Join Date: Jul 2008
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From the picture of the new sensibulb it is impossible to confirm the color temperature of the led, it is either 2700 or 3000k. It is however a Lumiled Rebel chip, that depending on its quality rating (binning) should be around 100 lumens per watt. The older style looks like a Nichia chip. Both get their yellow coloring from a phosphor-conversion coating contained within the gel-like primary optic. Underneath both are basically InGan "blue'ish" LED's that get their warm color by exciting this phosphor layer and in effect filtering the light. Like anything else this technology is rapidly changing. In my opinion Nichia have been the leaders of Warm White Light. Mr. Nichia developed the process that almost all manufactures use. More information than most really want to know......
It would be interesting to know what the current draw for one of these units is. Driving the chip at 350mA would theoretically be 1 watt plus any inefficiency of the control circuit. Given the size of the heat sink I would be surprised if they were driving any higher, even though that LED will handle 1000mA of current. This brings me to my main point.
The most efficient products are going to be integral fixtures, designed from start to finish with specific end-use in mind. The thermal byproduct of LED's is entirely generated from the back of the chip. This energy needs to be translated into a sufficient heatsink in order to keep the operating temperatures below critical levels. This thermal management is the single greatest factor in the reliability and longevity of the LED. The 50,000 hour claims don't mean anything if it has a dim glow at 40,000.
These bulb replacements may come close, but they cannot address all the unique needs of LED technology. There are standards in the works for larger consumers of LED's, street lights-architectural etc. Because the inherent power limits aboard boats, the marine market has been an early adopter of this technology. It has been and will continue to be a free for all. People are selling all manor of inferior products that don't live up to their claims or even products that emit harmful interference on VHF wavelengths.
My vote, be careful, and you get what you pay for. One quality high brightness LED wholesales for $1.80-$3.00.... Stay tuned and if you aren't desperate hang in there until we see some better product on the market. Usual "boat pricing" will apply!