LED lighting design

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Page last updated 05-21-13. Added a Dell Latitude laptop computer that is to be my "duty computer".

Never forget 09-11-01 Happy Burned Replicated Dead Bird Meat Day from The LED (and Laser) Museum!!! :-) What comes to your mind when you hear somebody talking about LEDs?
If you're like most people, you probably think of those dim red or yellow-green lights on the fronts of stereos and the red digits in alarm clocks.
This website was put here to hopefully change your mind about these small miracles of quantum technology. For no longer is the LED some dim little indicator light - and no longer do they only come in red or puke green. Today's LEDs can be found in just about every color of the spectrum, and in the invisible regions at each end too. They even come in white, plus they last up to 100,000 hours or even more before they need to be replaced! This makes them especially well-suited for Christmas lights and other forms of decorative lighting.
Today's LEDs are bright enough to illuminate an entire room, and are no longer just a dim glow on a stereo.

Flashlights made with LEDs are no longer limited to just hunting for an errant keyhole either; some models are bright enough to replace your old D cell light in the flashlight drawer - you know, the one that never works when you really need it. Never again will you have to replace the bulb in that light either.
Remember, I'm not an LED "gosh" and I don't play one on TV, but I do know a few things.

My computer case. Left: Early Nichia 450nm MWQ 'Azure Blue' broadband. Middle: Recent 'garden variety' 470nm blue Nichia.  Right: 445nm Cree super narrowband blue-violet The LED Museum is an award winning site made by an LED nut, for LED nuts; containing real-world test results of all kinds of different light emitting diodes & LED flashlights.

Featuring the world's only "LED Museum" where milestone LED technology is on display, and the world famous "Punishment Zone" where LED flashlights and utility lights come to die.

Test lab
The famous ad-lib laboratory. Several items of a rather
confidential nature were censored from this photograph.
To the left and out of the photograph is an alcove the targets are set up in.

To navigate this site, use the scrollable menu at the left. This menu is resizeable to allow users of smaller computer screens make use of the data and evaluations I provide. For those without frames or maps capability, you can use the text-only menu found at the bottom of almost every page, or use the side menu as a crude site map and find your information that way.

Some of you may be asking, "WHY?!?".
Because knowledge is power. This site is here to correct some people's misconceptions about LEDs.
Is this site worthwhile? Why not ask our MILLIONTH VISITOR since October 24th 2000 (the screenshot was taken on 07-07-01) and you be the judge.
(As of 05-03-08, I'd guess there have been about TWO HUNDRED MILLION TWENTY EIGHT THOUSAND visitors here! The counter quit working in mid-2002 with about 5,500,000 hits, and it's still broken.)


The purpose of this website is to test and evaluate all kinds of light emitting diodes (LEDs) and products made with LEDs. The tiny solid-state lamps come in all shapes and sizes, but are generally found in these three basic styles:

T1 3/4 (5mm). These are the familiar "bullet" shaped LEDs.
T1 (3mm). These look similar to the bullet style, but are considerably smaller.
Flat or Rectangular: These are square or rectangular in shape. Dimmer models are often found in audio & stereo equipment as VU meters; newer/brighter models in backlighting & displays.

Most of the LEDs tested on this site are among these three styles; however an oddball one will show up now and again, especially if they are a type that the average person can find at his or her local Radio Shack, through easily-available electronics catalogues, or by asking the manufacturer for them.
Other odd styles (such as SMDs, lensless, custom packaged, high-flux models, and vintage LEDs) might occasionally appear here as well, but this is a rare occurance.

(UPDATE 11-02-01): A "new" computer has been placed into service for the express purpose of interfacing with test equipment. Its duties include charting battery decay curves for display on each flashlight's web page and interfacing with the soon-to-be-installed ProMetric photometric system, which will also output a graphic to be added to each page as time & server space permits.

(UPDATE 11-12-01): The ProMetric system arrived yesterday (November 11, 2001), and was set up during the afternoon & evening. Both flashlights and bare LEDs can be analysed with it.
Here are some examples of the ProMetric's charts...

Charts courtesy of the ProMetric System, on loan from Radiant Imaging.
If you do not understand these charts or their meaning, you may simply ignore them.

