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issue: May 2007 APPLIANCE Magazine

Electronics Report
A Colorful Solution

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With a profile of only 0.4 mm, a new series of SMD LEDs is said to feature both small size and color versatility, while also offering low power consumption.

As appliances become thinner and smaller, Kingbright knew designers needed low-profile LED chips like its new 0805 Bi-Color SMD LEDs. The devices are said to also offer aesthetic benefits such as unique color blends for appliance display and membrane switch applications.

The 0805 Bi-Color SMD LEDs from Kingbright Corporation are said to be an industry first. According to the City of Industry, California, U.S.-based company, besides having a low profile of 0.4 mm, the LEDs also offer appliance engineers new color options.

“As more innovative, visual interactive appliances are invented, the thinnest/smallest concept becomes essential,” says Man Yu, Kingbright’s engineering manager. “Thin and small LEDs allow engineers to design with ease in applications such as LCD backlights, indicator lights and other switch applications. Furthermore, colors are becoming more and more popular in appliance applications.”

The new series has been designed with two ultra-bright LED chips with a viewing angle of 120 degrees, forming various color combinations such as blue/green, blue/red, red/green, and yellow/green. According to Yu, the small profile was achieved by utilizing a lightweight epoxy and super-thin PCB with an innovative encapsulation process.

Another feature of the LEDs is low power consumption, which Yu says will help appliance engineers meet stringent energy conservation requirements. “The architecture of the LED chips consumes extremely low power with low heat dissipation, operating under current as low as 1mA,” he tells APPLIANCE. “The power-efficient InGaN and AlInGaP LED chip technology emits high intensity output at super low current (1mA).”

The lightweight and low profile features of the LEDs make them ideal for hand-held consumer electronic devices and membrane switch applications. However, Yu says they can be used in a variety of appliances, including refrigerators/freezers, dishwashers, vacuum cleaners, washers, dryers, microwave ovens, water boilers, and small kitchen appliances.

In a washer display, for example, the mechanical switch could be replaced with a new membrane switch enhanced with the LEDs. Yu says this would provide engineers with various hue options for indicators such as Power On/Off. “The ultra-thin LED series is beneficial in that they will have least low protrusion,” he adds.

The LEDs are IR reflow solderable and meet industrial temperature ratings of -40°C to +85°C. To ease the assembly process and reduce costs, the series is also designed for automatic pick-and-place mounting processes.

Suppliers mentioned in this article:
Kingbright Corporation

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