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Lumileds drives automotive lighting forward

The firm’s SnapLED now has ‘build out of the box’ capability for automotive applications and is designed to significantly reduce engineering and development costs.

SnapLED, one of the automotive industry’s most widely used LED for signalling applications, has been significantly improved by Philips Lumileds.

With a continued focus on reliability and performance, engineers have raised junction temperature maximums, narrowed colour binning to levels imperceptible by the human eye, dual-binned for drive current to simplify the design process and make it easier to meet critical regulation requirements.

The firm has also implemented a new “Multi-Environment Over Stress Test” (MEOST) regimen to ensure SnapLED is the most reliable automotive LED.



“A ‘build out of the box’ approach to turn, tail, and stop lighting applications on vehicles is a major step forward for the auto industry and significantly reduces engineering and development costs,” said Scott Kern, Strategic and Product Marketing at Philips Lumileds.

“We remove the need for re-testing and screening which can save our customers more than 5% of operational costs, reduce equipment and manpower needs, speed production and improve finished goods yields. We continue to lower system costs and barriers to adoption.”

SnapLED’s maximum junction temperature has been increased to 135°C, which Lumileds says is the highest in the industry for a mid-power LED. This widens the design envelope and gives engineers more flexibility in their design efforts as they create new lighting solutions.

Flux bin sizes, which were already quite small, have been reduced by as much as 67% so that flux variations within a bin are imperceptible to the human eye. Simultaneously, the forward voltage bin widths have been reduced by as much as 50%, making the use of low-cost, resistor-based driver circuits easier to implement. Also, SnapLED is designed to operate over a dynamic current range of 30:1, allowing for simplified, yet reliable, designs for both stop- and tail-mode operation.

LEDs in stop-tail signalling lamps tend to operate at the extremes of current limits, and most have difficulty meeting the performance and uniformity requirements without expensive electrical designs. With SnapLED’s dual binning, flux ratios between different current levels and uniformity across the entire dynamic range are highly controlled. This precision makes it easier to implement a solution with confidence, without the need of retesting LEDs prior to assembly as the uniformity and flux performance are already narrowly defined.

A new testing regime, Multi Environment Overstress Testing (MEOST) that exceeds the testing required by today’s standards for automotive signalling LED sources has also been implemented for SnapLED. This test regime exceeds AEC-Q101, including simulations for extreme operational conditions as well as tests that far exceed datasheet guidelines which should ensure SnapLED LEDs will function reliably for the life of the vehicle.
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