LED cost and price

Discussion in 'General Electronics Chat' started by Hurt_it_Circuit, Oct 25, 2012.

  1. Hurt_it_Circuit

    Thread Starter Member

    Oct 2, 2012
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    Which LED's tend to be most expensive and which tend to be least expensive? Why is there such a difference between cost and color of the LED?
     
  2. takao21203

    Distinguished Member

    Apr 28, 2012
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    There is not a good answer to this, since professional vendors have 1000s of different LED types on offer.

    In general, new technology is more expensive.

    The price is a result of manufacturing cost, and market volume (how many people will actually buy/use a perticular type, or LED color).

    It also depends if they are sold as Bulk bag/reel/tray, or as individual LEDs.

    Hobby components tend to be far more expensive. The freedom to use them for unprofessional applications or in an unprofessional manner is paid for! Normally (if you don't always think pessimist) this should also rather include additional services, means you can ask questions about these components. But this is not always the case. As a result, in recent 10 to 15 years, many electronic street shops have stopped to sell such components.

    Japan is different for this. You get hobby purpose components at a decent price level maybe double or three times the original price, but all individually wrapped, and including a printed datasheet.

    Most professional vendors in Europe or USA actually don't sell to individual people. You need at least to register with your credit card, and/or name + address and telephone number.

    On eBay, you can get chinese components. The cheapest LEDs can have brightness variation, or some LEDs actually don't even work. For SMD, it is not really a problem. And there is not a large price difference between colors. New types such as Straw hat are more expensive than standard 3mm or 5mm LEDs. Unusual LED types are also more expensive.

    UV LEDs, blue, purple, sea green etc. are simply more expensive to make than other colors.
     
  3. MrChips

    Moderator

    Oct 2, 2009
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    The price you pay for an LED does not have much to do with cost of manufacturing etc. This is pretty much the same for any type of commodity. The price you pay is based on how much someone is willing to accept for it. An LED might cost 10 cents or $2 depending on which store is willing to sell it at whatever price. It's all base more on supply than demand.
     
  4. Hurt_it_Circuit

    Thread Starter Member

    Oct 2, 2012
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    what about wavelength does that at all come into play? I know blue LED's were only recently made and they also have a short wavelength. Taking out the economic reasons out of the discussion i.e. demand and popularity. Are there any other reasons as to why there would be a cost difference?
     
  5. takao21203

    Distinguished Member

    Apr 28, 2012
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    It somehow depends on the manufacturing equipment which they use. Maybe it is 2nd hand, leased, older technology. Maybe it is brand new, or custom made.

    Look at these thick wires inside 0.5W LEDs. They need more sophisticated equipment to form them, cut them etc. For standard LEDs, a lot of equipment already exist, or can be leased, maybe some things are sourced from elsewhere. Some smaller fabs may purchase wafers, while others make them in-house. Some may even purchase individual LED dies.

    Then the bonding technology. Many different types of adhesives exist. Many different ways of attaching the wire exist. What you will get as a result is great variation of heat resistance, current capability, brightness etc.

    It also depends if the LEDs are tested, or selected for brightness.

    The same good you could ask why the price for battery or light bulb brands is different. Even if you are not totally wrong to say, many small CFLs contain about the same components, and very similar PCBs.
     
  6. takao21203

    Distinguished Member

    Apr 28, 2012
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    Different manufacturing process, and different technologies. Some LEDs actually contain phospor coatings. Some LED brands maybe use a bonding which isn't so great for high temperature. You can see this, some LEDs will die from soldering, if you solder a large matrix. While some SMD LEDs literally can be baked for quite a long while at more than 200 C.
     
    Hurt_it_Circuit likes this.
  7. bountyhunter

    Well-Known Member

    Sep 7, 2009
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    New is pricey. I remember when blue LEDs first came out in the 80's, the MIL units were about $80 each.
     
  8. bountyhunter

    Well-Known Member

    Sep 7, 2009
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    wavelength tends to affect brightness, cost is based on die size.
     
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