Seoul Semiconductor has announced upgrades to its mid-power LED families both pushing efficacy up and increasing drive current to high-power LED levels. The company believes that maximizing efficacy and lumens per dollar (lm/$) are the key avenues through which an LED vendor can help broaden the deployment of solid-state lighting (SSL) technology.
The new plastic-packaged 5630C LED can deliver efficacy up to 180 lm/W. There has been a race of late to new efficacy levels in the mid-power space. Just before the Lightfair International (LFI) show back in April, Samsung announced 160 lm/W efficacy in mid-power LEDs, claiming that as an industry high. Then at LFI, LG Innotek announced 170-lm/W efficacy in similar products.
Of course, maximum efficacy specifications with LEDs are rarely indicative of how the LEDs are used in actual products, because the maximum efficacy is typically quoted at low drive currents. Seoul has not yet released a full data sheet on the new 5630C LED, nor did the company specify the operating conditions at which 180 lm/W was measured.
Updated information: Seoul did subsequently release a data sheet. The LEDs deliver 180 lm/W efficacy at 60 mA of drive current. The touted maximum efficacy is for a 5000K LED. Maximum current is 160 mA for 0.5W operation.
The company targets applications including retrofit lamps and tubes, and panel-based fixtures with the 5630 LED family.
Driving 3030 LEDs to 1W
The company also said that it now offers an LED in the 3030 plastic package that can be driven at 1W. That would place the LED in competition at the low end of the high-power LED segment. Seoul said that getting the 3030 LEDs to that power level could reduce SSL product costs by 50%.
It's not clear if the datasheet on the Seoul website is for the newest 3030 product. That document characterizes a 3030 LED at 100 mA with maximum drive current stated at 200 mA. To get to 1W the current would have to hit the 150 mA range becuase the two-emitter package has a forward voltage of 6.3V. The LEDs deliver 66.1 to 72.5 lm at 100mA depending on CCT, and doubling the drive current increases flux output by 80%.