What is binning in LEDs and what is best bin?

Binning in LEDs refers to the sorting and categorization process of LEDs based on their light output, color characteristics, and other optical properties. During LED manufacturing, there can be slight variations in these parameters due to inherent differences in the semiconductor materials and manufacturing processes. Binning helps to ensure consistency in LED performance and allows manufacturers to offer LEDs with similar characteristics within specific groups or bins.

LEDs from the same bin have similar or closely matched attributes, such as:

  1. Luminous Flux: LEDs in the same bin have similar light output or luminous flux, measured in lumens (lm). This ensures that LEDs used in the same application will have consistent brightness levels.

  2. Color Temperature: LEDs in the same bin have similar color temperatures, which define the color appearance of the light. For applications where color consistency is critical, using LEDs from the same bin helps avoid variations in color between different fixtures.

  3. Color Rendering Index (CRI): LEDs in the same bin have similar CRI values, indicating how accurately they render colors compared to a reference light source.

  4. Forward Voltage: LEDs in the same bin have similar forward voltage characteristics, which are important for designing LED driver circuits.

The “best bin” for an LED depends on the specific requirements of the lighting application. In most cases, the best bin is the one that matches the desired specifications and performance criteria needed for the application. For example:

  • In architectural lighting, where color consistency is crucial, the best bin would be one that provides LEDs with the most consistent color temperature and color rendering.

  • In general lighting applications, the best bin may be the one that offers the desired brightness level and energy efficiency.

  • In display or signage applications, the best bin would be one that ensures uniform brightness and color across the entire display.

For applications where strict uniformity in light output and color is required, manufacturers often offer tighter binning options, allowing customers to select LEDs with even closer matching characteristics.

It’s important to note that LEDs from different bins can still be used together in some applications. However, for critical applications where uniformity is essential, selecting LEDs from the same bin or a close bin grouping ensures the desired performance and consistency across the lighting installation.