(UPDATE 01-01-07): Here is a listing of my *CURRENT* equipment used for use on this website, and in some cases, for use on Candlepower Forums:
  • Ocean Optics PC2000-ISA Fiber Optic Spectrometer (Donated by Ocean Optics)
  • ProMetric 8 Beam Cross-Sectional Analyser (Set up as a U.S. type A goniometer; on long-term loan from Radiant Imaging).
  • Telequipment D61A dual trace oscilloscope. (Donated by site user) (Pooped out late-April 2007 )
  • Dell Dimension 4500 PC. (Donated collectively by Candlepower Forums)
  • Toshiba Satellite Pro 460CDT laptop computer. (Donated by site user)
  • Wavetek Meterman LM631 light meter. (Donated by site user)
  • Hewlett-Packard 3468A benchtop digital multimeter, 5.5 digits. (Donated by site user)
  • Energy One XP-4 variable voltage PSU. (Donated by site user)
  • Fluke 8000A Benchtop Digital Multimeter. (Donated by site user)
  • Gateway 2000 computer. PII 300+MHz, 196MB ram, 10G disk, Zip-disk, CDROM, etc. (Donated by site user)
  • Hewlett-Packard 3440A rack mount Digital Volt Meter.
  • CEN-TECH P35761 Digital Multimeter, (Two units, found on sale in 2001)
  • Radio Shack 22-805 "recording" DMM (PC interface). (Donated by Peter Gransee)
  • Techtronix J-16 Digital Photometer with J6502 sensor head. (Damaged in an earthquake)
  • Techtronix J-16 Digital Photometer with J6511 sensor head. (Donated by site user)
  • Silicon solar cell, 3" by 4". Used for graphing battery utilisation of flashlights. (Donated by site user)
  • Mid-Eastern programmable variable voltage, current clamping laboratory power supply. (Donated by site user)
  • B&K Precision Model 1711 power supply. (Purchased myself)
  • Nikon Coolpix 775 digital camera (2.1 megapixels). (Purchased myself) (Pooped out ~10-01-06)
  • Olympus Brio D-100 digital camera (1.3 megapixels). (Also purchased myself & used as a spare)
  • Tasco P450 microscope for 100x macro photography.
  • Various lenses & dielectric filters for macro photography and spectrum analysis. * (Found two of the lenses 08-16-05)
  • Edmund Scientific diffractive glasses for observing spectra directly.
  • Spectroscopic and Analytical Developments spectrometer. (Donated by site user in 2001; appears to be broken as of 11-2003)
  • Edmunds Scientific handheld spectroscope (Purchased myself)
  • CEM DT-8810 Digital IR laser-guided non-contact thermometer. (Purchased myself)
  • "Plastic Heck Destructors" (household shears) to deal with tough packaging (Donated by site user)
  • GLOW-ON, LLC. LED tester (Donated by GLOW-ON, LLC.)
  • Five CR123A lithium cells & ten L91 lithium cells (Donated by a flashlight retailer)
  • Twenty CR123A lithium cells (Donated by site user)
  • Sper Scientific Pocket Laser Power Meter # 840011 (Purchased myself)
  • Forty eight CR2 lithium cells (Purchased myself)
  • Ocean Optics USB2000 Spectrometer (Donated by P.L. of TWO-CUBED)
  • 110 volts to 220 volts AC 500 watt power supply (Purchased myself) (Forced to dispose of prior to our January 2009 move)
  • Coherent Argon-Ion Laser Safety Goggles (two pairs) (Purchased myself)
  • 800nm to 1,700nm IR Detector (Purchased myself)
  • 3.2 VDC 500mA laser power supplies (Donated by website user)
  • Canon Powershot G3 Digital Camera (Donated by website user)
  • Polaroid x530 Digital Camera (Purchased myself & used as a spare)
  • New eMachines Computer, 19" LCD Monitor, & HP Color Printer (Found under the Christmas tree in 2006)
  • 52xAAA cells, 48xAA cells, ZTS battery tester (Donated by site user)
  • "Phoam Head Phred" used for testing headlamps (Purchased myself)
  • Velleman HPS10 Handheld Oscilloscope (Purchased myself)
  • 48 alkaline AA cells & $20.00 (Donated by ananymous website visitor)
  • Power cable to reach from PSU to the Prometric (Donated by site user)
  • White phosphor target - for Blu-Ray 405nm Violet Lasers (Purchased myself)
  • Vernier Caliper (Donated by website visitor)
  • Two pcs. Elix DMM (Donated by website visitor)
  • Dell Latitude E6400 Laptop Computer (Donated by website user in 2013)

Here's the Velleman HPS10 Handheld Oscilloscope.

