In the April issue of Pennwell’s LEDs Magazine, Jeff Hulett’s most recent article begins by recounting a three-hundred-year-old tale of maritime navigation hampered by compounding errors in longitude calculation. An English clockmaker devised a practical solution to reduce navigational errors by designing an accurate shipboard clock.
Today’s LED industry faces a very similar challenge. NIST’s published results of its Measurement Assurance Program in which 118 lamps were tested by laboratories worldwide showed that luminous flux measurements for these identical lamps differed by a surprising 4%.
Without the ability to measure devices precisely, Hulett states, it is impossible to know if two different production lines are manufacturing interchangeable parts – a fundamental underpinning of modern industry. Even a small amount of variability can make it impossible to distinguish a trend from noise.
Hulett warns performance measurement error will become increasingly intolerable as incremental LED technology advancements replace the rapid improvement that has thus far allowed the industry to bear the costs associated with uncertainty.
Further discussion of this issue can be found in Jeff’s March LEDs Magazine article, “Ensure your light measurement method doesn’t undervalue your LEDs”.
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