The Brightest White LED's On Earth

US manufacturer Lumileds Lighting has developed a whole new breed of LEDs - they use new technology, they look quite different and they produce more light than we have ever previously seen coming from a LED. The new LEDs are branded Luxeon. The manufacturer's publicity suggests that the Luxeon LEDs are the start of a lighting revolution - and to an extent we agree. "Luxeon is today's brightest solid-state light source, producing 10-20 times the output of a standard LED lamp," suggests the company. "With a white source efficacy of 25 lumens / watt...Luxeon is a realistic source for general and directional lighting." Lumileds claims that the LEDs can be integrated into light fixtures - after all, with a rated life of 50,000 hours (other data suggests "up to 100,000 hours"), the 'bulb' probably never needs to be changed. Their publicity material shows the LEDs being used for internal commercial lighting and outside architectural lighting, in addition to emergency and portable lighting.
The Brightest White LED's On Earth circuit schematic
Fig.1 It is almost impossible to photograph either of the Luxeons in action - and do their amazing light output justice. Here the current to the 1W LED has been reduced, the camera has been placed well off-axis - and bad lens flare has still occurred.