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What is the Brightest LED

Find the answer to the frequently asked LED Lights related question: What is the Brightest LED?
Trying to keep track of which is the brightest LED is almost like trying to decide who has the biggest or fastest roller coaster this year. Every company is always trying to put theirs ahead of the pack, and the leader seems to change every year or two. There are, however, two recent contenders that are clearly brighter than most of the others you'll see.

Osram's 200 Lumen LED

In 2006, Osram stunned the world (or those who pay attention to lights) by announcing that they had produced the brightest LED. It was known as Ostar Lighting, and it supplied 200 lumens. This literally put neon lamps and incandescent light bulbs in the shade. Prior to this, the brightest LED from the company had a still-impressive 120 lumens. This brightness means that Ostar Lighting can compete well with conventional lamps. It's not just the brightness that's impressive, either. It's the life-span. This Osram LED light can last an average of 50,000 hours. That means if the light is used eight hours a day, it should still last nearly 18 years.

EcoLED's 10-Watt LED Light

Don't crown Osram the winner just yet, however. A year after Ostar Lighting hit the market, in 2007, EcoLed announced a bulb that--well, outshined it and the rest of the competition. This is an LED that offers 400 lumens of light. Incredibly, this bright spectacle comes from just a 10 watt bulb. The EcoLED light uses only a tenth of the electricity of an ordinary incandescent light bulb. What's more, for the environmentally-aware, the bulb reduces CO2 emissions by more than 9,000 pounds in its lifetime.

How Did They Do It?

So just how did these two companies get so much from such little lights? The story is slightly similar and slightly different for each. The main process, though, they share: The development teams channelled all light generated by a single semiconductor at 700 milliamps to the outside. They did this through several different techniques. They've coated the chip with a metallic reflector plus a special microprismic surface. This surface steers light directly upward. When this happens, the chip radiates blue light which changes to white light, thanks to a second, yellow coating.

Why It's Important

This is a major advance because of the move, worldwide, away from old light sources toward those which are more energy-efficient and which are not destructive to the environment. There is a major push around the world to adopt fluorescent lights to replace the old incandescent bulbs. The problem is that these bulbs have toxic mercury inside. In fact, a single fluorescent light could contaminate as much as 7,000 gallons of water.

LED bulbs contain no mercury or other elements that are destructive to the environment. They reduce our CO2 emissions greatly and use less electricity. Although it's true that LED bulbs cost more money up front, they will more than pay for themselves in electricity costs after they've been used for one to two years.

LED lights just make sense. You don't have to be too bright to figure that out.