Bridgelux 3 Watt (3x1W) 3 Chip LED? Is this real? See Pic

Roger Bannister

Newly Enlightened
Jan 29, 2010
Hi folks,

Anyone heard of such a thing? Here is a pic of the supposed high power, 3W (3x1W), 3-chip 'Bridgelux'...


If not Bridgelux, then who does these? I'm guessing several of the Asian outfits, but who?

Now as far as I know, Bridgelux doesn't sell anything of the kind - and neither does any 3rd party assembler/integrator for them. Here is a typical 'manufacturer':

Here is another:


Yes, it's one of those guys. And as you know, there's a lot of BS in this industry, and a lot of dilettantes that don't know what they're doing as far as lighting design goes. Call up a Shenzhen manufacturer like, talk to a rep, hope the engineer on the back-end does his job and warns the client when they're trying to design something idiotic (instead of just taking their money), place an order, slap on a 3rd party branding, and away you go - presto, you're a 'manufacturer'. :( Take the first link above:

So it looks like he's taken a standard 119w (7x17) board with the typical, China-built heat sink, power supply and fans, mixed in 120W (rated) worth of 3W/3 chip LEDs ('actual power draw'=180W!!!) with I believe a few 1W/1chip also, and is apparently overdriving the 350ma nominal chips all at 500ma--! (Claims he wanted to run them hotter but the engineer balked...really, now? Imagine that!)

(Most of these 'flowering' boards have 70%+ of red (620/660nm) LEDs, so they're going to run closer ~0.8w/LED @350ma on the line side with a typical 1W emitter, and even less @700ma. I'm sure the 3-chip models aren't any better...)

The 'Bridgelux 3W Chip' aside, does this make any sense whatsoever from a thermal management standpoint?

1) Running the board 'hot' with all PCB slots filled
2) Using a standard heat sink
3) Mixing (I think 1W, 1 chip and 3W, 3 chip LEDs on the same MCPCB)

It seems like a true purpose-built fixture would at least want to go larger in dimension and have a more robust heat sink, additional costs of sheet metal housing, etc. aside.

We all know how well those boards normally do (i.e. not very well) to disperse Tj even at nominal, 350ma levels with all the LED spaces filled. Sounds like you'd have to significantly de-rate both the efficiency and lifespan of those emitters - i.e. it's a recipe for disaster, even if you can get away with it in the short term. That heat has to go somewhere, and if it's not going out fast enough even with active cooling...

I know a manufacturer always has to consider the lumen/$ ratio in addition to the lumen/watt. It just seems like everyone's cost cutting on the front end and making the consumer pay on the back end (Lights of America, anyone?) these days. Using the cheap, low-bin emitters and overdriving them in anything from flashlights to recessed PAR38/20 bulb-style with E26 sockets and telling folks they're fine to put in recessed lighting.

At least the DIY folks will also use a decent sized heat sink if they're going to run an emitter above it's normalized (1.0) level.

Obviously, it's better/more efficient to take 3 1W emitters and run them at their rated ma (350ma, or 400 if you're using OSRAM Golden Dragons, etc.), than to do what he's doing. AND, it simply costs more to do it that (right) way - and you've got a consumer price/value curve to consider. Better, but not cheaper.

Is that you're assessment also, or am I overstating the case here? Any and all reasoned thoughts/discussion are appreciated. <end rant>




Flashlight Enthusiast
Jul 17, 2008
Here's the image broken above:

Looks like a typical Asian knock-off to me. Most of the high powered Chinese emitters are just arrays of 1watt LEDs anyways. Remember, labor is cheap over there? :rolleyes: Why mess with 3watt emitters when you can just stamp a bunch of 1watts together. Hey, if it works it works.

As for Bridgelux, they make blue 'chips', but that's logical given you have to start with blue to make white. Maybe it's the same plant, or maybe it it's just the same name. Doesn't really matter because while actual Bridgelux arrays are costs effective and reliable their individual chip technology isn't that remarkable. Plus, I begged one of their reps to make a high powered RB blue emitter and they didn't budge. See my thread on the 20watt blues.

Most of the Asian 'lamp' makers are using SEMI knock-offs it seems.

The 'Bridgelux 3W Chip' aside, does this make any sense whatsoever from a thermal management standpoint?

Power is power, and when used in dense arrays like this it really doesn't matter. You have N amount of heat to get rid of. From a design perspective you obviously need active cooling and a really thick plate to pull thermal away from all those LEDs.

Basically, these lights are all orientated towards the same market; dope growers. Why else would you have comparisons towards 400watt HPS and then show the entire LED fixture over a single plant in a tin-foil box? :thinking:

I agree with your complaint about 'Entrepreneurs' coming with product ideas like this, and then seeing how cheap they can get it made in Asia even though the engineering is skeptical. Again, the 'dope-light' industry is full of a lot of this.

The reef lighting industry has similiar technical hurdles, power requirements and manufacturing base, but over-all the product envelope tends to be of better quality.
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Flashlight Enthusiast
Jul 17, 2008

If you look at the Chinese arrays on Ebay, and the ones on sites like Satistronics they are nearly identical. Also, the Chinese will typical take specs right off the site of the emitter they are copying. That's pretty much a dead give away.