In the ever changing landscape that is LED lighting, it can be rather difficult for a company to keep up with all the technological and regulatory changes. Everyone likes an easy solution to a problem and when you look at all the options that are available, it does not appear easy by any stretch of the imagination.
The higher efficiency LEDs in the mid-power segment can show great potential for all types of fixtures; and the high power devices can show lower system cost with a smaller footprint. As with any choice there are a number of tradeoffs to these two types of SMD (surface mount device) solutions.
So how can it be easy with all these options, when you just need a simple, elegant solution? This is when higher density devices like COBs start getting discussed. It is very tempting to consider this type of device for all of your manufacturing and production needs. So why not? They are “easy” to handle, they are “easy” for manufacturing, and they are “easy” to meet regulatory certifications. They just make life “easy”.
You might have someone selling you on this ease of process or how easy LED design can be. The reality is that these components are not “easy”, and there are a number of concerns that should be considered.
If you do choose to look at a COB, you may want to start by looking at thermal performance. Most derating curves for this product show a significant decline in performance once temperatures exceed 85c at 25c ambient. The catch is always the ambient… even in the driver world the ambient rise will cause your Tc to rise thus exceeding your initial calculations for lifetime and performance.
Read More: The Changing Landscape that is LED Lighting