SMD LED Brand Comparison

2014 Comments from Functional Utility Inc

CREE and Epistar are the most popular chips/drivers used in the automotive LED light bar industry, although there are actually more than a dozen different brands that are commercially available.

CREE, Inc. was established in 1987 and is based in the USA. They hold thousands of patents in more than twenty countries around the world and are universally accepted as the LED industry’s most prolific innovators. CREE makes the best LEDs, but other manufacturers are in a close second place when it comes to LED quality. Epistar Inc. (a Taiwan based company) and Nichia Corp (a Japan based company) produce good quality LEDs as well. It is important to note that CREE licenses the use of its patents to others, and all three of the leading LED companies manufacture most of their LEDs in China.

Here is how these different Jeep LED brands stack up in terms of life expectancy and durability:

CREE: 50,000 to 100,000 hour Life Expectancy – Highest Standards
50,000 to 75,000 hour Life Expectancy – High Standards
Nichia: 50,000 to 75,000 hour Life Expectancy – High Standards
Bridgelux: 30,000 to 40,000 hour Life Expectancy – Medium Standards
Edison: 30,000 to 40,000 hour Life Expectancy – Medium Standards
Ecosmart: 10,000 to 25,000 hour Life Expectancy – Low Standards
Generic: 250 to 5,000 hour Life Expectancy – Lowest Standards

2015 Comments (source):

As far as we have learnt, there are many famous LED chips brands as following:

Nichia, Cree, HP, Toyoda GeseiCo, Toshiba, SDK, Philips Lumileds, luxeon, Smileds, Genelite, Osram, Gelcore, Bridgelux, Seoul, Epivalley and etc. they are foreign brands.


Made in China Mainland, brands are: Silan, AXT, LM, San’An, Epilight and etc.

Make in China Taiwan, brands are: Epistar, Huga, Genesis Photonics, Arima Optoelectronics, AOC and etc.


Osram, Cree and Epistar LED chips are widely used in LED displays. Most LED display companies buy chips or lamps from them. It is forecasted that in 2015 China will produce 70% LED products for the world LED market, China will become the largest LED chip market at the time in the world. It is true that Osram is of top quality and famous, however, the extremely high price scare most customers at present. Cree is of good quality and the price is just OK but a little high in the market, most high grade customers choose Cree. The most common-used brands of LED diode are Epistar made in TaiWan and the quality of these LED chips are judged mainly by 5 criteria, which is brightness, attenuation, color uniformity, viewing angle and stability.

China has the strong technology strength and ability to make good quality LED chips. Chips made in China own very big market share in the world LED products market with good reputation due to high cost performance.

What we are going to do is to make comparisons on the three brands from these three aspects and also the prices respectively. Please note that Cree is the only brand which stabilizes after the first 10000 hours and the attenuation after the first 10000 hours is very minimal.

The brightness (measured by mcd)

  Osram Cree Epistar
Red lamp 400-600 mcd 400-600 mcd 330-600 mcd
Green lamp 1600-2400 mcd 1100-1600 mcd 1200-1700 mcd
Blue lamp 300-700 mcd 300-600 mcd 300-650 mcd
Whole pixel 2700-4300 mcd 2200-3400 mcd 2450-3450 mcd

The brightness attenuation after 10000 hours:

  Osram Cree Epistar
Red lamp 2.5% 26% 28%
Green lamp 2.5% 26% 28%
Blue lamp 2.5% 26% 28%

Viewing angle:

Osram Cree Epistar
Horizontal 150 degrees 120 degrees 110 degrees
Vertical 60 degrees 70 degrees 80 degrees

These three brands are common-use in the market, many LED lights contain these kinds of LED chips and different chips of them depend on different product price and quality.




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