Understanding LEDs

While most companies who claim high CRI ratings are only using R01-R08, we use the full, extended range of R01-R15. Some call this RA, others CRI extended, and many more CRI(re). We just call it honest.

Even some of the biggest name brands in lighting will claim a high CRI rating without fully disclosing which metric they are using. RGB LEDs that claim high CRI ratings can’t be using R01-R15 because their LEDs do not output most of these hues. What’s a 95CRI mean if it is only R1-R8? In our opinion, not much.

R01, R09, R13, and R15 are the light frequencies that correspond to human skin tones. Without a full spectrum light source, recreating these subtle hues is not possible.

The history of artificial light has often been biased towards European skin tones. In the past, limitations in metal halides, xenon gas, and fluorescent tube technology made it difficult to recreate the full-spectrum but “warm-biased” skin tones possible with Tungsten. But, LEDs are a game-changer; finally, every human being on earth can look fantastic under artificial light.


In Vivo Human Blood Light Reflectance
Unsurprisingly, the most important characteristic of all human skin tones is the blood that flows beneath it. The reflectance of living, flowing blood is a strong 650nm spike that slowly tapers off into the infrared spectrum.

This applies to all humans, regardless of “race.” And it is more than a single hue. RGBW lights might recreate a single 650nm spike, but they miss out on the rise in yellow and amber tones present in blood reflectance.


R9 = African Skin Tones
This means that while R9 is the dominant light frequency for properly illuminating African skin, it assists in ALL human skin tones.


R13 = European Skin Tones
And while many lights claim they have accurately recreated R13, which correlates primarily with European skin tones, it is not a single hue and requires pastel colors of cyan, eggshell blue, and green-yellow. The concept of “white skin” is a social construct, not a scientific one. Europeans have as many tonal differences as any other group of humans and require a full spectrum light source to properly recreate the full range of subtle skin tones.


R15 = Asian Skin Tones
Scientists in Southeast Asia realized that R1-R14 did not sufficiently illuminate Asian skin tones. Therefore, R15 was included to ensure that people of Asian descent are accurately illuminated under artificial lighting.


Enhancing Full Spectrum Red
Some RGBW companies are cheating by “red-doping” their LED designs. This is only a half-measure to true, rich, accurate skin tones. We boost the entire YAR (Yellow-Amber-Red) frequency range. This is only possible with a full spectrum light source and cannot be done with RGB, RGBW, or RGBWW light sources.


Full Spectrum LEDs VS. RGB LEDs
Many believe all LEDs are the same. This isn’t true; there is a fundamental scientific difference between the light fields created from full spectrum LEDs and hue-specific LEDs.

RGB, RGBW, RGBWW, and other variants cannot create full-spectrum light. They have vast spectral chasms in cyan, yellow, magenta, and every color is composed of some delicate mix of light frequencies.

Full Spectrum Light is a complete light field. While some frequencies may be diminished due to limits in phosphor technology, the entire spectrum of light is present.

The differences are extreme. And this is why an RGB device claiming high CRI numbers should be met with some skepticism. CRI(re) is only a sampling of color measurements intended to prove that an entire full spectrum of colors is present in the light field.


Binning LEDS
Another myth surrounding LEDs is that one is as good as the next. This is not true. Commercial manufacturing techniques are similar to computer processors, in which a giant wafer of LEDs is created.

Due to microscopic differences beyond our ability to control, some LEDs are in spec while others fail to meet our standards.

We only select the LEDs that meet our standards. This process is known as “binning.”
You might think our rejected LEDs are thrown into the garbage. What may surprise you is that our rejected LEDs are resold at a discount…to many of our competitors!
It’s easy to make an inexpensive LED system if you are willing to purchase second-hand, rejected LEDs.


Two-Step Macadam Ellipse
Most LED manufacturers bin as loosely as four Macadams. This isn’t sufficient for high-quality lighting. We bin within two Macadams, which is near the limit of what the human eye can see. And we bin for color temperature, CRI, brightness, and voltage. The first three directly contribute to the consistency of a light field. The fourth contributes to the longevity of LEDs.


Traditional COB-LEDS VS. Anthem LC-LEDS

Anthem One’s LEDs are unlike any other on earth. Our competitors use traditional COB-LEDs, small LEDs that are electrified with incredibly small pieces of gold wire. The gold wire snaps easily and frays over time. Additionally, the two wires cast shadows and limit the beam spread of their LEDs.

We weren’t satisfied with wire-bonded LEDs. And so, we worked with factories around the world to create a new type of LED. Our patented LC-LED eliminates the gold wire, which enables us to create incredibly wide beams of light. It also enables us to overdrive our LEDs. This is why Anthem One is so much more electrically efficient than other LED lights.


Chip Size
The most seemingly counterintuitive aspect of LEDs is size; the smaller the LED, the more punchy, linear, and crisp the light field! While most of our competitors use 1.5mm – 5mm LEDs, our full spectrum Anthem Light Cards use 1mm LEDs. They’re so small, they can fit on the tip of a pencil!

Most importantly, it is all these concepts together that create the magic of an Anthem Light Card. Anthem Light Cards rely on a vast body of science to create the best artificial Light Fields in the world.