Quality, Reliability, Longevity Needed By SSL Industry
The solid state lighting industry needs to take quality, reliability and longevity seriously, says Scott Brown, senior vp at Dialog.
“People have to be aware there’s a thermal issue,” says Brown, “we can give you full thermal protection for a couple of cents.”
Poor thermal management significantly cuts the lifetime of solid state lighting and can cause fires.
Dialog’s LED drivers have a temperature de-rating feature in its LED drivers which reduces the current drive to the LED when the temperature rises above the target maximum and keeps on reducing it until the target temperature is reached.
Temperature de-rating is a different thing to thermal shut-down which protects the IC but does not protect the system, says Dialog.
“What is the cost difference between a low-end SSL driver with just IC thermal shutdown at 150 deg C and iW3626 with thermal de-rating?” asks Brown, delivering the answer – two cents.
Saving money on this is like the Ford Pinto disaster, said Brown, where Ford launched a car which caught fire when rear-ended. There were two fixes for the problem – one which cost $5 and one which cost $11 – but Ford didn’t implement them thinking they would add too much cost to a $2,000 car.
Ford got sued almost into bankruptcy when families of drivers killed by the fault took the company to court.
The moral for SSL, said Brown, is: accept the extra 2c cost to avoid fires – it only represents 0.2 % of the price of a $10 bulb.