Whats the difference between the old style LEDs and new ones?
The simple answer is this, the technology has moved on so fast since the original LEDs came to the market. The speed of these technological advances is just as fast as the advances to computers and memory.
Do you remember when half decent LED light bulbs started appearing on the market? It was about the same time that USB memory drives started appearing as well, and they were about 128kbs of memory! Nowadays the average USB memory stick drive is smaller than the older style ones and is on average about 8-16GBs.
Old style LED light bulbs started off as a GU10 as that would be the easiest to manufacture and I believe that they had 12-21 diodes, similar looking to this:
The light given off by them was terrible, and they cost a fortune, but they were touted out to the public at lasting 50,000 hours and saving a tonne of electricity costs. In reality, they did save a lot in electricity costs but you needed other lights to complement these 'great LEDs'. What the industry didn't tell you was that these LED diodes cut their light output massively after a few hours, so what was already a dim led light bulb, turned into an extremely dim LED light bulb.
So what advances has been made in the industry since then? Well the next set of LEDs set considerably better, but the problem still occurred with the light output cutting in half every so often. These LEDs looked like this:
Some LED manufacturers still use this style of LED GU10, this contains an LED chip called a 'High Powered LED Chip'. It has three of them hence the style of the face. They have a tight beam angle and often struggle to control the colour of the LEDs inside them with one of these 'High Powered LED Chips' giving off a green hue, one giving off a purple hue and another a warm white hue. The end result is a ghastly colour and we definitely wouldn't recommend buying these style of LEDs, ever.
So from there, the LEDs advanced in what is called SMD. This stands for 'Surface Mounted Diodes', that is because they are basically an array structure mounted directly onto a circuit board. Most of the LED bulbs today are actually SMD in different styles. Most of our LED GLS lamps found here, or our LED Candle lamps found here are made using SMD chips. In the right environment they can be absolutely fantastic, however the early SMD GU10s didn't really look the part and again struggled with the light output over time. This has now been fixed but a lot of the cheaper LEDs still show that icon yellow face of chips.
The next stage of development saw the rise of the COB LED lamp, COB stands for 'Chip On Board'. This is seen as a big yellow splodge which emits the light. This is a great example of a COB GU10:
Can you see the yellow splodge in the middle? That is the COB part, these LEDs are great LEDs because the COB can be set back in the LED GU10 to make sure that you get a great beam angle, and that is why these chips are often better in directional lamps. You will often find them in the newer style all-in-one LED fittings.
Finally the newest technological advance of the last couple of years are 'Filament LEDs'. We have a great range of filament LEDs found here. These have the LED chips running down strands of tiny circuit boards to mimic the old style 'incandescent' light bulbs. They are by far the best LEDs to put into GLS (standard) shape, Candle shape and golfball shape, due to the fact they emit light in almost a 360 degree all round light.
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- Nicholas Smith