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One-hundred-and-thirty years back, Thomas Edison completed the initial successful sustained test of the incandescent light bulb. With many incremental improvements along the way, Edison’s basic technology has lit the world ever since. This is going to change. We are on the cusp of a semiconductor-based lighting revolution that will ultimately replace Edison’s bulbs with a a lot more energy-efficient lighting solution. Solid state LED lighting could eventually replace almost all of the hundreds of huge amounts of incandescent and fluorescent lights in use all over the world today. In fact, as a step along this path, The President last June introduced new, stricter lighting standards that will support the phasing out of incandescent bulbs (which already are banned in parts of Europe).

To know precisely how revolutionary ul drivers are as well as why they may be still expensive, it is instructive to consider the way that they are made as well as compare this for the output of incandescent bulbs. This post explores how incandescent lights are created then contrasts that process using a description of the typical manufacturing process for LED light bulbs.

So, let’s start with taking a look at how traditional incandescent light bulbs are manufactured. You will find that this can be a classic example of an automated industrial process refined in over a century of experience.

While individual incandescent light bulb types differ in dimensions and wattage, all of them have the three basic parts: the filament, the bulb, and also the base. The filament consists of tungsten. While very fragile, tungsten filaments can withstand temperatures of 4,500 degrees Fahrenheit and above. The connecting or lead-in wires are typically made from nickel-iron wire. This wire is dipped right into a borax solution to create the wire more adherent to glass. The bulb itself consists of glass and has a mixture of gases, usually argon and nitrogen, which increase the lifetime of the filament. Air is pumped from the bulb and replaced with the gases. A standardized base supports the entire assembly in position. The base is known as the “Edison screw base.” Aluminum is utilized on the outside and glass employed to insulate the inside of the base.

Originally created by hand, light manufacturing is currently almost entirely automated. First, the filament is manufactured employing a process called drawing, by which tungsten is mixed with a binder material and pulled through a die (a shaped orifice) into a fine wire. Next, the wire is wound around a metal bar called a mandrel so that you can mold it into its proper coiled shape, and then its heated in a process referred to as annealing, softening the wire and makes its structure more uniform. The mandrel will then be dissolved in acid.

Second, the coiled filament is connected to the lead-in wires. The lead-in wires have hooks at their ends that are either pressed within the end in the filament or, in larger bulbs, spot-welded.

Third, the glass bulbs or casings are made employing a ribbon machine. After heating in a furnace, a continuous ribbon of glass moves along a conveyor belt. Precisely aligned air nozzles blow the glass through holes in the conveyor belt into molds, creating the casings. A ribbon machine moving at top speed can produce more than 50,000 bulbs hourly. After the casings are blown, these are cooled then cut from the ribbon machine. Next, the within the bulb is coated with silica to get rid of the glare the consequence of glowing, uncovered filament. The label and wattage are then stamped onto the outside top of each casing.

Fourth, the lower bulb is also constructed using molds. It is made with indentations in the shape of a screw so that it can easily squeeze into the socket of the light fixture.

Fifth, once the filament, base, and bulb are created, these are fitted together by machines. First, the filament is mounted towards the stem assembly, featuring its ends clamped to the two lead-in wires. Next, the environment in the bulb is evacuated, as well as the casing is filled with the argon and nitrogen mixture.

Finally, the base and also the bulb are sealed. The base slides on the end in the glass bulb such that not one other material is required to have them together. Instead, their conforming shapes enable the two pieces to be held together snugly, using the lead-in wires touching the aluminum base to make sure proper electrical contact. After testing, bulbs are positioned inside their packages and shipped to consumers.

Bulbs are tested both for lamp life and strength. So that you can provide quick results, selected bulbs are screwed into life test racks and lit at levels far exceeding normal. This supplies an accurate measure of just how long the bulb can last under normal conditions. Testing is performed in any way manufacturing plants as well as at some independent testing facilities. The typical lifetime of the typical household bulb is 750 to 1,000 hours, based on wattage.

LED lights are made around solid-state semiconductor devices, so the manufacturing process most closely resembles that employed to make electronic products like PC mother boards.

A mild-emitting diode (LED) is really a solid state electrical circuit that generates light through the movement of electrons in a semiconductor material. LED technology has been around since the late 1960s, as well as the first 40 years LEDs were primarily utilized in electronics devices to change miniature lights. Within the last decade, advances in the technology finally boosted light output sufficient for LEDs to begin with to seriously contest with incandescent and fluorescent bulbs. As with many technologies, as the cost of production falls each successive LED generation also improves in light quality, output per watt, and heat management.

