LEDs by Soraa have set a new performance record which will result in cheaper and brighter LED light bulbs, according to MIT Technology Review. The new product is the first LED lamp to provide superior performance to a traditional halogen bulb.
Soraa, a startup based in Fremont, California, has developed a new type of LED that it says generates 10 times more light from the same quantity of active material used in other LEDs. The company’s first product called MR 16 is a 12-watt bulb that uses 75 percent less energy than a similarly illuminating 50-watt halogen bulb.
Regular LEDs are made by growing gallium nitride (GaN) on a substrate of sapphire while MR 16 is made with GaN on GaN. Having the same semiconductor material reduces the mismatch in the crystal structure between the two layers and increases efficiency.
Gallium nitride is significantly more expensive than either sapphire or silicon-based materials, but the increased output more than makes up for the added cost. Other 50-watt-equivalent LED lights typically combine multiple LEDs into a single bulb. The increased brightness of Soraa’s LEDs means that it has to only use a single chip or diode.
“Our technological foundation enables Soraa products to emit more light per LED material and handle more electric current per area than competitors, providing the highest quality light that makes for a perfect, more energy-efficient replacement for traditional halogen lamps,” said Soraa CEO Eric Kim.
The result has been published in the Applied Physics Letters. Other companies, like Bridgelux and Osram Opto Semiconductors, are working to developing LEDs using gallium nitride on silicon wafers, with an aim to cut production costs.