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Old man on a bike
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I had that same question when I first started checking LEDs out. Kinda surprised it's pretty literal in a way as it means sorting or classifying. Here's one definition I found:

LED Binning

LED manufactures typically bin or separate LEDs subsequent to a production run. The factory tests each LED light for specific characteristics such as luminous intensity, forward voltage, and optical wavelength or color temperature. Consider a low intensity bin that starts at 15 lumens, and a high intensity bin that ends at 50 lumens. Depending on the bin, LED lights can produce anywhere between 15 and 50 lumens. As some manufactures of LED lights allow the customer to specify a bin before purchasing, while others do not. This is why it is extremely important to consider the company's ordering procedures. If the customer cannot specify a bin prior to ordering, the LED light manufactures is free to ship only LED lights from the lowest intensity bin! In any case, it is also important to check factory yields. In some cases, the LED manufacture may allow the customer to specify the intensity bin. However, they may claim that factory yield for the high bin accounts for a very low percent of their LED production. Therefore, the high intensity bin is usually not even available for ordering, even when it is specifically required. A marketing group may decide to advertise the highest intensity or lumen value from the highest intensity bin. In reality, they should be using the typically value from the intensity bin providing the highest factory yield. Perhaps binning is the single most misunderstood aspect related to inaccurate values associated with lumen per dollar calculations.
 

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Yeah, most of that really didn't address the definition beyond the first statement. Think of it like this: they put LEDs from a particular production run through a sorting process, and put LEDs for each group of characteristics into a particular sorting bin (what I meant by literal).

Apparently producing particular characteristics in an LED is somewhat a frustration during production, so they take a production run and then sort the results by characteristics...but not always either, depends on the application of the LED. At least that's what I gleaned when I tried to find a simple definition which I really never found.
 

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simple:
Take Crees for example - if you look around you will find the XR-E LED emitter in a P, Q or R designation. Each generation better/brighter/whatever than the last. Inside those, there are numernical desingatiors that show incremental improvements from the original. The letter and the number is the BIN designation. Any Q series will be brighter than a P series, and R brighter than the Q. In the Q series, a Q5 will be brighter than a Q3 or Q4. Cree only goes to 5 before it rolls to the next letter designation, therefore after the Q5, came the R2 (They apparently skip the #1.

Wait til you then start finding that each LED then has a color temp rating - like a WG, WC, or WH. Most modders tend to like the WH, and WG's. for a "colder" white light. To me that's the entire BIN that you want to focus on - make sure you are buying LEDs in batches. If you buy a Q5 WH, and a Q5 WG and try putting them in the same housing - it will still work fine, but the color of the light might be alittle off (You'd never know it while riding, just when looking directly into the bulbs. Don't want to be doing that anyway, those things are bright.)
 

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aaron04 said:
Was that the short answer? I'm a little confused? So, uh, what does "bin" mean?
bin
-noun
1. a box or enclosed place for storing grain, coal, or the like.
-verb (used with object)
2. to store in a bin.
Origin:
bef. 950; ME binne, OE binn(e) crib, perh. < Celt; cf. Welsh benn cart

So, in this case it means to sort the product into separate containers.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
neilt said:
bin
-noun
1. a box or enclosed place for storing grain, coal, or the like.
-verb (used with object)
2. to store in a bin.
Origin:
bef. 950; ME binne, OE binn(e) crib, perh. < Celt; cf. Welsh benn cart

So, in this case it means to sort the product into separate containers.
ha. ha. funny ha
 

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aaron04 asked the question:...What does "bin" mean?
..adrenalnjunky pretty much answered your question. LED's have to be grouped or classed by the manufactures so people know what to buy. This process of classification is referred to as "binning" What most people want to know when they are considering an LED are things like:
1) The physical characteristics ( size )
2) the color ( or chromaticity group )
3) brightness ( Luminous flux )
4) electrical characteristics ( forward voltage, maximum current, power usage...etc.)

All the information you need to know about the LED's you are considering are available to you on the manufactures web site. It is useful if you have some general knowledge in electronics in order to make heads or tails of the tables. Usually the specifications for the LED's are put in PDF files that you can open and read if you have Adobe reader software. In those files will be everything you need to know about the LED in question. Currently, the LED manufactures that most people talk about on the forum are either "Cree" or "SSC" ( Seoul Semiconductor ). There are others but these are the ones that are used by most.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Resist said:
"BIN" is not an acronym for anything, if that is what he was asking. Like LED means Light Emitting Diode.
I just wanted to know what the term "BIN" stood for when associated with LEDs. I kept seeing the term but nowhere did I see the option to order a specific "bin" so I had to ask.
I appreciate the help! Aaron
 

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Go to Cree's website and look up XRE for a better explanation. Long story short, they make a bunch of LED's at the factory, and the production process ends up putting the emitters on backing/mounting boards, and they roll them up on a "reel" of say 500 LED's on Star or round boards, sort of like movie film or old tape recorders rolling up data on a a reel, which then makes up a "lot".

Before they can mount them to the boards, they have to "Batch" them or "bin" them according to various manufacturing and engineering standards. One of the standards is by lumen output, another is by forward voltage output, another is by color output, another may be by how much electricity both in voltage and emitted light at a given amperage or current draw.

Basically, go sniff around on Cree's web site for LED's read it like a dozen times, and you'll have a better understanding of what binning is. It's really a sorting process with multiple parameters being specified by engineers depending on the needs and applications. WC is White, Cool and is more on the white/blue side in color temperature in degrees Kelvin (kind of like the process of coloring stars in space by the color of their light output corresponding to the temperature of the surface of the star like the Sun, when fusion of hydrogen into helium is occurring.)
 

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neilt said:
bin
-noun
1. a box or enclosed place for storing grain, coal, or the like.
-verb (used with object)
2. to store in a bin.
Origin:
bef. 950; ME binne, OE binn(e) crib, perh. < Celt; cf. Welsh benn cart

So, in this case it means to sort the product into separate containers.
This is essentially what it means. Semiconductors are all tested are they are manufactured. The purpose of this testing is first to separate out the non-working ones, and sometimes it is secondly used to separate the working devices into several categories based upon certain criteria. In the case of these LEDs, they are binned based upon color of the light they emit.

Semiconductor testing began with people hand checking discrete components, such as diodes. They placed the tested diodes into different plastic bins based upon their test results. The terms "bin" and "binning" have just stuck for the last 40 years.
 
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