Saturday, December 11, 2010

Down like a LED Balloon


An  Update on my domestic LEDs

I have, in recent months, been trying out some of the latest low-priced offering in LED replacement bulbs from China etc. Typical of this type of bulb is the GU10 bulb shown above. It is a 4 by 1 watt LED elements mounted very neatly in an aluminium heatsink, and incorporating a power converter circuit in the stem.

Above, laid out, are the "guts" of the GU10 LED, from the left is the stem or base into which is stuffed the power regulator circuit. The red and black leads are the low voltage to the LED elements mounted in the aluminium heatsink.

I have found that the light output and the colour of the light from this type of bulb has improved a good deal over earlier examples. For a 4 watt power consumption, I estimate the light output to be roughly that of a 20 -25 watt halogen lamp.

The Problems?

The lamp you see above is the first dud of 12 GU10 and MR16 LED lamps I recently purchased. It worked just fine for about 3 months and then one day it just was there - belly up.

What was immediately obvious on examination was that the LED elements had become detached from the aluminium heatsink. Whatever compound or glue that was used to secure the LED units onto the metal plate had failed. The immediate result would have been overheating and failure of the delicate LED units.

I am hoping that this is not a trend with this generation of LED bulbs and perhaps this is a one-off failure. As I already stated, the level of light output, and the colour of the light both were very satisfactory.

Chinese with CAUTION

But again, I must strike a note of CAUTION on buying Chinese LED bulbs. China had not as yet got a proper standards system in operation, so products can range from excellent to complete rubbish and even dangerous, and there is no universal official testing and marking system to warn the buyer. Neither does there appear to be any system to follow-up and punish any bad and dangerous products. 

Hopefully when China gets a standards system they will not see fit to punish offenders with an 11 year jail sentence!! I wonder does the Chinese authoritarian government realise just how foolish they look to 90% of the world?

So no Nobel prize to China, or "Confucius award"  (more like a "Confuse-us Award") for its control of manufacturing standards and safety - it is simply a case of "buyer beware"


No comments: