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Yellow 3mm Point Source LED
What constitutes "Point Source" in a LED?
LED's made today are much more efficient than those of 15 years ago. Three changes were central to this increase in efficiency.1. Better materials. This was a good side effect of the technology it took to make blue, then white LED's.2. RoHS, or Reduction of Hazardous Substances was another driving force. The recycling industry had enough clout to force this on all component manufacturer's. It mostly involved removing any lead or arsenic in the components construction, and manufacturing plants must use lead-free solder. Those who made LED's decided to start using the newer galium-aluminum mixtures. They need about 1 volt more to "turn on", but are much brighter.3. Instead of having the light come out the top of a rectangular 3-layer wafer-this was the original "Point Source", have the light come out all sides of the wafer.Now LED's are constructed like an Oreo cookie, with a round 3-layer wafer laying on a platform, which is also the heat sink and cathode of the LED. The light now shines out the side all around the wafer and strikes a gold-lined bowl that the platform is sitting in. This gold reflects the light straight up to the lens, which set's the "Theta", or viewing angle where the lights intensity drop's by 3db, at the manufactures discretion. The lens can have other compounds added to give pink, violet and white colors. This is the new "Point Source", and many LED manufactures like ITT issue warnings not to look directly into the point source, or risk damage to the eyes retina. I bought 1,000 5mm white LED's for flashlights, nightlight's, etc, and with about ten times the output of the old LED's, I would heed the warning.
Date published: 2012-09-25