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Bench Talk for Design Engineers

Bench Talk

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Bench Talk for Design Engineers | The Official Blog of Mouser Electronics


Bowling, Baseball and Battles: What they have in Common with LEDs Paul Golata

I’m a guy. That means I’m extremely competitive.

When I was dating my wife, Dianna, and if we played any games together, I would be relentless in my competitive approach and make sure I crushed her, demonstrating my total domination of all things.

Then she asked me to bowl.

That stupid ball never seems to roll where I aim!

Dianna was a good bowler and took pride in silently racking up the pins, while I stewed in my anguish.

In bowling the perfect score is 300. I can hardly get to half of that.

In baseball the mark of an excellent hitter is to have a career batting average of .300 or better. As of 2013 there have been 205 players who have batted at least .300 (minimum of 3,000 plate appearances). This is a small number when you think about the number of players who have ever played the game.

The Battle of Thermopylae (The Hot Gates) was fought in 480 BC. The Persians were invading the Greeks. The Greeks were heavily outnumbered. Yet 300 brave Spartans along with some others made a famous last stand to hold off the onslaught before they were eventually slaughtered. You may be familiar with this story through one of the fictionalized retellings that have been made on film.

LEDs are known by their efficacy. That is a measurement of their light output (measured in lumens) divided by the amount of electrical power they consume (power = voltage * current; power is measured in watts). Efficacy is thus a value that is stated as lumens per watt.

At this point, you’re probably thinking how does LEDs relate to bowling, baseball and ancient Spartans? Let me explain.

Leading LED supplier Cree has recently reached a 300 milestone. Cree has announced that they achieved an LED efficacy of 303 lumens per watt (CCT: 5150K, 350 mA, @ 22C).

LED efficacy has increased greatly over the past decade. It is likely to keep growing in the future as suppliers relentlessly push forward to make LEDs even better and more useful for consumers.

LEDs have reached the 300 lumens per watt barrier.

How far will they be able to go in the future? Let the battle for dominance begin.



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Paul Golata joined Mouser Electronics in 2011. As a Senior Technology Specialist, Paul contributes to Mouser’s success through driving strategic leadership, tactical execution, and the overall product-line and marketing directions for advanced technology related products. He provides design engineers with the latest information and trends in electrical engineering by delivering unique and valuable technical content that facilitates and enhances Mouser Electronics as the preferred distributor of choice.

Before joining Mouser Electronics, Paul served in various manufacturing, marketing, and sales related roles for Hughes Aircraft Company, Melles Griot, Piper Jaffray, Balzers Optics, JDSU, and Arrow Electronics. He holds a BSEET from the DeVry Institute of Technology (Chicago, IL); an MBA from Pepperdine University (Malibu, CA); an MDiv w/BL from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary (Fort Worth, TX); and a PhD from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary (Fort Worth, TX).


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