Posted on August 08, 2010

Understanding LED Lamp & System Characteristics

LED lighting has numerous characteristics that make it unique from conventional incandescent and fluorescent light sources. Understanding these characteristics and the technical capabilities of the technology will help one understand the true potential of LED lighting.

Another difference with LEDs is they provide directional light, whereas incandescent and fluorescent sources generate a diffuse glow and typically require metal reflectors to control the light distribution. Minimizing the need for reflectors and other optics allows for greater control over and potentially more even light distribution, and enhances efficiency while dramatically increasing the range of potential applications.

LED sources potentially have a full dimming range of 100% light output to 0% light output and require no re-strike time. Also, because there is no filament, gas, or plasma being heated to produce light, dimming is immediate. The problem is that most currently available LED lamps are not capable of dimming with standard line-voltage incandescent dimmers because driver limitations. At Solais Lighting however, we have developed a patented pre-load dimming system that allows for full 100%-1% dimming in conjunction with virtually any 2-wire, phase-controlled dimmer. This is significant because it is the only product on the market with this capability.

Lighting Quality

LEDs are inherently monochromatic light sources and therefore do not produce true white light. In order to produce white light, they employ one of two methods: color mixing or phosphor coating.

In color mixing, three separate LEDs (1 Red, 1 Green, and 1 Blue) are packaged together. The mixing of the 3 primary colors is what renders white light. The difficulty of this system is in keeping the output ratio of the different colored die to remain balanced, as high temperatures and time degradation can easily result in noticeable color shifts in the resulting white light. In certain applications, color mixing LED systems provide an exciting flexibility to the space because they can be controlled to provide virtually countless color combinations in addition to white light.

In a phosphor system, an LED that emits short wavelengths (most commonly blue) is enclosed by a lens coated with a phosphor to produce white light. Slight variations in emitted wavelengths will interact differently with the phosphor coating and yield different color temperatures of white light, so the process of "binning" must be used to ensure color uniformity. This process is used to test and sort individual LEDs based on three major characteristics: light output, color, and forward voltage. Phosphor systems are best for general illumination applications where only white light is desired because they have better uniformity than color mixing systems

About Solais Lighting Group: Solais + EnergyLite design and manufacture the lighting industry's highest-performing LED lamps and fixtures. With superior lumen output, center-beam candlepower, and overall aesthetics and performance, Solais Lighting Groupís LED products enhance the retail, supermarket, commercial, museum, hospitality and utility environments of the world's leading brands. Solais Lighting Group relentlessly pushes the innovation envelope to create products that replace traditional lighting technologies with zero compromise to aesthetics and performance. To learn more about Solais Lighting Group, visit us in person in Frisco, Texas, or online at

Two of our new product lines are now available to order!
The XC3, XC5 and XC7 modular cylinders come in a variety of finishes and mounting options. The WW asymmetrical track wall wash fixtures come in two sizes. Yoke mount versions are coming soon!