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All LEDs Are Not Created Equal

Class 102


It doesn't make sense or cents to ignore this fact.

LED technology is great. It gets brighter, more efficient (20% every year) and more cost effective every year. Unfortunately, some consumers have become confused along the way as they place too much emphasis on the word "LED" and not enough emphasis on the word "technology".

Ignoring the technology portion of LEDs is as big a mistake as ignoring the currency of the country that issues that dollar bill. For example, the US, Canadians and Hong Kong all use dollars as currencies. The US Dollar (USD) and Canadian Dollar (CAD) at this time are very close in value but are worth 7.5 times more than the Hong Kong Dollars (HKD).


Like these dollar bills from around the globe, LEDs are NOT created equal and have significantly different values!

With LEDs, technological factors like the date of manufacture, size, power and quality all factor into value of that LED. Here are some facts about LEDs:

  • Improving LED technology means LEDs will continue to convert "an ever higher percentage of energy into light", with its corresponding "ever lower percentage of energy lost to heat."
  • LEDs on average become 20% more efficient every year
  • Next year's LEDs will be more efficient than this year's LEDs.
  • A single LED vary wildly in price: from less than $0.01 (USD) to over $100 (USD).

Why is there such a big price difference between LEDs?

  • the quantity and quality of light emitted
  • the materials used, which increase the life and price of the LED
  • the lenses that they are assembled with.


Failure to acknowledge that differences exist will likely result in an individual buying something which is lower cost. The results will usually lead to disappointment...especially if a lighting manufacturer were to also overpromise and underdeliver by misrepresenting lumens.


If the product is somewhat expensive, research one aspect:
Make sure the Manufacturer of the Device has a solid reputation.
Otherwise, the information listed may be incorrect, the product may not stand up to use, and the value may not be there.
DO NOT believe that the product is using a high quality LED (from suppliers like: CREE, OSRAM, LUMILEDS, or NICHIA) just because this information is printed on the box.
There is no control over what is being advertised. Lower quality brands tend to exaggerate.