Here's the ZTS pulse-load battery tester.

Here's the Phoam Head Phred with a FrontaLED Trekker on it.

USB2000 Spectrometer. This instrument is small enough to fit your palm.

Spectrographic analysis
Here is an example of a spectrographic plot output by this instrument.
If you do not understand the meaning, you may simply ignore it.


Sper Scientific Pocket Laser Power Meter.

Your webmaster in 2002 in front of his videogame (that was left behind in a move made in late-2004).

All but one flashlight survived the magnitude 6.8 temblor.
Many specimens of LEDs from the museum were buried but later recovered.
Most of my store's LED inventory was destroyed as it was located in a more severely damaged area. The store is no more because I cannot replace the lost inventory or even pay for what I did have.

Many of the LEDs on this site (especially the Nichia models) are being tested & used in real-world situations; this isn't a clean room in some laboratory somewhere.
Some of the newest Nichia samples were installed in my motorized wheelchair - a pretty rough environment for any lamp to take. Others ended up as indicators in computers, RF transmitters, underneath electrical insulators, and other "real world" locations. All in-use samples are monitored regularly for deterioration or failures; any such occurances will be posted here. Most of the in-use samples have unused companions; these are used as control samples when deterioration or failure occurs. A control sample and the in-use model can then be compared side-by-side, helping lend at least some degree of scientific worthiness to the test results.

LED flashlights are tested in various manners - they may be beaten against steel poles, drowned in the toilet (honestly, I use the fishtank and a sink!), stomped on, run over with a 400lb electric wheelchair, placed in the shower or left outside in the rain, and simply handled roughly. All are rated on how they handled the punishment, and whether or not their LED array popped during the tests. Samples which I still have (not loaners, unfortunately) will also be run through the ProMetric system for a more detailed analysis that some of the website's visitors will especially appreciate. If you don't understand the charts or their meaning, you may simply ignore them.

A fair percentage of all of the flashlights tested to date (around 06-01-01).
This represents approximately 75% to 80% of them all.
As of 12-31-04, this probably represents 10% to 15% of them all.

Because of my limited income - a small disability stipend - this website depends entirely on
you for test samples and in some cases, the equipment itself. If you have obsolete but functional test equipment or a sh*tload of LEDs you aren't going to use, please consider donating them to science. My address is:

Please visit this web page for contact information.

PLEASE NOTE: I am not an LED manufacturer, original equipment manufacturer (OEM), or large-volume distributor. I do not handle or supply bare LED dice or SMD components (except where noted), and I do not manufacture any type of packaging (cases) for LED products. Please direct inquriries regarding the supplying of large volumes of LEDs or LED dice to the appropriate manufacturers.
Contact information for some of them can be found on the Where To Buy page.
Thank you!

NOTE!!! I am a hobbyist, and do NOT have any type of catalogue, brochure, or other printed material to offer. Heck, I don't even have a printer. So please stop writing & asking for my catalogue, as I have none to offer. You're just wasting postage, and as a result, so am I.

This entire operation is 100% internet-based. I have no office (well, not any more, after an earthquake destroyed what little I'd built) and a very limited budget for replying to snail-mail catalogue & other requests. If you must write snail-mail, at least be considerate enough to include your e-mail address so I can respond in a timely fashion - sometimes it might be a week or two before I can afford stamps and I'd rather not have to delay responding just because of that.

webmaster at his post
Webmaster at his duty post, surrounded by wires, bags of LEDs, and flashlights.
The now-famous test target can be seen on the wall under the equipment rack.

Attention Educators and Parents!
All content on this website may be used freely for educational purposes, and may be included as part of your classroom curriculum or (for home-schoolers) part of a home educational program.
This website is kid-friendly and does not contain any objectionable material.
If you have any questions, please feel free to e-mail me.

The LED Museum does allow advertising, and even needs it to stay afloat and purchase equipment used in testing, but advertising is only allowed in very specific and neutral areas of the site. No ads are allowed on any page featuring a product evaluation or similar article. Ads are currently allowed on the home page, on the "Where To Buy" page, on the "LED Links" page, and on the splash screen only.

Rates range from $250 a year for placements on the "Where To Buy" page and on the "LED Links" page; up to $1,000 a year ($100 a month if paid month-to-month) for the prime placements at the top of the home page, if they're available at the time of your request. Advertising banners on the splash screen are $35 a month or $400 a year.

