My father is currently interested in investing into a Ukrainian LED fixture manufacturer, and after he bought home a sample, I'm scared. There are 94 LEDs paired up with diodes, all in series, connected directly to mains voltage. The LEDs and diodes are covered with epoxy, however the ends of the diodes stick out just enough to do some damage.

I told him that the LEDs closer to the ends will die out much faster than the rest, resulting in damaging the rest of the LEDs due to fact that they no longer provide a suitable voltage. On top of that, the diodes will most likely heat up, and in addition to the heat from the LEDs, the components will get damaged considerably faster. The lifetime estimate for this unit is 50'000 hours, however I highly doubt that it will be usable past 20'000 hours. Plus, I'm pretty sure that there are quite a few laws which were violated.

Here are some photos:

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Just a couple of notes:

  • No, I don't have a link for the product page
  • Yes, there is absolutely no other circuitry
  • And yes, they told my dad that this could be certified for the EU and Switzerland...

Your input in this matter would be greatly appreciated.

  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ Once you gain a little bit of reputation, the site is much less restrictive. And, between you and me, there are certain people on this site who will eat you alive for posting multi-megapixel images, so I scaled them down to avoid said lynching. \$\endgroup\$ – Adam Lawrence Nov 4 '12 at 23:44
  • \$\begingroup\$ haha ok sorry :P \$\endgroup\$ – Sasha Nov 4 '12 at 23:46
  • \$\begingroup\$ I thought I smelled something funny when my browser slowed down whilst scrolling past those images! \$\endgroup\$ – Sasha Nov 4 '12 at 23:47
  • \$\begingroup\$ Why do you feel the LEDs at the ends are at a higher risk? \$\endgroup\$ – Dave Tweed Nov 5 '12 at 2:58
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    \$\begingroup\$ There are two competing questions here. If you are asking about the design life and mentality I think it fits, if you are asking about designing a safe product I am still in, if you want to know about legality in the EU then this post is too localized for the site, both in time and in location. \$\endgroup\$ – Kortuk Nov 5 '12 at 2:59

Have you contacted them and asked them if they realize those diodes had ends sticking out? There is a chance that this was an early test run and they were working out fabrication issues. If you are getting a trial run there could be a design issue they worked out and there could be a fabrication issue they have not recognized yet.

I would suggest as your first step you contact the group that sent you the device and discuss/report the issue to them. You may save them a large amount of money if they realize they had a fabrication issue prior to a full production run. There is also a good chance they have seen this fabrication issue already and have resolved it in production.

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