6 May 2010


Lumileds provides analysis of LED array lifetime performance

LED maker Philips Lumileds of San Jose, CA, USA has published a new white paper ‘Evaluating the Lifetime Behavior of LED Systems’ that provides a methodology for evaluating how arrays of LEDs behave over time and how LED luminaire manufacturers can make business decisions such as warranty commitments. Lumileds says that the paper goes beyond simple lumen maintenance data (which describes how a single LED behaves) and addresses the more common lighting system which uses multiple LEDs in a wide variety of use conditions.

Picture: All LED system aspects must be considered to determine reliability.

An LED luminaire’s usable life is determined by a manufacturer's determination of expected lumen maintenance and by the actual usable life of the many components included in the system, says Lumileds. Each component must be analyzed independently to provide an accurate assessment.

Lumileds has collected and analyzed over 700 million hours of LUXEON LED reliability test data. Using statistical analysis and models that have long been used and proven in the automotive and electronics industries, the white paper describes how a luminaire maker can define the ‘lifetime’ of the LEDs in a system and understand how to scale from the behavior of one LED to many LEDs. Lumileds says that this is an essential process for anyone developing product warranties, and results in a clear understanding of the ‘lifetime’ of the LEDs.

“Luminaire manufacturers no longer have to rely on the lumen maintenance behavior of a single LED as a proxy for the lifetime,” says Rudi Hechfellner, director of applications. "With these new methods, companies can now balance business objectives with engineering realities to provide products and warranties that the market wants and can have confidence in.”

The white paper covers the following topics:

  • the ‘failure’ modes of power LEDs, and their impacts on luminaire reliability;
  • long-term LED performance testing: the foundation of reliability data;
  • how reliability models are derived;
  • what the models tell lighting manufacturers about LED behavior over time; and
  • predicting the ‘lifetime’ of an LED array.

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