The only other location on this site hosting advertisements (the left-frame menu bar) is indeed available as well; pricing has not been established but since it requires no additional clickthroughs (e.g. it becomes visible as soon as you enter the website's "front door"), expect pricing to be not too much lower than the right-hand frame of the home page. Lower because of the limited banner size (200 pixels wide by 100 pixels high) but not THAT much lower.

  1. Important!!! I receive thousands of e-mail messages monthly, and there are times when I can fall a week or more behind in reading & responding to them. Be aware of this possibility when writing.

  2. E-mails with "My Order of LEDs" or similar in the subject line are always read first. Please use this subject line ONLY if ordering or inquiring about a recently placed order. DO NOT ABUSE THIS!. If you abuse this, and send me general questions with this subject line, I will cut off your hands and spank you with them, and your question will probably not be answered!

  3. Spammers will not be tolerated. All spam is immediately forwarded to one of several major anti-spam agencies; which will almost always result in the loss of the e-mail domain you used to spam me with, and possibly even the termination of your primary account by your ISP.
    I don't f*** around with spam, and all spammers are punished swiftly and severely!! So just stop doing it!

  4. IMPORTANT! I have spam filters in place. If your e-mail contains certain words or phrases, it automatically goes in the garbage. Some of these words or phrases are:
    • Free Money
    • Low APR Credit
    • Psychic Readings
    • Claim Your {anything}
    • Stock Pick
    • Life insurance
    • {percentage} APR
    • Going Platinum
    • Teenage Girls
    • Adult Search
    • Financial Freedom
    • Plantinum Card (or Gold Card, or Titanium Card)
    • Merchant Account
    • Personal wealth
    • Online Casino
    • Cheap tyres for your car or SUV
    • This is not spam
    • Free Porn
    • Forward this to everyone you know
    • This mail cannot be considered spam
    • Claim your free {insert some crappy piece of junk plastic item here}

      And here are some other words & phrases to be wary of using:

    • Mortgage, debt, millionaire, timeshare, stock market, investment, xxx-adult, xxx-sex, free porn, removeme@{domain}, remove@{domain}, unsubscribe, opt-in, opt-out.

    This spam filter is very broad, but it does nail about 90% of it. If you want your e-mail to go through, please avoid using these phrases anywhere in your message. As with any spam filter, there is a chance that a legitimate message will get hosed on occasion. I apologise if this has occurred to you.

  5. Once again, if you are looking for a manufacturer to buy or sell LED dice (chips) or have LEDs made for you, you've come to the wrong place. If you are a manufacturer and are trying to sell me 100,000 pieces of something, you've come to the wrong place.
    I am a hobbyist and I am in no position to buy, sell or handle bare LED dice, nor am I able to make LED packages for you. Some of you haven't been getting the message.

    This is only a hobby... a full-time one perhaps, but a hobby nonetheless.

  6. Finally, remember there is only ONE of me. I do all of the system administration, site maintenance, programming, graphics, photography, blowing up of things, flushing of things down toilets, product testing, and everything else you see on these pages. Since there is only one of me to do all this stuff, some items may appear slightly out of date or otherwise in need of an update. I will do that when I have the time to... quit pestering, please.

Effective immediately (07-10-07), the format of the What's New page will be changed very slightly.
Under each entry prefixed with (U), the reason for the update will be added; ie. new photograph added or text body added to.
This will be double-spaced, so that the additions will not be confused with the update itself; ie:

My faithful old Polaroid camera finally died after having taken tens of thousands of pictures, so I went out and got a new camera. Effective pretty much immediately, most new pictures on this site will be taken with a Nikon Coolpix 775 digital camera. This camera has three times the resolution of my old Polaroid, so product photos and other images should come out substantially better.
new camera
(Camera took its own self-portrait through a mirror, so it didn't come out well)

Effective 10-20-05, I have decided to slightly change the way this website is updated. New product evaluations will now be placed in their appropriate categories as well as being shown in the "What's New" sections as soon as the evaluation is published.

Effective 05-15-08, I have decided to once again slightly change the way this website is updated. Products with movie clips made of them will now have the "" or "" icons displayed as many times as there are movie clips made of that product. For example, a product that has three movie clips will have three "" icons next to its listing, as follows:

05-14-08 Radio Control Hopper Fly HelicopterSpectrographic analysis performedmovie clipmovie clipmovie clipUpdated