Lumileds promotes capability of Luxeon K2 at 1000 mA

June 5, 2006
Lumileds says that the capability of its Luxeon K2 to operate at 1000mA enables very high light output with no performance degradation.
Philips Lumileds is emphasizing the capability of its Luxeon K2 to operate at 1000 mA drive current with significantly more light output than at 350 mA, considered to be a de facto "standard" current for high-power LEDs.

"At 1000mA, Luxeon K2 delivers more than twice the light output than can be produced at 350mA while maintaining the lifetime, quality and robustness of the device," says David Eastley, Luxeon K2 product manager. "This paves the way for an explosion in the quantity and variety of LED luminaires."

Lumileds describes the K2 as the first and only LED tested and binned at 1000mA with specified minimum performance and no sacrifice in lumen maintenance. This allows more light to be extracted from each emitter than from any other single-chip LED, says Lumileds, and expands LED lighting design possibilities far beyond the previously standard 350mA LEDs.

The argument goes that many LED applications require significantly more light output than is possible at 350 mA. However, driving many high-power LEDs above this current level results in a significant reduction in the effective lifetime of the emitter.

Lumileds says that it recognized the need for a higher drive current through ongoing discussions with the lighting community. Lighting designers clearly communicated the need for more light, reduced cost per lumen, more thermal flexibility, and the ability to incorporate the same LED in a range of applications to minimize manufacturing costs. These needs could only be accomplished by increasing the drive current in single-chip devices.

To do that, Philips Lumileds engineers focused on improving the LED die and packaging technologies required to manage the additional heat. These improvements, delivered in the Luxeon K2 LED, translate into increased design flexibility. Lighting designers can now get more light from fewer devices, minimize their heat-sink requirements, and optimize their system for the exact amount of light required for the application.

“The impact of increasing drive currents from 350mA to 1000mA and higher is as significant to the market as the shift six years ago from 20mA LEDs to the first Luxeon I LEDs that operate at 350mA,” Eastley noted. “This will significantly expand the market and create new opportunities for high power LEDs in real lighting applications.”