What are the components of an LED light fitting and what is LED binning?
What are the components of an LED light fitting?
All LED light fittings in their simplest form are made up of the same components, lets use this Hilclare Leat product as an example:
- Ceiling integration/ conduit connector
- Body (linear, square, rectangle, circle)
- Heat sink (used to dissipate heat from the LED)
- Driver (where the fitting is powered)
- PCB board (board with all LED chips)
- Some kind of reflector or optic light control
- Diffuser or lens (normally in a quadra-prism or hexa-prism), this softens the light/ glare as the clouds do with the sun
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What is LED Binning?
There are always deviations in LED performance due to the vast amount of LED’s manufactured during the production process. To avoid large deviations, those with similar performance characteristics are grouped together into ‘bins’.
In its simplest form, “LED binning” is both the separation and grouping process used to identify the performance of LEDs based on their technical characteristics.
Light output and colour temperature are the most important bin criteria that effect product performance. Most manufacturers sort their production in:
- Luminosity (Lumen)
- Colour temperature (Degrees Kelvin – °K)
- Voltage (Volts)
- Colour location
After the production of the mass batch of LEDs they are put into a sorting machine which will bin LEDs as closely matches as possible. This will ensure with high quality LEDs that the colour variation and light output is as consistent as possible in a fitting.
Cheaper fittings sourced from overseas tend to have a wider LED variation which can result in fluctuation in the light output and colour consistency of a light fitting. Whereas, higher quality LED’s provide a more homogenous appearance in terms of light output, colour temperature and colour consistency.
Hilclare for example source high quality LEDs. The LED’s used in our products are within 3 MacAdam ellipse (very good standard), meaning we choose from 3 connected bins that are very similar in terms of technical performance characteristics and colour consistency.
This will ensure an even, consistent spread of light, not only across the illuminated face of our products, but also across the whole of a project’s lighting installation.
Whereas using lower quality LEDs, say 7-9 MacAdam ellipse, will result in a varied range in colour consistency and light output, which can lead to the costly removal and re-installation of better quality products.
It is also undesirable and often inadequate to use controls, dimming or biodynamic lighting with lower quality LEDs, as poor colour consistency can have a detrimental effect on the actual benefits of the afore-mentioned controls systems.
To ensure that LEDs have the same light temperature, they are sorted according to the ANSI (American National Standards Institute) standard.