDs. Lumileds plans to proliferate Freedom From Binning through new product introductions this year and into the future.

Lumileds also introduced its Luxeon S product, a 9-chip LED package that delivers 1300 “hot” lumens at 18W.

In the new Freedom From Binning program, color selections will consist simply of a CCT designation, centered on the black body curve at hot (real-world) conditions.

Although typical datasheets present data for LEDs at 25°C, invariably the actual operating temperature is closer to 85°C (sometimes higher). This means the performance numbers are overstated. By testing and binning at 85°C, the data will match more closely to the actual color point and performance numbers.

“We sacrifice the marketing value of higher lumen and efficacy numbers for accuracy and confidence,” said Michael Holt, CEO of Philips Lumileds. “We can calculate performance at lower temperatures but that would defeat the point and potentially mislead.”

“At random, I can lay a thousand of these new Luxeons in a straight line and the consistency and color quality from LED to LED will be as good or better as what you would see with many of the bulbs in use today,” continued Holt.

“The lighting industry has yearned for quality of light, simplicity of design, and more efficient light sources in mass quantities and reasonable costs that enable solutions that improve on what’s possible with conventional lamps. By combining our unique TFFC [thin film flip-chip] and Lumiramic phosphor technologies with new manufacturing capabilities that allow us to ‘hot’ test and color bin, Philips Lumileds’ Freedom From Binning is charting a new course for the LED manufacturing industry to follow and moving us ever closer to the lighting industry.”