Couple thoughts about LED's-
About a dozen years ago I worked in an industry that was an early adopter of LED's, if you can say that about a technology that has been in practical use since the sixties.
We had a salesman come by once pitching his product and I remember him claiming the first application for contemporary white LED lighting
was on nuclear submarines. Supposedly every time they broke a fluorescent light bulb, it was this big expensive ordeal to clean them up because of the closed environment
I don't know if it's true or not, but it's a nice story.
Anyhell, the technology isn't new and basically consists of a stack of gem chips potted in epoxy
, you pass a current
through them, and they vibrate and emit light. Pretty simple. (Some of you may know BTW, that epoxy
tends to not tolerate heat so well. Heat is the LED killer)
This is all well and fine. The have very low draw and if properly loaded can have a very long and otherwise functionally unlimited life, but there are two catches.
One, the LED's are not capable of putting out a true white light. Only colors.
The workaround to this is by incorporating a luminescent component to the epoxy potting that transforms the light, typically from a blue color, to a whitish looking light. The problem with this is that the luminescent component is not durable and will degrade over time, causing a color shift from whitish back to blue.
Better quality and more expensive LED's will maintain their colorfastness longer. (you can get a more true white light by combining Red, Green, and Blue LED's as seen in many display types, but those don't really apply to our situation)
The second catch is that the brightness of an LED is a function of voltage and some manufacturer's will cheat the brightness by running them higher, which leads to more heat, which means shorter life.
Just like the Nexus 6, the light that burns twice as bright burns twice as fast
Something to watch out for if you are spending good money
for a flashlight you expect to provide years of service
. For example, my Pelican might not be the brightest but it should be good for 10,000 hours, which means never having to replace a light bulb!