What is Phosphor?

Phosphor is a substance that displays the property of luminescence. In the case of LED lighting the type of luminescence is specifically fluorescence, the emission of light caused by the absorption of blue light energy emanating from the LED chip. When a phosphor absorbs a photon of blue light it emits a photon of longer wavelength, extending the spectrum toward the red. Different phosphors have different emission characteristics and thus when combined with the blue light and each other, a high quality light spectrum is produced.

Phosphors are manufactured in ways to make them most suitable for consistent, high yield LED manufacturing. Most phosphors are packaged as powders of well formed, micrometer scale particles. These can be integrated into carrier materials that then coat and form LED components in many different ways. Intematix also offers easy to use phosphor solutions that make LED manufacturing easier.

Phosphor Diagram

Why do we need it?

In the simplest of terms, phosphor is what makes LED light usable. LED chips are intrinsically blue, red or green with the blue variety of LEDs being the most commonly used in solid state lighting. However, the blue light that they produce is unusable for everyday lighting and must be covered with a phosphor. While the efficiency of an LED is largely controlled by the blue chip, the color quality that we see is almost entirely dependent on the phosphor that is used. Intematix offers four main types of phosphor to ensure correct color targeting and very high light quality.

  • Silicates offer some of the brightest phosphors making them an excellent choice for displays.
  • NYAG (Garnet) phosphors can be used as single solution phosphors for industrial or outdoor lighting where efficiency is the name of the game; not necessarily the quality of light. However, they can also be combined with other phosphors to make +80CRI quality white light.
  • GAL (Aluminate) phosphors are Intematix proprietary phosphors that can be blended with red phosphors (particularly, the Intematix XR red nitrides) to create some of the highest quality white light currently available in the market – this combination of phosphors (GAL + red) to create white light is patented by Intematix.
  • Red Nitride phosphors are a crucial ingredient to creating high quality light with an R9 value of up to 98. If you want an LED that compares to an incandescent light source, red nitride is currently a must.
  • KSF Phosphors have an extremely narrow band emission making them ideal for display lighting where they enable significantly higher screen brightness, efficiency, and wide color gamut displays.

Do you have questions about phosphors and how they make LED lighting better? Consult our glossary and if that doesn’t help, please feel free to contact us at [email protected].