The computer sector is well suited to manufacture LED lighting. This process isn’t a great deal distinct from building a computer motherboard. The firms making the LEDs themselves are generally not in the lighting business, or it is a minor part of their business. They tend to be semiconductor houses which can be happy cranking out their product, which is the reason prices on high-output LEDs has fallen a lot in the last 20 years.

LED bulbs are expensive to some extent because it takes several LEDs to have wide-area illumination instead of a narrow beam, and the assembly cost increases the overall price. Furthermore, assemblies comprising arrays of LEDs create more opportunities for product defects.

An LED light contains four essential components: an LED circuit board, a heatsink, a power supply, as well as a shell. The lights start off as bare printed circuit boards (PCB) and high luminance LED elements arrive from separate factories which specialize in making those components. LED elements themselves create some heat, and so the PCB found in lights is special. As opposed to the standard non-conductive sandwich of epoxy and fiberglass, the circuit board is laid out over a thin sheet of aluminum which behaves as a heatsink.

The aluminum PCB utilized in LED lighting is coated using a non-conducting material and conductive copper trace lines to form the circuit board. Solder paste will be applied inside the right places and then Surface Mount Technology (SMT) machines position the tiny LED elements, driver ICs, as well as other components onto the board at ultra high speeds.

The round form of a traditional light bulb implies that most LED printed circuit boards are circular, so for ease of handling several of the smaller circular PCBs are combined into one larger rectangular PCB that automated SMT machinery are prepared for. Consider it just like a cupcake tray moving in one machine to another along a conveyor belt, then at the conclusion the patient cupcakes are snapped free of the tray.

Let’s take a look at the manufacturing steps for any typical LED light bulb intended to replace a regular incandescent bulb with the Edison Screw. You will notice that this is a very different process through the highly automated processes utilized to manufacture our familiar incandescent bulbs. And, despite whatever you might imagine, folks are still significantly an essential part of manufacturing process, and not merely for testing and Quality Assurance either.

When the larger sheets of LED circuit boards have passed by way of a solder reflow oven (a hot air furnace that melts the solder paste), they are split up in to the individual small circuit boards and power wires manually soldered on.

The tiny power supply housed in your body from the light bulb undergoes an identical process, or could be delivered complete from another factory. Either way, the manufacturing steps are identical; first the PCB passes through SMT lines, this would go to a manual dual in-line package (DIP) assembly line when a long row of factory workers add one component at the same time. DIP means the two parallel rows of leads projecting from the sides in the package. DIP components include all integrated chips and chip sockets.

While LED lights burn repeatedly over incandescent or CFLs and require not even half the power, they want some form of passive heatsink keep the high-power LEDs from overheating. The LED circuit board, which is made from 1.6-2mm thick aluminum, will conduct the temperature from your dozen approximately LED elements to the metal heatsink frame and so keep temperatures under control. Aluminum-backed PCBs are occasionally called “metal core printed circuit boards,” even though made of a conductive material the white coating is electrically isolating. The aluminum PCB is screwed in position within the heatsink which forms the low half of the LED light.

Following this, the power connector board is fixed in position with adhesive. The small power supply converts 120/240V AC mains capacity to a reduced voltage (12V or 24V), it suits the cavity behind the aluminum PCB.

Shell assembly consists of locking the shell in place with screws. A plastic shell covers the energy supply and connects with the metal heatsink and LED circuit board. Ventilation holes are included to enable heat to flee. Wiring assembly for plug socket requires soldering wires to the bulb socket. Then shell is attached.

Next, the completed LED light is brought to burn-in testing and quality control. The burn-in test typically can last for half an hour. The completed LED bulb is then powered up to find out if it is functioning properly and burned in for 30 minutes. There is also a high-voltage leakage and breakdown test and power consumption and power factor test. Samples from the production run are tested for top-voltage leaks, power consumption, and power factor (efficiency).

The finished bulbs go through one final crimping step because the metal socket base is crimped in position, are bar-coded and identified with lot numbers. External safety labels are applied as well as the bulb is inked with information, including brand name and model number. Finally, all that’s left would be to fix on the clear plastic LED cover which is glued in position.

Following a final check to ensure all the different elements of the LED light are tight, then it is packed into individual boxes, and bulbs are shipped out.

So, for those who have wondered why LED light bulbs are extremely expensive today, this explanation of how they are manufactured and exactly how that comes even close to the manufacture of traditional bulbs should help. However, it jrlbac reveals why the fee will fall pretty dramatically within the next couple of years. Just as the expense of manufacturing other semiconductor-based products has fallen dramatically as a result of standardization, automation along with other key steps along the manufacturing learning curve, the identical inexorable forces will drive down the costs of LED bulb production.

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