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Thread: Are the LED's in our flashlights used in other applications aside from FL's?

  1. #1
    Flashaholic* HighlanderNorth's Avatar
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    Sep 2011
    Mid Atlantic USA

    Thinking Are the LED's in our flashlights used in other applications aside from FL's?

    When I looked at the LED home lights in Lowes and Home Depot, I noticed that I didnt see any of the LED's listed in these fixtures that are commonly used in LED flashlights. In fact, I didnt see ANY Cree LED's listed on any of the packages containing LED home lighting "bulbs".

    So, if they arent used in most commonly available LED lighting options at home centers, where are they used aside from LED flashlights? maybe custom home lighting?

    Where else are XP-E, XP-G, XM-L, CM-E, SST-50, and SST-90 LED's used? How about Nichia 219's?

    If not being used in commonly available LED fixtures right now, will these LED's be used for home or office or structure lighting in the future?

    Maybe the most important question: Why aren't these very efficient, very bright LED's being used in common home lighting fixtures now? Too hot? Maybe they haven't yet designed proper fixtures for them yet that will dissipate the heat they produce?
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  2. #2

    Default Re: Are the LED's in our flashlights used in other applications aside from FL's?

    Good l.e.d.s are in some of the l.e.d. bulbs. I have seen Cree XR-Es in the larger recessed can l.e.d. bulbs. I have seen Cree XP-Es, Cree XP-Gs, and Cree XM-Ls in the motion sensor security lights. I have seen Luxeon Rebels in many of the Philips brand l.e.d. bulbs. Sylvania bulbs will use Osram l.e.d.s. Many of these bulbs don't advertise what l.e.d.s are in them. It makes it so they don't have to update the packaging as often. Some will just say they use Cree l.e.d.s with no indication of which ones. There are also high voltage l.e.d.s you may have never heard of that are used instead and offer better efficiency for 120 volts than our low voltage l.e.d.s and a cheap high voltage converter or a bunch of resistors in a group of l.e.d.s. In most cases, these bulbs will not use the most cutting edge l.e.d. because they have to acquire sufficient quantities for mass production and they will try to keep costs low (so using l.e.d.s 1 or 2 generations old keeps the cost down and allows them to buy in bulk).

  3. #3
    *Flashaholic* Gunner12's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Bay Area, CA

    Default Re: Are the LED's in our flashlights used in other applications aside from FL's?

    I'm assuming most, if not all of Philips LED bulbs use their own LEDs. Many probably use the Rebel. Osram LED bulbs probably use their Dragon and Golden Dragon series. Cree also has their own LED bulbs but I haven't seen them around. Also all of these companies make office lighting so some of the newer offices do use LED lights as well. As for the exact LED they use, probably the cheapest one that will let them achieve their goal.

  4. #4
    *Flashaholic* idleprocess's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2004

    Default Re: Are the LED's in our flashlights used in other applications aside from FL's?

    LED bulbs (A19 and comparable) tend not to use the most cutting-edge LED's for a number of reasons - cost and ruggedness being foremost.

    LED bulbs are under pressure to be cheaper. Their primary competition is the CFL, which can be had from brand names for around $2 and has the best "faceplate" TCO of all Edison-socket light sources. Bleeding-edge LED's are just too expensive for this market and their efficiency simply isn't needed when older tech is already comparably efficient relative to CFL's. Whenever LED bulbs can work up to 120W incandescent equivalence for around $10, they might start seeing better sales.

    LED bulbs also exist in hostile environments. They generally run very hot in a tiny footprint that's not so great for AC/DC drivers. As such, manufacturers typically choose LED components effectively a generation or more behind their latest that have been tuned for longevity under bad thermal (and even electrical) conditions. Witness Cree and Philips both announcing new general-lighting LED's binned at more real-world junction temperatures of 85C (as opposed to traditional binning unrealistic junction temps of 25C). On their face, these new products aren't as efficient as the best-of-class flashlight-friendly LED's ... but project their relative output curves from 85C to the 25C that the likes of the XM-L are binned at and they're suddenly not so far off the mark, and rated to good lumen maintenance at those temps out to 25k hours.

    LED bulbs with significantly bigger physical dimensions (such as the various standards for recessed cans) have appreciably more thermal margins to operate within, thus the prevalence of fewer best-of-class LED's in these as opposed to the arrays more commonly seen in A19 retrofits.
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  5. #5

    Default Re: Are the LED's in our flashlights used in other applications aside from FL's?

    The Cree can lights use a combination of more than one color (yellow and red if I remember correctly) and special circuitry to maintain a high CRI over the life of the fixture. I have one in my kitchen and will add some more as the other bulbs burn out (and cash supply allows at $50 each).

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