Soraa Makes the Best LEDs in the World

October 8. 2014. 2 mins read
Table of contents

LEDs are expected to achieve tremendous growth in the next several years. According to Credit Suisse, the overall general lighting market revenue for LEDs will nearly double from US $27.8 billion in 2014 to US $53.0 billion in 2016, growing at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of +43%. One LED startup company, Soraa, is developing what it claims to be the best LEDs in the world; and they’re currently selling them on  Amazon.

About Soraa

Click for company website

Founded in 2008, Soraa has taken in just over $100 million in funding so far from the likes of Kholsa Ventures, NGEN, and the Angeleno Group. The company came out of stealth mode in 2012 to unveil their unique GaN on GaN LED bulb which demonstrates world record efficiency using about 75 percent less energy than incandescent and halogen bulbs, and lasting 25 times longer than halogen bulbs.


Initially targeted at commercial users for use in commercial buildings, a Soraa light can pay for itself in just one year solely based on energy savings. The main advantage of Soraa’s GaN on GaN LED material is that it allows reliable operation at very high current densities.  The technology allows for 1000x fewer defects than conventional LEDs giving Soraa’s LED a near-perfect crystal structure. This enables Soraa LEDs to offer the following superior advantages:

  • GaN on GaN™ LEDs emit 5X more light per LED material than any other LED
  • GaN on GaN™ LEDs handle more electric current per area than any other LED
  • GaN on GaN™ crystals are up to a thousand times more precise than any other LED crystal

Soraa offers a range of LED bulb products, all with a rated life of 4 years. For example, the SORAA LED MR16 is only 10 watts but has light output equivalent to a 35-Watt halogen. The Soraa LED MR16 lamps work in all fixtures, including fully enclosed ones, and have been tested with a broad range of popular transformers and dimmers.

A Nobel Prize-Winning Technology

This invention of a blue light-emitting diode just was first made in 1990 and recently won one of Soraa’s co-founders, Shuji Nakamura, a Nobel Prize. When the technology was first patented by Mr. Nakamura’s company (Nichia Corp), Mr. Nakamura was compensated for his invention in the amount of $180 dollars. After discovering just how powerful an invention he had made, Mr. Nakamura sued Nichia Corp in 2001 and settled out of court for $7.7 million in 2005.


Soraa is not only notable for cutting costs, but also for enabling the less fortunate in the world. As stated in an article by GigaOm, the Royal Swedish Academy of Science, which awards the Nobel prize, recognized the fact that the 1.5 billion people who don’t have consistent access to the power grid are now able to power the “GaN on GaN” long-lasting, energy-efficient LEDs by simply using low-cost solar panels. Soraa has a global network of distributors and seems well positioned to capture market share in the growing LED market.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

  1. The numbers need some fine tuning – Soraa has actually taken in $600 million in venture and debt and burns cash at about $5 million per month. They take revenue at less than $6 million per quarter, so they’re continuing to require investment and/or bridge loans from KV and others. Soraa’s lamps last 3x as long as halogens (not 25x), and sell for 5 times as much. They truly make a nice looking lamp, but given high materials prices compared with the incumbent blue LED materials, they find it hard to compete on price and make sales. Add to this the low wafer yields in the GaN-on-GaN fab and you begin to understand the talent drain from the company over the last two years. It’s a great experiment, but will it overcome such a large deficit with great marketing?

    1. Thank you for the comments Frank. We took the funding numbers for Soraa from Crunchbase. You seem to have information that most people are not privy to as we didn’t come across any revenue numbers or mention of attrition problems for Soraa. We did find some commentary that suggested Sorra was a risky bet since the LED business is very capital intensive and difficult for startups to take from 0 to 60. Regarding the performance metrics we presented, these were just pulled directly from the website. The “best” LED does not mean the most “commercially viable” LED.